Rocky Mountain Guitar Spectacular!
Feat. Richard Smith, Patrick Bergeson, John Knowles, Jim Nichols & Brooks Robertson
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Rocky Mountain Guitar Spectacular! Between solo sets, duets and ensembles, this promises to be a guitar spectacular not to be missed. Here is the lowdown on this year's featured artists:
Richard Smith: Born in 1971 in Beckenham, England, Richard started early and first picked up the guiar at the age of 5 with his father teaching him his first chords and songs.
After some early solo performances and six years of working as a trio with two of his brothers, Rob and Sam in the 90's, Richard moved to Nashville, TN. in January 2000,
In 2001 he won the national fingerpicking championship and has since forged a career as a solo artist, performing all over the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and Brazil, releasing solo records, duet and ensemble records.
Constantly touring with a repertoire of fingerpicking classics, originals, fiddle tunes, blues, Joplin rags, jazz standards, classical repertoire and everything from pop to Sousa marches.
Patrick Bergeson: (born March 11, 1961) is an American guitarist, harmonica player and occasional songwriter. Based in Nashville, he is best known for his live and session work with Chet Atkins, Lyle Lovett, Suzy Bogguss and Les Brers. Equally at home with guitar and diatonic and chromatic harmonica styles, Bergeson toured and recorded with Atkins for several years and afterwards became a member of Lyle Lovett's band and also toured with Shelby Lynne . His recording credits include albums by such diverse artists as Chet Atkins, Chuck Loeb, Sixpence None the Richer, Randy Travis, Emmylou Harris, Bill Evans, Jon Randall, Jeff Coffin, Michael McDonald, Martin Taylor, Kenny Rogers, Suzy Bogguss, Alison Krauss, Asleep at the Wheel, Jesse Winchester, Martina McBride, Gail Davies, Bill Frisell, Lyle Lovett, and Jill Sobule and Annie Sellick. Bergeson also contributed to various movie soundtracks, including Ratatouille: What's Cooking?, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Dr. T & the Women, Two If by Sea and Michael.
Knowles first learned accordion, then ukulele, transposing the accordion keyboard to the ukulele fretboard. He studied guitar in high school, then attended Texas Christian University, where he received a degree in physics while playing guitar in his free time.
John Knowles is a C.G.P. (Certified Guitar Player), a title Chet Atkins gave to fingerstyle guitarists he admired. The others are Tommy Emmanuel, Marcel Dadi, Jerry Reed, and Steve Wariner. Four of the CGP had their titles formalized by the CAAS (Chet Atkins Appreciation Society): Knowles, Emmanuel, Wariner, and Reed. After Atkins's death, his daughter gave a posthumous CGP to Paul Yandell, Atkins's guitar partner.
Jim Nichols plays everything from modern jazz, blues and Americana to Chet Atkins style. His impressive credentials include appearances on television, radio, concert halls, and clubs including Carnegie Hall and the Tonight Show. He has played and/or recorded with Kenny Rankin, Chet Atkins, Hubert Laws, Buddy Montgomery, Van Morrison, Toots Thielemans, Tom Waits, and others.
Jim has taught clinics in the U.S. and in Europe including Stanford and Jamie Aebersold Jazz Workshops. He was featured at the Django Reinhardt Festival in France with the great European guitarists, Romane and Martin Taylor. Jim is featured on “World of Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar” for Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop and has a Jazz Guitar instruction video on Bransong Music. His solo CD was chosen by Guitar Player Magazine as a “Pick of the Year” and he was interviewed in Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and was featured in French Acoustic Guitar, as well as the Japanese Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
Brooks Robertson just doesn't need much more than two thumbs, eight fingers and six strings on a wooden box to carry his listeners away.
Hailed by prominent exponents of his instrument like Nokie Edwards, Thom Bresh, John Jorgenson and Mason Williams, the young fingerstyle guitarist embodies the creative vision of a postmodern world: It's the music that counts. Brooks utilizes his superb technical abilities to play bass, rhythm and melody simultaneously and surpass the borders of conventional genres. He merges hauntingly beautiful compositions, country rhythms and jazzy harmonies with funky licks into his very own art form – sometimes delivered with a punch, sometimes with a smile.