Jackie Venson is a new find for me, and I’m hooked. The first black woman to win Austin’s Music Awards’ Best Guitarist for 2019 gets had only been playing the guitar for EIGHT years prior to that honor. But don’t let the setting fool you — while she’s got mad blues guitar chops, she’s far from just another blues guitarist. Blending elements of synthpop, electronic, prog, rock, jazz, and blues, Venson’s blazing a path uniquely her own, filled with throbbing beats that recall decades past while lighting the way ahead. Here, the Berklee alumnus talks about switching instruments, skipping genres and avoiding the machine.