Richard Smith’s music is a feast to the ears. Featuring blues, Joplin Rag, Bach, Chopin flat-picking fiddle tunes, Sousa marches and fingerstyle jazz among his wide-ranging repertoire, the England-born guitarist is set to play at White Horse Black Mountain on Friday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m.
Born in Beckenham, Kent in England in 1971, Smith started playing on a six-string at the age of five after hearing his father picking “Down South Blues” by Chet Atkins and Merle Travis. The curious lad asked his father to teach him how to play. Often, a single hearing was all it took to get a piece under Richard’s fingers, and eventually his hero, the “Godfather” of fingerstyle, Chet Atkins, invited Richard to share the stage with him at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, when he was only 11 years old.
After studying the music of Atkins, Travis, and Jerry Reed, Richard soon graduated to classical guitar pieces, Gypsy jazz, poppin’ tele playing, bluegrass and bebop licks by listening to an array of recordings by the likes of Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Doc Watson, Newgrass Revival, Albert Lee, Jorge Morel, and countless other virtuoso musicians.
With his brothers Rob and Sam, he formed the Richard Smith Guitar Trio, which performed for about eight years. Having married American cellist Julie Adams, Richard moved to Nashville, Tenn. in 2000. Since then, he has toured constantly around the U.S. and Europe either solo, with his cellist wife, and with his swing band The Hot Club of Nashville.
With 10 CD releases and two DVDs to his name, and concentrating mainly on a solo career, Richard balances his time between concertizing on the road and lending his ears and licks to other artists’ music, producing their records in his very own Tunesmith Studio.
Tickets are priced at $15 in advance and $18 the day of the event. Doors open at7:30 p.m. For more information, go to www.whitehorseblackmountain.com or call 828-669-0816.