Richard started playing the guitar at age 5 and has never looked back. Focusing early on with the fingerstyle guitar of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, he began transcribing classical music, Jazz, the gypsy style of Django Reinhardt, bluegrass, ragtime and the blues to Sousa marches. Now a seasoned performer in his forties with thousands of performances worldwide to his credit. In 2018, Richard performed in five continents... North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia including performances with and alongside Tommy Emmanuel, Eric Clapton, Albert Lee, Dave Peacock, Martin Taylor, Brent Mason, Gary Brooker, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton, Joe Brown, Ralph McTell and many others.
- 1999 AFG Golden Thumbpick Award
- 2001 National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion
- 2008 Thumbpicker of the Year
- 2009 National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame Induction
- Played with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Nato Lima, Boots Randolph, Tommy Emmanuel, John Jorgenson, Marcel Dadi, Tommy Tedesco, Joe Pass, Biréli Lagrène, Mark O'Connor, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Martin Taylor, Jorge Morel, Earl Klugh, Suzy Bogguss, Victor Wooten, John Cowan and countless more.
What fellow musicians say
Chet Atkins, CGP (music legend)
“If you like my playing, you should hear Richard Smith! The world champion!”
Tommy Emmanuel, CGP (two-time Grammy nominee)
“Guitar playing at its finest. Don’t miss this one.”
Doyle Dykes (thumbpicking wizard)
“He is one of the world’s greatest guitarists.”
Muriel Anderson (All-Star Guitar Night)