Finger-picking guitar virtuoso Richard Smith and starlit cellist Julie Adams are coming to the Oswego Music Hall from Nashville to perform at 8 p.m. March 8.
The stage will be alive with their special “mix of music from the Beatles to 30s music to Bach to fiddle tunes to fingerpicking tunes.”
Smith — the 2001 national fingerstyle champion — says that he and his wife, Julie, love performing “a whole mish-mash of music. We have a lot of fun on stage.”
Richard Smith’s life has often seemed to revolve around Chet Atkins. As a youngster in England, he picked up a guitar at age 5 after seeing his father play an Atkins tune.
A child prodigy, when Smith was 11 he was invited to play alongside his idol and country music legend during Atkin’s show in London (available on YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfzDltcAbFQ).
His performance stunned the audience and wowed Atkins. Smith seemed to have a photographic musical memory, in addition to physical dexterity; often with one hearing, he could pick up a new piece.
In 1999, he met his future wife, the cellist Julie Adams, at a Chet Atkins Appreciation Society gathering in Nashville.
Over the years, Smith has toured the world and performed with his brothers and many world-renowned players, including Nato Lima of los Indios Tabajaras, Tommy Emmanuel, sax legend Boots Randolph, Thom Bresh, Bela Fleck, Muriel Anderson and others.
When he and Julie moved to Nashville, Smith founded the Hot Club of Nashville, a jam band with a varying lineup of high-profile session musicians. Smith’s flawless technique, quickly switching between fingerpicking and flatpicking, has earned him the admiration of his peers and numerous awards.
In 2001 at his first and only participation in the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, Smith came out on top. The National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame named him Thumbpicker of the Year in 2008 and inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
Julie Adams is one of the most diverse cellists on the music scene today. Growing up in Ohio, she was classically trained at Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Cincinnati Conservatory.
She performed widely and was chosen to play the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Cincinnati Conservatory in 1996. Adams branched into folk music, worked with the well-known fingerstyle guitarist Muriel Anderson, and toured with her as a duo throughout the US.
They released a CD together titled “Theme for Two Friends.”
After marrying Smith, Julie and Richard released “Living Out a Dream.” Audiences in the U.S. and around the world delight in the eclectic mix of Julie’s lyrical style and Richard’s flawless technique.
They are truly soul mates – in life and in music!
What other guitarists/critics say:
Chet Atkins called Smith “the most amazing guy I know on guitar. … He (Richard) can play anything I know, only better.”
“Strings of gold on guitar met strings of pearls on cello … Richard Smith and Julie Adams rang the satisfaction chime at 20, on a scale of one to 10.”
[Jean Bartlett, The Pacifica Tribune, Pacifica/CA]
Check out Smith’s fretwork fireworks and Adam’s lyrical style online at http://www.richardsmithmusic.com/duo
The venue is the McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake St., Oswego. Desserts, snacks, popcorn and beverages are available for purchase.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://oswegomusichall.org/ or at the river’s end bookstore, 19 W. Bridge St., Oswego.
Holders of tickets purchased before 1 p.m. on the day of the concert will have preferred seating. After 1 p.m., seating will be general admission.
Ticket prices are $14 if purchased in advance and $16 at the door. Children 12 and under are half-price; under 5 are free.
The Music Hall’s next concert, March 22, will feature an acoustic music duo, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason.
For more information call 342-1733 or access the Music Hall website: http://oswegomusichall.org/