Something Old for Something New

Because this blog is new, I wanted to start with something old. In 1958, in some barn, a slick young country picker was performing. That picker would later become known as one of the greatest guitar players ever, with a famous line of guitars named after him. Chet Atkins truly was a master of his craft and his nimble finger work makes his playing look effortless.

Chet Atkins marks the type of musician that existed in the early days of recorded music. Musicians had fully honed their crafts, and seeing them live was an exhibition of remarkable talent. People approached music like a blue collar job—they worked hard at them, and were humble about it. Chet always wore a suit, and he never flaunts his incredible talent. His playing, and especially his picking, is considered to be some of the finest in the business.

Chet was born in 1924 in rural Luttrell, TN to a very poor family. He has said that because his area was so rural, there was no one else to play with. As a result, he compensated by developing a unique style of picking that allowed him to play the rhythm and melody at the same time. He bought his first guitar from Les Paul for $25 and would practice in a bathroom at his local school.

Chet had no electricity in his house, and so he would have to go out and find a plug in order to play electric. He has received 14 grammy awards, and is known as Mr. Guitar. He pioneered the famous “Nashville sound” on guitar, which has inspired countless guitarists. Willie Nelson says that he is the single most influencial musiciain in Nashville, ever. Cheers Chet, to a true country gentleman.

Watch this video of Chet playing Black Mountain Rag, a classic fiddle tune.

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Today’s Phish note:Today marks the “less than a week” until Phish are back on tour point, and it is safe to say emotions are in high gear awaiting this next run of shows. As Phish returns to some of the finest venues in the nation, we wait, anxiously, for what is to come. Today is also the anniversary of the show from Nectar’s from 7-25-88. Two songs from that show, “Sanity” and “Icculus” would later make it onto the studio release of Junta.

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