“The most amazing guy I know on the guitar.”
“He can play anything I know, only better.”
Chet Atkins, CGP
Richard Smith owns many instruments, but his most prized is a guitar, which has written on it, “To my hero, Richard”
– signed Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins
Guitar playing at its finest. Don’t miss this one.”
“If you like my playing, you should hear Richard Smith.”
Tommy Emmanuel, CGP
“He is one of the world’s greatest guitarists.”
Richard Smith was born in Beckenham, Kent, England in 1971 and started playing guitar at age 5 under the instruction of his father.
Concentrating initially on the music his father loved – the country picking of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis – young Richard digested everything he heard, learning the most complicated of tunes with ease and confounding everyone with his dexterity. 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.
Richard first met his hero, the “Godfather” of fingerstyle guitar, Chet Atkins, when he was only eleven. Richard was invited by Chet to play with him on stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London in front of an audience of 1,000. He played Chet’s arrangement of “Whispering,” and Chet played along with him. The audience was so enraptured with Richard that Chet asked him to play another tune. Chet sat in stunned silence while Richard played Chet’s arrangement of “Little Rock Getaway” – perfectly. Chet was too amazed to even play along! By the time he reached his early twenties, both Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed began to refer to Richard Smith as their “Hero”.
Richard has toured 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. In 1999, Richard married the lovely and accomplished American cellist Julie Adams, and settled in Nashville, TN. Shortly thereafter Richard went to Winfield, KS and became the 2001 National Fingerstyle Guitar champion. Richard and Julie now tour the U.S. and the world as a duo to rave reviews.