When Richard Smith starts playing, the sound of jaws dropping on the floor can be startling. That’s no accident. Before he was a world-renowned guitarist, the first players he emulated (starting at the age of 5) were Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. However, Richard did not stop at simply studying Atkins' and Reid's styles, he actually moved to Nashville and learned from them personally, becoming lifelong friends with both. Since then, Richard has progressed to transcribing and arranging jazz, Django, bluegrass, Joplin, Sousa and Bach, which he performs to thousands of mesmerized audiences around the world. In his professional career, Richard regularly shares the stage with the likes of Annie Sellick and the Hot Club of Nashville, Tommy Emmanuel, Joscho Stephan and John Knowles. So buckle in on April 29th for Richard Smith's dazzling guitar performance at the Red Light Cafe!
Joining Richard Smith on April 29th will be Atlanta natives The VaudeVillains. Their dedication to traditional country music and guitar instrumentals has created quite a following across the southeast. With their own brand of southern charm that lands somewhere between being "country gentlemen" and your inappropriate country cousins, the 'Villains deliver swinging and toe-tapping renditions of old standards and original material that's sure to put a smile on your face.
$17 Adv – $20 Door
Doors @ 7 PM
All ticket sales are final. No refunds.
Having witnessed one of his live performances, fellow musicians and music lovers alike sing hymns of praise about world-renowned fingerstyle guitarist Richard Smith. With fretboard fireworks and lyrical endeavours he will melt your heart- strings, make your toes tapping and your jaws hanging open. Richard's ever growing repertoire comprises a wide variety of music from classical Bach to Beatles pop. It includes Scott Joplin Rags just like Sousa marches, Chopin, Mozart and fiddle tunes. It ranges from jazz standards to Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed and to Django Reinhardt gypsy swing, not to mention his intriguing originals. He delivers both, lightning fast barn-burners and beautiful ballads, occasionally spiced with vocals.
His incredible stylistic wealth is founded in a lifelong love for music. Born in Beckenham, Kent, England in 1971, Richard started playing guitar at age 5 under the instruction of his father. Concentrating initially on the country picking of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, young Richard digested everything he heard, learning even the most complicated of these tunes with ease, and confounding everyone with his dexterity. It seemed that not only did he possess amazing physical skill, but a photographic musical memory as well. Often, a single hearing was all it took to get a piece under his fingers, using all ten to play bass, rhythm and melody simultaneously and creating a universe of sounds, while easily switching between thumbpicking and flatpicking like hardly anybody else.
Richard first met his hero, the “Godfather” of fingerstyle guitar, Chet Atkins, when he was only eleven. Richard was invited by Chet to share the stage with him at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London in front of an audience of 1,000. At first, the master accompanied him, but later on he just listened in stunned silence while the child played Chet’s own arrangements – perfectly. By the time Richard reached his early twenties, both Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed began to refer to him as their “Hero”.
It's no surprise, that the hymns of praise subsequently never faded. Now residing in Nashville, Richard has toured the world as a solo artist, teaming up with his wife Julie Adams for a unique guitar and cello duo, performing with his brothers Rob and Sam as the Richard Smith Guitar Trio and with his swing band, The Hot Club of Nashville, featuring Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Pat Bergeson on guitar and Charlie Chadwick on bass. Fellow guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel prefers Richard Smith as one of his favourite duet partners. In 2001, Richard became the National Finger-style Guitar Champion in Winfield, Kansas. He was elected Thumbpicker of the Year in 2008 and inducted into the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame in Kentucky in 2009. He is also a recipient of the Golden Thumbpick Award by the Association of Fingerstyle Guitarists in California.
Richard has been a mainstay at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention in Nashville since 1991, where he has played with many world renowned artists including Nato Lima of Los Indios Tabajaras, sax legend Boots Randolph and John Jorgenson of Desert Rose Band and Elton John Band fame. He has also performed with other great musicians such as Marcel Dadi, Tommy Tedesco, Thom Bresh, Joe Pass, Biréli Lagrène, Bryan Sutton, Les Paul, Mark O'Connor, Sam Bush, Martin Taylor, Jorge Morel, Suzy Bogguss, Muriel Anderson, Guy Van Duser, Béla Fleck, Victor Wooten, Tony McManus and Buster B. Jones and shared the bill with a host of others, most notably Steve Morse, Albert Lee, Paco Peña, Barney Kessel, David Russell and Johnny Hiland.
The VaudeVillains are an Atlanta based string trio with classic southern charm. Whether you call their style "dixie jazz," "western swing," "traditional country" or "hillbilly jazz" does not matter; they simply have a good time playing original arrangements and creative covers of classic songs in their own unique style. The VaudeVillains draw their influence from greats such as Chet Atkins, Hank Garland, Jerry Reed, Joe Maphis, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and many other prodigious guitarists; as the band is centered on playing fun, interesting guitar music.
Active members of the esteemed Atlanta Guitar Guild, endorsed artists of Eastman Guitars, Fred Kelly Guitar Picks, and Cleartone Guitar Strings, performers on television, numerous radio shows including the famous Sagebrush Boogie on 89.3FM Atlanta, featured musicians in RUST Magazine and extremely busy professional musicians working throughout the south, the 'Villains spread their love of thumbstyle and western swing to every venue they visit!