Hi, everyone! Happy New Year! I’m hoping…

Hi, everyone!  Happy New Year!  I’m hoping this year to be a great year for you… and for myself.  There are so many of you who read my blogs and stay up with me on my site on a regular basis and come out and support me when I’m touring, and I so appreciate you for that.  I hope and pray this year to be a year of abundance and blessings for you and your family.

This new year of 2015 is indeed a special year for me.  I became a born-again Christian 50 years ago and also started playing the guitar that same year.  I was eleven years old then and now I can hardly believe that I’ve played the guitar for 50 YEARS!  I have a lot of mixed emotions about that and how much better I feel I should be… but,  I also know that in Leviticus 25:10 the Bible states that the fiftieth year is sacred and it is a time for freedom and celebration.  It also states that the fiftieth year will be a year of increase and a restoring of what has been taken away.  That is such good news for me!

I recently told my friend Dr. David Cooper who pastors Mt. Paran in Atlanta that I didn’t know exactly what to ask for in prayer but I know what I don’t want for this year.  He gave a wonderful message of renewal and refreshing for the new year in the service this past Sunday with the encouraging word to Keep Moving.  I DON’T WANT disappointment, stress, closed doors, anxiety and things that were brought to me as a gift and then taken away.  This past year has been full of that.  I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness and help and even times of abundant blessings and favor this past year,  but I’ve also seen disappointment and things I’ve worked for taken away from me like only once or twice in my lifetime.  Thank God… that’s over!  I’m through with all that and ready for a Jubilee Year!

Be in agreement with me for some tremendous doors to open that will enable me to… well,  let’s just say will enable me.  God has something even better than I could ever hope for or dream.  (See Ephesians 3:20 Amplfied Bible).

I am making a list of some things that I’d like to see for this coming year according to Habakuk 2:vs 2 & 3.  This is not a New Year’s Resolution but a New Year Revolution… a radical change and a complete turnaround!  I am actually praying for the outcome first before I know about the method or what direction.  I believe God will show me that.  I pray for His direction every day of my life.  I challenge you to do the same.  Make a list of some things you’d like to see happen in 2015.  Write these things down on something where you can go back and check off for your accomplished goals and when you do this… remember where they came from and who gets the credit.  God is good… all the time.  Even when things go south… don’t give up.  Your Jubilee is coming too!

Some great things from 2014.

James Olson guitar and renewed acquaintance with him.
Quintessential Guitar Collection album volumes released.
Darren Wallace and Ovation Adamas guitars.  (12-string specifically.)
An even stronger relationship with Russ McFee and GHS… Paul Rivera and Rivera Amps…  L.R. Baggs pickups.
Induction into National Thumbpicker’s Hall of Fame.
Chet Atkin’s 60th Anniversary video with Steve Wariner for Gretsch Guitars.
Playing the Grand Ole Opry on my 60th birthday.
Fred Gretsch giving me a formal invitation to be a part of the Gretsch Guitar Family.
Instrumentalist of the Year (International Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame.)
Recording at Eric Johnson and Aspen Pitman’s studios for a new album.
News of a new granddaughter coming in May of 2015.
James Burton Festival.
Playing the Iridium in NYC.
to name a few…..

Disappointments in 2014.

I don’t Major on Minor things.  All things work together for good… Romans 8:28.

Happy New Year!


“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”

Hello everyone. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” I have been very busy lately (last week in five states and several time zones) but I’m thankful to see so many good friends, family and meeting new friends along the way.

Recently Lloyd Baggs asked me if I would play on a youtube video for his guitar pickup and electronics business. As we spoke we both decided that it would be fun to do some Christmas songs and ask my daughter Haley and her husband Jake to play on them as well and send them out as a gift. I’ll have to say that Haley sang “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” as good as I’ve heard her on this video and Jake played stand up bass masterfully. As Lloyd Baggs told me “this will be a Christmas gift to our friends and customers around the world.” What an honor to represent Lloyd as I count him as a good friend but also a genius in the world of guitar pickups. I played my Olson and my Kirk Sand guitars and they are both equipped with the LB-6 pickup system. I also played through a new prototype pre-amp of Lloyd’s (that I can’t talk about), and Haley also used her on board pickup in her mandolin and the Venue pre-amp on her mandolin so we all had fun being a part of something for people that we love and believe in.

