Concert: Earl Klugh
Saturday, June 30, 2012 : 1:30pm
Concert: Earl Klugh
June 30, 2012
Grammy-winning, Atlanta-based guitarist Earl Klugh saluted his friend and musical hero Chet Atkins during a program held Saturday, June 30, 2012, in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Ford Theater. A master of acoustic guitar and fingerstyle technique, Klugh invited fellow Atkins acolytes Ben Hall, John Knowles, Bill Piburn, Mark Pritcher, and Steve Wariner to join him in various musical combinations throughout the concert.
Watch the entire concert here.
Klugh opened the program recalling his mother's love for country music, and how he discovered Atkins on Perry Como's television variety show in the mid-1960s. Klugh, age thirteen and living in Detroit at the time, immediately began studying Atkins's playing on dozens of albums.
After they met in the late 1970s, Klugh and Atkins collaborated on recordings and TV appearances, and Klugh frequently visited Atkins in Nashville until his death in 2001. As a gesture of friendship, Atkins gave his first classical guitar to Klugh, who recently loaned the instrument to the museum for its special exhibition Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player.
During the program, museum curator Mick Buck thanked Klugh for his contribution to the exhibit and briefly interviewed him about Atkins.
Klugh's set included a mix of instrumental originals, standards, and songs recorded by Atkins. Among the highlights were solo renditions of "This Time" and "Cast Your Fate to the Wind"; Klugh's collaboration with Hall and Piburn on "What a Day for a Daydream"; Klugh and Wariner's duet of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"; and "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues" by the entire cast.
Chet's daughter, Merle Atkins Russell, sat on the front row, a capacity audience behind her. Pritcher, who oversees the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, observed from the stage that "Chet's music brings people together and keeps them together."