Clipper Mayhem: The Glory of Flatpick Guitar

Today: The National Flatpick Guitar Championship has crowned this years’ winner, and we take a moment to reflect on the flatpick history, with Doc Watson, and its future, will Billy Strings.

06 October 2023 | James Porteous | Clipper Media News

National Flatpick Guitar Championship 2023

Video of the finalists for the 2023 National Flatpicking Championships & the award ceremony, filmed by The Acoustic Shoppe.

The Walnut Valley Association was formed in 1972, with its sole purpose to produce the Walnut Valley National Guitar Flat-Picking Championships Festival, also known as the Flat-Picking Championships, now known as the “Walnut Valley Festival” or simply “Winfield” to the long time attendees.

The simplest, broadest, and most general, way to define “flatpicking” is to say that it is the technique of playing a guitar with a flat pick (or plectrum), sometimes called a “straight pick,” versus the use of bare fingers, fingerpicks, or a thumbpick.

Doc Watson – Tennessee Stud

Doc Watson performs “Tennessee Stud” in 1979.

An Evening with Doc Watson

This is a great UNC-TV production from around 1997. Lot’s of great blues …Doc is accompanied by his grandson Richard Watson – Merle’s son. Doc has often been called a national treasure but his influence goes far beyond the US. Doc was a an international icon revered all over the world. As a matter of fact the first time I saw Doc was in Nagoya, Japan. He performed with Merle and T Michael Coleman. (Mr Watson is thought of as the King of Flatpick guitar)

Doc Watson – Three Days with Doc

An excellent down home style DOCumentary done in 1976 by folk researcher A.L. Lloyd ” 3 days with Doc Watson” shown on the BBC “Omnibus ” series a few years ago.

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Don’t Think Twice – Billy Strings

The next generation…


The musicianship throughout Renewal is outstanding, as Billy Strings surrounds himself with touring bandmates Billy Failing (banjo, vocals, piano), Royal Masat (bass, vocals), and Jarrod Walker (mandolin, vocals, guitar), as well as guests John Mailander (violin), Spencer Cullum Jr. (pedal steel) and Grant Millikem (synth).

Billy Strings – “Tennessee Stud” | Fretboard Journal

Billy Strings – Renewal 2022 – Full Performance (Saturday, Set 1)

Photo: Billy Strings playing a classic Martin guitar (screenshot)

#guitar #music #flatpick #docwatson #billystrings #revival #bluegrass


James Porteous

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