The Beatles To Bluegrass

The Beatles to BluegrassTonight at 7PM, the Austin Peay State University Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts presents “The Beatles to Bluegrass: An Evening of Virtuoso Guitar.” All proceeds from the concert will be given to youth scholarships for a Summer Guitar Camp that APSU is holding from June 28th to July 2nd.

The concert will feature world renowned guitarists Stanley Yates, Mir Ali, and Richard Smith. Dr. Stanley Yates, Professor of Music, directs guitar study at APSU. Yates is known as a classical guitarist.

Mir Ali plays nylon string guitar, and is known primarily as a performer of flamenco style guitar, while also being proficient in the genres of classical, jazz, and North Indian classical music.

Richard Smith’s claim to fame is his winning the title of 2001 National Fingerstyle Guitar champion. That’s about as close to bluegrass as it gets from these three, yet Smith’s fingerstyle seems predominately influenced by Chet Atkins and Jerry Reid.

I’m having trouble understanding the title of the concert, as none of these three seems to be known for oldies/rock guitar or bluegrass guitar. I suppose it’s possible that “The Beatles to Bluegrass” sounded much cooler than “Classical to Fingerstyle.”

I suppose we should count it a good thing that bluegrass is seen as a positive marketing word alongside The Beatles. Of course it would have been nice if bluegrass had been well represented by the likes of David Grier or Tim Stafford!

  • Jon Weisberger

    Perhaps the title of the concert refers to sources for the material to be performed, much as Butch Baldassari and the NME’s Bach Beatles Bluegrass album title did. By the way, though I don’t believe he’s recorded much, if any, Richard Smith is a fine bluegrass picker.