I played “The Little Drummer Boy” which is one of my favorite pieces. We shot the videos in the same building off Church Street in Nashville where the American Pickers’ store is. I met Mike Wolfe from the show earlier this year at the James Burton Festival. So, this was a really cool night and I feel (and I hope you do) it was well worth the effort. Please keep an eye open for the videos to be linked from our site as well as lrbaggs.com. I hope you will get a blessing from these.

I saw my old buddy Kirk Sand this past week and it was really great to see one of the finest luthiers in the world actually hugging my Olson guitar and saying what perfection and love Jim puts in his guitars. The truth is….Jim Olson is just as much of a fan of Kirk Sand. I’ve also seen how Bob Taylor, Tim Shaw, Chris Fleming, Darren Wallace (KMC/Ovation), Ren Ferguson love and appreciate these two guys as well as each other. The guitar community is actually rather small and so I’ve seen a camaraderie among these special artists just as I do guitar players, preachers, writers, painters and anyone who
excels in their craft. These things are gifts.


In Romans 12:1 in the New Testament of the Bible explains that we should offer or ‘present’ (say it like a Christmas ‘present’ of a gift”) our bodies or ‘ourselves’ as a ‘living sacrifice’ to be holy, consecrated and pleasing to God and is regarded as true spiritual worship. In other words….give something of yourself. This came to me in a church concert in Florida that we could actually ‘be a present’ to someone. You could be an answer to someone’s prayers. In 1st Peter 5:5 it says we should be clothed or wrapped in humility… wrapped like a gift or ‘present’.

We enjoy giving gifts at Christmas at our house. I love to shop believe it or not. I love buying things for my wife, children, mother, grandchildren and (believe it or not) even enjoy buying things for my son in laws! Isn’t that so un-natural! They took our daughters away for heaven’s sake! It’s easy to buy something if you have the money but you don’t have to have money at all if you ‘become’ the gift to someone by encouraging them or saying a prayer for them or helping them out with something they need to do. ‘Be a gift’ to someone. Take your guitar over to a shut-in (sick or invalid person who can’t get out anymore) or a retirement center or a hospital and sing some Christmas Carols. By ‘being a gift or present’ to someone you could in fact have the greatest and most blessed Christmas of your life. There was no money involved with Lloyd Baggs, Haley, Jake or me. We wanted to become a gift and share what we could. I hope we can be an example in the spirit of giving this Christmas and see it multiply throughout the music world. There will be other things I’ll be involved in that won’t be on video or on the internet or facebook.

As you have now read this let me say… it continues with you.

Merry Christmas!


First Baptist. Cleveland, TN.





Hi Folks…

Wow!  What a beautiful Fall!  The colors around here in TN, NC, and KY are just beautiful and my recent trip to the northeast only proves why people flock to New England for the colors.  With only weeks away now until the 2014 Christmas season, I’ve already started playing some Christmas pieces in my concerts.  We just got in a shipment of my Christmas CDs, so I am so happy to have a little more time before Christmas to have these available.  It seemed like last year the CD was released and boom… it was all over!  Not this year.  I am planning even more Christmas concerts and private events.  I have a few dates available so if anyone would like for me to come… contact us.  We are adding dates just about every day.

A few years ago I came up with the idea to consolidate all of my original tunes from 1994 to 2014 in a collection.  After all of these years “The Doyle Dykes Quintessential Guitar Collection” is now finished and due to be released in just a few days.  I also included a couple of songs that were not released on my prior albums such as “The Lights of Marfa” which was featured in the DVD included with my Moody Published book.  Haley Johnson (our daughter) and Duane Eddy are also featured.  This song was a huge production for me as we had Dave Pomeroy on bass, John Gardner on drums, Jimmy Capps on guitar,  my brother Aubrey on keys and Aubrey Haney, Andy Leftwich and Kenny Sears on triple fiddles.  It sounds like an old western movie production which was the idea!  After all,  Marfa, Texas and that entire region including Alpine were chosen as locations for movies from John Wayne, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Tommy Lee Jones and so on.  On the “Lights of Marfa” session, even Don Henley stopped by while we were in the studio to see what the commotion was about.  He could hear Duane playing and just had to come in and meet him.  These are some memorable songs from some of my most memorable sessions.  I also included a song I wrote for Bob Taylor called “Bob’s Guitar Lesson”which the idea derived from Bob’s book, “Guitar Lessons.”  David Huff (David and the Giants) and his son Tate were the engineers on those projects.

