Guthrie and friends are Killin’ the Blues

By on June 17, 2015

“There’s a certain feeling I get from the time I open my case until I put the bass away,” said Sherick Guthrie. “There’s just… free. I just be me, and it’s acceptable.”

Guthrie is an intense musician and songwriter who grew up in Lititz and now plays throughout Lancaster County and into Maryland. With extensive music knowledge and training, Guthrie is a multi-instrumentalist involved in different local bands and music projects.

He has been playing the piano since he was six years old, drums at age 12 and the bass since he was around 15. He played the guitar periodically since then as well, and grew up singing in his church choir. Trained by respected local musicians such as Aaron Walker, Guthrie can read music and is educated on the basic principles of the art.

He is the drummer and a vocalist for Killin’ the Blues and plays bass guitar for Steel City, both bands based out of Lancaster.

He also hosts a free night of music at Lancaster’s AmVets Post 19 on the last Wednesday of every month. He switches back and forth between a band and a showcase of music. His showcases are similar to an open mic with multiple performers, except it is all planned. With a desire to volunteer and help in some way, he uses his gift of music.

“I play music and bring in good quality musicians,” he said.

Killin’ the Blues is (left to right) Sherick Guthrie, Albie von Schaaf and David Denisewicz.

Killin’ the Blues is (left to right) Sherick Guthrie, Albie von Schaaf and David Denisewicz.

AmVets Post 19 is a regular gig for Guthrie and his band, Killin’ the Blues. Another venue they frequent is Jimmy’s Old School Tavern in Maryland.

Killin’ the Blues is heard at different open mics, and on Thursday June 11 they were the featured band at the Alley Kat open mic in Lancaster. The band consists of Guthrie, Albie von Schaaf on guitar and vocals and Dave Denisewicz on bass. The band plays mostly covers, but all members are exceptionally talented, and often learn songs written by each other to keep their sets unique.

Guthrie does his own songwriting, and has the ability to record himself playing each piece for the song. In essence, he is a one man band. But he doesn’t always get a chance to record everything he creates. For instance, if he writes a classical piece, he doesn’t exactly have an orchestra on hand.

“Most is just cataloged in my head,” said Guthrie.

Although playing music is a full-time gig, he also works at Oregon Dairy, what he describes as his, “Quote, unquote, ‘real job.’”

He’s always worked in food, whether it be restaurants or grocery stores. His passion has always been music. Growing up in a musical family, Guthrie said it was never sports or cars that held his attention.

“It just came naturally,” he said. “Music made sense.”

His favorite instrument to play would be a toss-up between the bass and the drums.

“There’s a certain release I get when I play drums,” said Guthrie; he likes to have control over the beat. But, “There’s a certain liberation and a freedom with bass,” he said.

This freedom is released to the audience when he performs. His stage presence is powerful, and displays the difference between being a musician and being a true performer.

As a performer, he recognizes there are things said through music that might not be acceptable at any other time. When you say it in a song, “Nobody questions that,” said Guthrie. “There’s something real about that.”

Check out Killin’ the Blues’ website at to see their full list of upcoming shows. Be sure to catch them when they come through Lititz again on June 20 at the Sandwich Factory and Sept. 19 at Fiorentino’s.

Lenay Ruhl is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at

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