• 79°

Richard Smith, guitar virtuoso: musical prodigy returns to Salisbury

Advance tickets for both shows are still available.

Kevin Neidig

One Fret Over

By Bob Wingate for the Salisbury Post

Most 11-year-old kids spend their time riding their bikes, playing sports or hanging out with their friends at the local mall. Richard Smith did all of these things, but he was also spending much of his time developing a rare musical talent, one that would eventually take him on a fantastic lifetime journey.

Born in the small English village of Warlingham, in Surrey county, less than 15 miles south of downtown London, Richard first picked up the guitar at 5 years old, after listening to his father play a blues tune. His dad and brothers tutored him, and he soon became a child prodigy, devoting himself to learning the fingerpicking styles of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins.

In the early 1980s, while Chet was performing in London at Her Majesty’s Theatre, he invited young Richard up on stage to play with him. After playing a duo on one of Chet’s tunes, he was allowed to solo on a second song, to which he received an overwhelming ovation from the crowd. This experience and opportunity to be mentored and nurtured by a guitar legend was not lost on Richard, and he and Atkins grew to become fellow musicians and lifetime friends. Chet would later write of Richard, “He can play anything I can play — only better.”

Since then, Richard won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, and has played in thousands of concerts across the U.S. and internationally. He performs solo and in various combos of musicians, including a guitar/cello duo with his wife Julie, and with his six-member jazz/swing band The Hot Club of Nashville, which features five-time “Best Jazz Artist” award winner Annie Sellick. He also operates his own recording studio in Nashville.

Richard’s eclectic repertoire includes a wide range of styles, including country, bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, ragtime, pop, and classical. He regularly appears at guitar festivals and workshops with fellow acoustic guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel, and helps organize and performs at annual festivals honoring guitar legends Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins.

Richard returns to the Salisbury area for the third time, having twice performed to overflow crowds for the Cheerwine Music Hour series at the Rowan Public Library. He will be joined on stage by talented singer and songwriter Kevin Neidig from Harrisburg, Pa. Kevin is a multi-instrumentalist, a winner of first-place competition awards in guitar, banjo, and vocals, and also plays mandolin, bass and ukelele.

Kevin Neidig will play at the Folk & Bluegrass Night at The Inn, 1012 Mooresville Road, near Jake Alexander Blvd., with One Fret Over featuring the Bemus Kids, on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Info: 704-213-1467.

Richard Smith and Kevin Neidig will perform at the West Rowan Farm, Home & Garden, 11575 NC 801 in Mount Ulla on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. Info: 704-278-2800.

Guitar Workshop with Richard Smith — 3 p.m. Sunday before the concert. $15 at the door for each event.

Advance tickets for both shows are still available through the venues or online at iTickets.com or by calling 800-965-9324. Advance $12 or at the Door $15. Special group rate ($10) for church or community groups of 10 or more. See the concert event pages on facebook.

Community Calendar

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Crime

Blotter: June 17

Local

Dennis Rivers joins Salisbury Police Department in new homeless advocate position

Cleveland

Rockwell, Faith, Cleveland adopt 2021-22 budgets; East Spencer officials to receive budget next week

Sports

Brind’Amour gets contract extension with Hurricanes, wins coach of year honors

Local

West Rowan grad wins two national masonry competitions

Local

Quotes of the week

Education

Rowan, Kannapolis students below state average for federal aid applications

High School

High school baseball playoffs: Raiders roll past Oak Grove

News

3 dead, 2 still missing after tubers go over Dan River dam

Coronavirus

County, state officials work to increase vaccinations as concern over Delta variant grows

News

Cooper no fan of energy bill

Business

Hexagon Agility to expand Salisbury facility, invest $28 million, create 75 new jobs

Crime

Blotter: Two men rob convenience store at gunpoint

Business

Brewery, second-floor restaurant planned for downtown China Grove

Local

Sonny Allen, former mayor of Salisbury, dies at age 90

Education

RCCC names Student Excellence Award finalists

Local

City approves permit for child care center near downtown

Business

Deadline approaches to apply for Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Rowan program

Landis

Landis removed from Local Government Commission’s watch list

Local

YSUP Rowan launches month-long drug use prevention campaign

Education

Shoutouts

Education

RSS reports man impersonating summer meals worker

Local

County ponders plumbing replacement to completely eliminate lead in Dukeville

High School

High school baseball: Round 2 for South, East