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Richard Smith

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Biography

Richard Smith was born in Beckenham, Kent, England in 1971. He started learning guitar aged five, and it was soon clear that he was a talented child prodigy. Concentrating initially on the music his father loved – the country picking of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis – young Richard digested everything he heard. It seemed that, not only did the boy possess physical skill, but a photographic musical memory as well. Often, a single hearing was all it took to get a piece under his fingers.

Richard first met his hero, the “Godfather” of finger style guitar, Chet Atkins when he was only eleven and was invited by Chet to play with him on stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London in front of an audience of about a thousand. He played Chet’s arrangement of “Whispering,” and Chet played along with him. By the time he reached his early twenties, both Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed began to refer to Richard Smith as their “Hero”.

Apart from his guitar virtuosity, he is also an accomplished banjo and violin player.

Richard has toured around the world, surprising audiences everywhere with his genius, showcasing a repertoire spanning an incredible range of musical styles from country, bluegrass, mainstream jazz, modern pop and rock, to classical guitar. Richard also plays several of John Phillip Souza’s marches and, comes close to sounding like an entire marching band – drums and all.

He now lives in Nashville.

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