I had Tate Huff re-master some songs from our “Live at Harvest” DVD that has nice orchestration with Tom Keen and strings.  In fact, Tate mastered the entire album.  I also re-recorded some songs from my album on BMG/Windham Hill which although I wrote,  I had to re-record them.  I did this with the help of my good friend Eric Johnson at his studio and the great Austin engineer Kelly Donnelly.  Mark Thornton in Nashville recorded some great over-dubs on string bass from my son in law Jake Johnson, and David Huff mixed the new sessions and that completed this collection of the two volume, 4 CD set.  We also included some early photo shots from Nathan York in Los Angeles and also Holli (Madame Brown Photography) who I’m proud to say is our “shutterbug” daughter.  Thanks to Pete Fisher and the Opry folks for allowing us to use something from my appearance at the Opry on my 60th birthday, which really completed the set for me.  Dan Miggler of Noiseland Productions, who also did the incredible CD design on my Christmas album also did the layout.  Fantastic work!

From Jazz in the Box to Loving Rita, White Rose for Heidi and Gitarre 2000… this collection is truly my essential collection… actually “Quintessential Guitar Collection.”  I remember Chet Atkins saying that he would listen back to some of his early recordings and wonder how he even did all those tricky tunes he used to play.  As I listen back I to some of these tunes I can see what he means.  I would probably wonder where they all came from except I know the answer already.  They were gifts from the good Lord… the giver of Life and Music.  These are the songs that got me connected with the guitar industry, the Grand Ole Opry and took me around the world and for that I’m very thankful.

Well,  that’s all for today.  I hope this didn’t seem too much like a commercial… but I guess I’m probably more excited than anyone about releasing this.  I am currently working on another album that I want to release by Spring of 2015, but I felt this one was first in line.  I hope you’ll agree it was worth doing.

Great Blessings to all…


**Check back soon for pre-ordering of “The Doyle Dykes Quintessential Guitar Collection.”




Hi everyone…
There are so many things going on this Fall I thought I would add more blogs to keep better in touch with you all.  Recently I had a great time at the Grandpa Jones’ mile marker unveiling at his home place in Niagara, Kentucky.  The Jones family asked if I would play some music at the event.  My long time friend Mark Jones (son of Grandpa and Ramona) played banjo with me on some of our favorite Grandpa pieces.  In fact, Mark played his dad’s old banjo which was the one Grandpa used when I traveled with him.  It was truly a day to remember.  Ramona, Eloise and Alisa and their families were also present.  I can’t tell you how much this meant to me to be a part of something like this.  Grandpa would’ve been so proud.

photo 3For years now Sonny Thomas has worked on my guitars doing re-frets, set ups, etc. and now has finally recorded a CD of some great guitar instrumentals with his nephew Donnie Keahey and pickin’ buddy Richie York.  Some times when I would go to pick up one of my guitars Sonny would ‘frett out’ a tune or two and I’d say “Man,  I didn’t know you could play like that!”  Somehow I knew he got that a lot!  Although Sonny has worked on guitars for Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Paul Yandell and countless others… he also played professionally but has concentrated more on his technical skills in guitar repair and luthier work for the last few years.  Sonny knows way more about music theory than I do and his arrangements on this record will show you that he knows his way around the neck of a guitar in more ways than one!  These guys have cranked out some really fun, tricky and just down-right good guitar pieces that will bring you back to some of the guitar trio sounds of Leon Rhodes, Jimmy Capps and Spider Wilson from the Grand Ole Opry.  This Country/Jazz/Swing style of music is what I grew up on and what made me want to go even beyond my finger-pickin’ and discover some new places in music.  Only thing… I never could play it as well as these guys!  Hank Garland would’ve been proud to hear this from these boys and that goes for me too.  I think you’d enjoy this as well.  To order go to www.cdbaby.com/cd/tripleplay3 or  www.mikeheadrick.com. Sonny Thomas…Triple Play.

