Merle travis thumbpicking weekend
May 18 and 19, 2018. Ozark Folk Center - Mountain View, AR.
Each year I look forward to this event. I love the get away to the quiet Ozark Mountain retreat, seeing friends I haven't seen in awhile and especially the music.
This year my co-headliner was none other than Evan Twitty, a 17 year old powerhouse onstage and off. I have been watching him grow for many years into an incredible guitar player and entertainer. Every year he is 100 percent better than the year before. It is amazing to watch. Daren Dortin, the entertainment director of the Ozark Folk Center obviously shares my feelings when he announced that Evan would share the bill with me this year. Excellent call Daren. The people loved him. I know that this will be a major stepping stone for this fine young talent.
Also on the bill was Kentucky Thumbpicker and Fingerstyle guitarist, Pat Kirtley. His clean and mesmerizing style always inspires me. This year was no exception. Pat was on hand to give a Master Class and concert which he did in his traditional laid back style.
Danny Dozier played his concert and did a workshop with his array of guitars and mountain-bluesy style with nothing left out. I love his slide guitar work.
Randy Buckner fulfilled his promise to pick that big guitar of his in the traditional "Travis" style. He uses all of the Travis techniques with thumb and one finger with all those big, full chords. He even had the chance to play with Travis when he was a young up and comer. He also works hard on promoting the event. Great job, Randy.
Curt Carlson was on hand to support the guitar contestants. He and his wife Aimee put up the two thousand dollars for the Grand Prize Winners of the contest. One thousand for both categories, Traditional and Contemporary. Thanks you again Curt and Aimee.
This year was also very exciting for me because my close friend from the L.A. area, Wayne LaFarr, came in to take in the festivities. Being from Los Angeles he had never experienced this sort of event before. He loved the "Pickin' In the Town Square" part of the journey. The fact that he loves guitars kept a smile on his face the entire time he was there.
This event happens each year and I invite you to come give it a try. You won't be let down.
To get a feel for how it works, watch the video from this year's Merle Travis Thumbpicking Weekend