The Chet Atkins Appreciation Society
Click here to meet others who have attended the CAAS convention
Interested in learning more about CAAS? Contact:
Mark Pritcher, President,
of the 2002 convention.
Leona Atkins receives portrait
at the 2001 convention.
Photo Essay Review
of the 1999 convention.
Want to add your recollections of more recent conventions? Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1950's by one of Chet's fans, Jim Ferron, the CAAS has
grown into one of the largest guitar-related fan clubs in the world. The
CAAS is truly an international club, boasting members from places like
Germany, Singapore and France as well as the U.S.
Club members receive a quarterly newsletter with lots of pictures, stories
about Chet and a tablature notation of a popular Chet Atkins tune. But the
real highlight event of the year for club members is the 4 day convention
held each year in Nashville, Tennessee since 1985. The 1999 CAAS convention
was held July 7-10 at the Music City Sheraton Hotel and was the biggest convention yet (see above for photo essay).
The convention is known for its sheer number of talented fingerstyle guitarists
in attendance. CAAS members from all over the world bring their guitars and
trade licks in the lobby, meeting rooms and hotel rooms all week.
Each day is packed with workshops and concerts, and guitar manufacturers
and guitar related vendors occupy a trade show room where you can sample
and buy products such as guitars, rare record albums, thumbpicks, instructional
materials and videos.
The workshops are terrific as they offer up-close instruction from some of the
world's greatest fingerstyle players. Past workshops have included topics such
Hawaiian Slack Key by Cyril Pahinui
In the main convention hall, which seats about 1000, concerts are held throughout
each day, with an evening concert that runs until 10-11PM. Fingerstyle fans will
be in heaven as you can be literally surrounded by beautiful guitar picking from
9AM - 10PM every day.
The final culmination of the convention is a Saturday night concert where
great performers take the stage and play in
Chet's honor. Past year's events have featured appearances by Jerry Reed,
Tommy Emmanuel, Buster B. Jones, Paul Yandell, Jim Nichols, Thom Bresh and
Duane Eddy - plus many many more!
The Life of Chet Atkins by Richard Hood
Ragtime Guitar by Stephan Grossman
Jerry Reed's open tunings by Bruce Emery
The Harp Guitar by Stephen Bennett
Celtic Style by Pat Kirtley
In 1997, French Guitarist Marcel Dadi was honored with special concert
performances from a variety of guitarists. Dadi was killed in the TWA flight 800
plane crash just days after the 1996 CAAS convention as he was flying back
to Paris. Dadi is credited to a large extent for introducing Chet's music to France
through the Atkins-Dadi Society The two men were close friends, and
Marcel Dadi had Chet serve as best man at his wedding.
The convention is open only to registered CAAS members and their family. Those interested in joining CAAS should contact:
Mark Pritcher, President
3716 Timberlake Road
Knoxville, TN 37920
Note: Misterguitar.com is the official website of Chet Atkins and is not affiliated with the CAAS or any other fingerstyle guitar organization.