It’s the 2016 A to Z Blog Challenge, so I thought I’d focus on one of my favourite subjects: Guitars. Care to join me?
Chet Atkins. The Country Gentleman. Mr. Guitar. Call him what you like, but no one played guitar like Chet Atkins. I heard it said that he developed his distinctive fingerstyle technique because he found it difficult to play chords. Influenced by the likes of Django Reinhardt, Merle Travis, and Les Paul, his style embraced jazz, and country, and influenced some of the greatest players of the rock era, including George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, among others. His recording of “Malaguena” inspired a generation of Flamenco guitarists, and his interpretation of “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” remains one of my favourites to this day. Country. Jazz. Classical. Chet Atkins could play it with an artistic genius that comes along once in a generation, if you’re lucky. He was one of those guitarists of whom it is truly said, “He could make a guitar sing.”
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