Last year, I had the amazing opportunity to study with Guy Van Duser (think “Chet Atkins on Steroids”). I’d been a fan of his style for many years, but really never tried it much.
After hanging out with him a little bit, I learned two things:
-Guy is an absolute monster in this style. I can’t possible reach his level without a major re-orienting of my priorities.
-Even if that’s true, I can still make a lot of progress and actually “kinda ok”!
While surfing youtube one day, I came across this tune called “Chaplin in New Shoes” as played by (I think) a truck driver named BIll. Bill plays great and the tune won me over in about 3 seconds.
I heard the story of how/why the tune came to be later on. It was written by a fairly well-known Nashville songwriter named Bourdleaux Bryant; best known for the tunes he wrote for the Everly Bros. (“Wake Up Little Suzie”, “Dream Dream Dream” etc…).
When Mr. Bryant was informed he had cancer, the doctor gave him the “get your things in order” speech. The first thing he did was go to the local video store (this was back in the 1980′s), rent as many Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin movies as he could find, then spent the next three days eating ice cream, popcorn, and laughing.
Afterward, he wrote the tune. He passed away (approx.) six months later.
Last summer, I lost a close friend, Virginia Howe to Panceatic cancer. Days before she passed, she asked if I’d play at her ceremony. I chose this tune.
Here’s the .pdf that shows how to play it in a fair amount of detail.
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