Dalton State College welcomes Wesley Crider, a fingerstyle guitarist, Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall.
Fingerstyle, sometimes referred to as “thumbpicking,” is a method of playing the guitar by directly plucking the strings with the fingertips.
Mr. Crider began his foray into music at the young age of six when his father gave him a Harmony acoustic guitar. It was when he heard an 8-track tape of Chet Atkins playing that his life changed forever. “That’s when I knew I wanted to be a thumb-style player,” Mr. Crider says.
A self-taught guitarist, Mr. Crider drew his inspiration early-on from Atkins, Merle Travis, and Jerry Reed, and later from Albert Lee, Ray Flack, and Vince Gill. Spending hours listening to the greats to perfect his art, Mr. Crider became extremely proficient, going on to win first place in both traditional and contemporary styles at the 2004 International Home of the Legends Thumbpicking Contest in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.
Currently, Mr. Crider performs as a sideman on recordings of various Southern gospel groups, performs at churches and in concert, releases his own YouTube videos, and teaches guitar and banjo at ChattaMusic in East Ridge.
“Several teenage boys from Heritage High School have just started thumb-style picking,” says Mr. Crider. “It is a dying art. You carry the bass line while simultaneously playing the melody. Not everybody is wired to play this style, but my students are making me proud.”
The concert is free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.