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Chet Atkins Jerry Reed Johnny Smith

Genres You Will Love
Country: Traditional Country Moods: Featuring Guitar Jazz: Mainstream Jazz

By Location
United States - Tennessee Sell your music everywhere

Sean Weaver

My earliest childhood memories are of climbing up on a countertop to reach the radio. The first thing that struck me then still strikes me today - the sound of it all. And of all those sounds, none were better to me than the guitar.

By the age of nine I had succeeded in convincing my parents that this interest in music was not going to fade with time. I received my first guitar and began a continually expanding musical journey.

I remember holding onto the guitar for hours on end, comforted by the search and quest it represented. The great thing about music, I've always felt, is that sense of childlike wonder and possibility it entails.

I practiced, enamored by the quest but with very few specific musical role models. Enter Stevie Ray Vaughan. His seven-minute tour-de-force on Little Wing exploded in my home and mind, inevitably leading me back to Jimi Hendrix. Though I never could have articulated it back then, all I heard was music, and I was drawn to anything with a whole lot of heart and artistic honesty behind it.

By July of 1996, Chet Atkins had left an equally indelible mark upon my musical aspirations and goals after seeing him play here in Nashville on a family vacation. Immersing myself in the world of finger-style guitar for the next several years, I learned what I could from Chet's records and from a small circle of those who knew a tremendous amount about his playing. Along the way I began to see the connections to players like Albert Lee (who was quickly becoming quite the influence), while my love of the blues and its baby, rock and roll, was in full swing. Thanks to the fantastic musician and teacher John Miller of Seattle, I became entranced by rural blues musicians and their styles.

You could say that Mance Lipscomb and Blind Boy Fuller were every bit as much the seed for my growing interest in folk music as Bob Dylan, who I was first exposed to as a wee lad thanks to my old friend Michael Kirkland of The Brothers Four (years later I think it's one of the coolest things ever that the Brothers appeared with Carolyn Hester, The Staple Singers, and others on Bobby's first national TV appearance in '63, providing some light accompaniment to Bob's timeless songs).

The Seattle sound had exploded outside my doorstep only a few years before (which in time I came to reflect upon in a more favorable light); yet I lived in a world of "golden age" Chet Atkins, the blues, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie, Robben Ford, and some guy with a strange voice who wrote these sweeping narratives and was opening up my mind to the beauty of language in and out of song.

At the age of eighteen I left Washington and came to Nashville. Attending the School of Music at Belmont University, I continued to study jazz (as I had for nine years with my childhood guitar instructor, who more so than anyone else showed me the value of being comfortable with reading notes on a page; many teachers say it, and a few can do it, but it is rare to find one who inspires a student to take up such a pursuit in the face of youth and just wanting to play rock and roll music; so I continue to owe him a tremendous debt for that).

Fortunate to have fallen in with a circle of friends, mentors, and heroes who continue to inspire me towards greater heights and musical horizons, it still feels like my journey has only begun. Throughout all my ever-expanding interests and explorations, the basic goal remains the same - to be a musician who plays guitar rather than a lick-slinger. I can be found teaching (locally and through this miracle of silicon valley), transcribing, copying, recording, performing, and scouring for rare vinyl records.☺