Chet had me at a disadvantage because he could copy what I was doing, but I couldn’t copy what he was doing.
With these words, the renowned guitarist and inventor Les Paul heaped praise upon Chet Atkins, referring his experience recording the legendary album ¨Chester and Lester¨ in which the two masterful musicians traded licks.
Indeed, this commendation is well deserved. Chet Atkins is a guitarist´s guitarist, and he will always be known affectionately as ´Mr. guitar´. He is regarded principally as a finger-style country music guitarist, but he was so much more. He made it all seem so easy. His right hand picking style displayed an unusually high level of dexterity of not only the thumb and index finger, but the ring and pinky finger as well. He was able to play patterns beyond the grasp of even the best country players. He also incorporated tasty jazz licks and banjo rolls into his playing.
As a producer and arranger, Chet Atkins is considered to be the principal architect of ¨The Nashville Sound¨. He eliminated many of the fiddles and lap steel guitars that had previously predominated Country music. He also, along with engineer Bill Porter, designed and built the famous ¨Studio B¨ for RCA Victor.
One of the many chart topping artists who Atkins produced was Waylon Jennings, who had this to say about working with the acclaimed guitarist and producer:
You know, in the days when I started, if you had Chet Atkins´ name on your record as a producer, and it was on RCA you could work the road. It didn’t have to be a big record, it just had to have that on it.