John Knowles is an American fingerstyle guitarist and one of only 5 people in the world to receive the CGP(Certified Guitar Player) Award, from the late great Chet Atkins. Atkins only gave the award out to guitar playing musicians who were at the absolute top of their craft. And those who have received it are among the best guitarists in the world.
John started off as a child, picking out melodies on the piano. He switched to the accordion then took up the ukulele. When John was 13 he discovered the music of Chet Atkins. He thought it was impossible to play guitar like Atkins, but immersed himself in Chet's style. His later influences included Christopher Parkening, Pepe Romero,and Robert Guthrie.
John is a master chord soloist and single string improvisor. His repertoire is quite diverse and includes everything from Christmas songs, traditional folk, piano rags, classical, and pop tunes. Although his guitar style is heavily jazz-influenced, there are traces of a classical guitarist in his style, too.
One of the most interesting facts about John, at least to me as a scientist, is that he has a Ph.D. in physics from Texas Christian University that he earned while playing music on the side. I can empathize with that. Hope you enjoy his music.
House of the risin sun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-9YAgYZUEk&feature=related
It had to be you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCfIXk6SEzQ&feature=related
Cafe of Dreams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i9OJBlnJGw&feature=related
Back home in Indiana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_F8kfRjzrM&feature=related
Somebody stole my gal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMDfv62U024&feature=related
Drakesboro Saturday Night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSYPdILvT9k&feature=related
Central City Flyer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1WmrfUeoZ8&feature=related
I suggest a 2007 Valduero Crianza from the Ribero del Duero region of Spain to accompany John. This dark ruby wine made from the Tinto Fino grape is bold and full bodied. The wine spent 15 months in French and American oak, so I suggest airing it for at least an hour before you drink it as the substantial barrel tannins will soften considerably, revealing an aromatic core of black cherry fruit. It’s elegant on the palate, with a velvety texture, intense flavors, and excellent balance, just like the music of John Knowles. Enjoy!