Ken Leighton 12:30 p.m., Feb. 21
RIYL: Chet Atkins, Doyle Dykes
- MySpace page · Jan. 4, 2008
Influences: Chet Atkins, Doyle Dykes, Duane Eddy, D.R. Auten, Jerry Reed, Charlie Byrd, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Larry Carlton, George Benson, the Ventures, Duane Eddy
Tom Boyer first learned guitar at age 13, winning a junior high school talent contest and playing in various rock bands through high school. At 17, his brother played him a Chet Atkins album. "I was stunned by what he could do on a guitar and became a fan for life," Boyer recalls on his MySpace page. "I bought every album he came out with and drowned myself in his style."
At 19, he met fellow Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) member/performer D.R. Auten, who became his mentor. Boyer calls Auten, "The greatest teacher I ever had."
At the 1996 CAAS convention in Nashville, Auten -- who has worked with San Diego-based Taylor Guitars -- introduced Boyer to a Taylor 514-C, which is now his guitar of choice.
Boyer frequently composes in the alternate voicing of DADGAD and Drop D, though he does use standard tuning as well. He played contemporary Christian fingerstyle guitar at his church for over a dozen years. His album A New Beginning is heavily informed by the battle he fought and won with throat cancer.