National Fingerstyle Guitar champion Richard Smith will perform a return concert Friday, March 3, in the inn’s main dining room.
Smith, a native of Beckenham, England, now resides in the U.S. He specializes in the fingerstyle guitar tradition of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, and was the 2001 National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion.
He picked up the guitar at the age of five after watching his father playing an Atkins and Travis version of Down South Blues. His father introduced him to the fingerpicking style, and Smith soon became a child prodigy on the guitar. At the age of 11 he shared the stage with his idol, Atkins, when Atkins invited him to play with him at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.
Later, Smith formed the Richard Smith Guitar Trio with his brothers Rob and Sam, before marrying American cellist Julie Adams and moving to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1999. There he founded the Hot Club of Nashville, a jam band with a varying lineup, including high-profile session players such as John Jorgenson, Pat Bergeson, Bryan Sutton and Stuart Duncan.
The Hot Club combines the European and American traditions of Gypsy Jazz and Western Swing.
Smith now performs both as a solo act and in a duo with Adams. His repertoire includes a wide range of styles from country, bluegrass and folk to jazz, pop and classical music.
His flawless technique, quickly switching between fingerpicking and flatpicking, has earned him the admiration of his peers and numerous awards. Smith won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, in 2001, and The National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame named him Thumbpicker of the Year in 2008 and inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 2009. Furthermore, Smith has received the Golden Thumbpick Award by the Association of Fingerstyle Guitarists.
Tickets for the performance are $49, include a full buffet, and are available from our front desk at 456-9498.