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The music of Richard Smith, who will take the stage at White Horse Black Mountain at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, is a feast to the ears.

Featuring blues, Joplin Rag, Bach, Chopin flatpicking fiddle tunes, Sousa marches and

fingerstyle jazz among his wide-ranging repertoire, the England-born guitarist offers a wide variety of styles. 

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 Smith’s fingers, and eventually his hero, the “Godfather” of

fingerstyle, Chet Atkins, invited Smith 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, Smith 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 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.

“Richard Smith's fingers move so fast across the guitar strings that they're virtually a

blur, but the music is pristinely clear … The heroes' hero,” writes Kyra Gottesman, Chico

Enterprise-Record, Chico, Calif.

Tickets are priced at $15 in advance and $18 the day of the event. Doors open at

7:30 p.m. For more information, go to whitehorseblackmountain.com or call

669-0816.

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