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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, CAAS

A Review  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 tlredmond@earthlink.net.

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 as:

    Hawaiian Slack Key   by Cyril Pahinui
    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 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!

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.

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