This past weekend, we were privileged to play at the NC Thumbpickers Convention in Statesville, NC. There was a lot of beautiful music and beautiful instruments in one spot!
Fingerstyle guitar (also known as thumb picking or finger picking) is the technique of playing the guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to flatpicking (picking individual notes with a single flatpick).
The term "fingerstyle" is something of a misnomer, since it is present in several different genres and styles of music - but mostly, because it involves a completely different technique, not just a "style" of playing, especially for the guitarist's right hand. The term is often used synonymously with fingerpicking, although fingerpicking can also refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the US. (wikipedia)
Some of the more famous finger style guitar pickers are Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Tommy Emmanuel.
We heard a lot of terrific fingerstyle guitar picking this weekend - Clay Lunsford, Moon Mullins, Rick Allred, The Harris Brothers and many more. We put together several photos and videos showcasing some of what we saw and heard! Hope you enjoy!
We met the lovely "Moon" and Theda Mullins, who both play guitars and sing the old songs, very much reminiscent of the Carter Family style. In 1985, Moon won the National Merle Travis Tribute thumbpicking contest at the Ozark Folk Center in Arkansas.
He captured top honors in 1991 at the International Thumbpicking Contest in Central City, Ky.
Then, in a special 1996 contest allowing only the former international champions to compete, Mullins won first place as the “Champion of Champions.” Here are videos of Ben Cockman jamming with Moon Mullins and then Moon and Theda playing on stage. We could have listened to them all evening...
There were several luthiers at the convention showing their handmade guitars and fiddles- they were really beautiful and sounded amazing.
Clay Lunsford is the president of NC Thumb and Finger Style Guitar Players. Here he is in a *very* impromptu performance at the meet-and-greet in the Old Jail with Jodi John Pippin and the Cockman Brothers.
We hope you enjoy these highlights from our weekend of music! Music is a language all its own and it's wonderful when you can "speak" it with those around you...