I was born and raised in London, England. I began playing guitar when I was fourteen years old. That was in the early 1960s, just before the Beatles revolution changed the face of popular music forever.
My first guitar cost £4.00 and was probably made of recycled plywood! By modern standards it must have been barely playable, but as I couldn't play anyway that didn't bother me. Sheer stubbornness drove me on.
I first discovered Mississippi John Hurt’s music after I had been playing guitar for around ten years. I had strummed a lot and flat-picked a little, but finger-picking always seemed so complex and challenging that I never gave it much thought as a style I might adopt myself - until, that is, I heard a recording of Mississippi John Hurt playing 'Stack O’ Lee'.
Immediately I was entranced by his playing and gripped by a compulsion to learn to play that piece in the way that he did. So began a long affair with finger-picking and the country blues that continues more than thirty years on.
When I discovered YouTube, at last I could see as well as hear many of my guitar heroes, including Mississippi John Hurt and the Rev Gary Davis. I could also witness fellow guitarists presenting their own versions of the songs I had come to know and love. Before long, of course, I had to add my own attempts to the pile.
Having spent most of my life teaching, but not in music, the opportunity to pass on now some of what I have learned about guitar-playing proved irresistible.
It works for me. I just hope it works for you too!
Enjoy the music - and Keep Pickin'!