September 30, 2006

Michigan's Musical Connection: Earl Klugh

Welcome music lovers. Today's edition of Michigan's Musical Connection will feature guitarist Earl Klugh. Mr. Klugh was born on September 16, 1954 in Detroit and fell in love with the guitar at the young age of 3 when he first picked up a guitar.

Earl is currently touring and, in fact, played last night here in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can get more tour information at Earl's web site.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Earl Klugh from earlier this year by Modern Guitars Magazine:

Earl, who influenced you at the start?

Earl Klugh: Chet Atkins was probably my biggest influence by far. I started playing guitar in December of '63. I was playing finger style because the folk craze was so prevalent. I really liked the sound of classical guitar so that's what I played in.

I think it was 1967 when I first heard Chet play. I saw him on a television show and it opened up a world of possibilities for me. I literally went out and got all the Chet Atkins records I could find. You know, back in those days it was pretty isolated when attempting to do something as rarified as finding ways to learn how to play finger style guitar. The main source was records. I had an old Silvertone record player, and I had learned my basic chords, C, D, E, F, in major and minor. Basically I'd lift the needle back and forth and just work with my fingers. I'd just sit there all day until something clicked. And that was really my method of learning how to play, after about a year or so of guitar lessons as well.

Along the way, from listening to Chet's records, I found out about people like George Van Eps and Kenny Burrell, and classical players like Julian Bream, Segovia, Jorge Morel, Howard Roberts and all of the fine players who were available at that time. I really stuck with the finger style and the nylon string guitar. That was probably the most unique thing about my learning to play modern guitar, and that I was really interested in everybody, like Wes Montgomery and Johnny Smith, too. For me, I wanted to adapt what I could of their styles into my own style of acoustic and classical guitar.
Since his recording debut in 1976 with his self-titled album, Earl Klugh has produced a huge discography and has made a striking, enduring imprint in the music industry. Earl has provided inspiration for thousands of guitar enthusiasts and has attracted fans from many different musical genres.

Here is a YouTube clip of Earl Klugh and Chet Atkins that you may enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy this installment as well as some of the previous chapters of Michigan's Musical Connection. Each Saturday, a new artist is in the spotlight and you never know who may the next subject. One thing for sure, they all have their own Michigan Connection.



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