Greg Poulos is one of the rare natives of Sarasota. He grew up here and has watched the town change drastically over the years, but one thing that has remained constant is his connection to the local music scene. Greg has been booking gigs in town since he was 13 years old and 50 years later, he is still hard at work playing with two amazing bands, Kettle of Fish and The Venturas.
Greg has always had a passion for the guitar. He picked up the instrument at a young age and listened to his idols for inspiration. Once he had the chance to perform in front of a crowd and get paid for it, a new career was formed. His big break came to him several years later. A friend of his was living in Boulder, Colorado in the early 1970s and convinced Greg to move out West to try to make it as a musician. With not much more than the clothes on his back, Greg landed a touring gig with the legendary Freddie King. Within 3 days, Greg was in Los Angeles opening for Eric Clapton. Unfortunately, after one year of touring with Freddie, King passed away unexpectedly and Greg was back looking for work.
Almost 40 years later, Greg is still making a living as a full-time guitarist. Eventually moving back to Sarasota, he became a guitar teacher as well. It is somewhat amazing to be able to make a living as a musician in this day and age. Making the same amount of money that he was making 25 years ago, things can get frustrating and his alternate career as a teacher hit a rough patch as well. Between YouTube videos and the younger generations’ lack of interest in the guitar, business has dwindled down to a select few students, but Greg keeps doing what he loves.
Although there have been many ebbs in Greg’s 50 year career, he wouldn’t change his profession for anything. A true artist, he feels his absolute best when he’s in the zone and playing in front of a crowd. Be sure to be a part of the pack and check Greg out in person. Playing up to 6 nights a week in town, you can check him out at various times at Mattison’s, The Five O’Clock Club, The Blue Rooster, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Beach Club or Marina Jack. Greg is Sarasota’s very own homegrown guitar legend!
Top photo from venturas.com website
Bottom photo from sarasotapost.com