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Today would’ve been my dad’s 85th birthday.  I played a song in his honor at Lee University for their Chapel service.  In fact,  I basically played a concert for the kids there.  A group of young college kids could be very intimidating to an old guy like me… but these kids were the best.  My friend Danny Murray and Dr. Paul Conn had arranged this and what an honor to play right here at home and get such a nice reception from the students.  Music is a huge thing at Lee University and given the fact that they even let me in the doors show that they appreciate music of all types and styles.  Lee is a bright spot in our community and to the world.  Our daughters all attended school there, and Holli and Haley graduated from there.  It’s probably not everyday that they have someone come in and end up on “Free Bird”… but I so did!  “The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.” Friedrich Nietzshe.

Speaking of CDs… I have something about to be released that I’ve been planning to do for years now.  I have compiled all of my original songs from 1994-2004 on a two volume/4 disc set that will also include a couple of bonus songs, such as “Bob’s Guitar Lesson” that I wrote in honor of my friend Bob Taylor and “The Lights of Marfa” that was the theme of my book and DVD with Moody Publishing.  I will come back to you with more news on this in the very near future.  Until then… enjoy the Fall!

Happy Picking!


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What a great start to the Fall! …

Hello Everyone!

What a great way to start the Fall!  I love the Fall.  It’s my favorite time of year!  Today, after getting home from my Northeast run, I celebrated Fall by my first cup of hot tea… English style of course.  It’s funny but after the holidays I don’t do tea again until the Fall.  I love it!  Makes me think of my English friends.  My daughter Haley does the same thing.  Must be our English friends calling on us.

I had a most unique presentation and gift given to me a few days ago.  I was inducted into the “National Thumbpicker’s Hall of Fame” at the Merle Travis Music (performing arts) Center in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky… right where it all started.  As soon as I crossed over the county line and saw the sign “Muhlenberg County,” it was like something hit me in the chest!  As my friend and fellow “thumb-picker” Darrell Owens said… “you were among kindred spirits!”  Indeed I was!  Dr. John Knowles, Sonny Thomas and Pat Kirtley were also there and some fine pickers that I’d never heard play before, including a 14-year-old fingerstyle virtuoso… of course also from Kentucky.  What an honor to be named among Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Ike Everly, Mose Rager, Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, Steve Wariner, Eddie Pennington, Thom Bresh and (I’m getting in trouble now… too many to mention) a host of other really fine guitar players in the Hall of Fame.  I really felt welcomed by the fine folks there at the festival.  I highly recommend you going next year.  Look up their site at www.ntphf.com.

Recently I got a call from my friend Darren Wallace at Ovation Guitars.  Ovation was my very first endorsement, even before Taylor Guitars.  I played an Ovation Country Artist for years and after it was damaged on a plane flight,  my friend Shot Jackson not only repaired the neck but also put a cutaway on it and I asked him to paint it a blue-burst.  My name was inlaid on the headstock with a beautiful cross inlay.  It was actually stolen out of a church in Jacksonville, FL (PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANYONE KNOWS THE WHEREABOUTS OF THIS GUITAR!!!).  Anyway,  it was recognized by the Ovation representative as the very first cutaway Ovation and the first blue one as well.  Even after I left Grandpa Jones he asked me to come up and play on the Grand Ole Opry.  I played that very guitar.  A friend encouraged me to be an endorser for Ovation and so I contacted them never believing they would even consider it… but they did.  I replaced that guitar with a black Country Artist (electric nylon string) and a beautiful blue Adamas steel-string guitar.  Darren asked if I would like to play a couple of their U.S. made guitars, so a few days ago I went back up to the factory in New Hartford, CT, and when I looked at the 12-string Adamas, I couldn’t believe it… it was just like the one I had out of the 80s, but with a cutaway!  I also took a wood-top Adamas with me, which is also a strikingly beautiful guitar.  I played these guitars right out of the box on my shows in VA and NY and have decided to use these on the road.  The first song on my show was “New Hartford,” which I had written and dedicated to the employees there.  Of course,  I’ll continue to use my Olson and my Sand guitars, but I will now have the “blue 12,” and when possible, the Adamas ‘WT’ around too.   By the way,  I’m playing these guitars just because I want to and because they deserve to live!  I’m hoping to see more electricity in that old pre-Civil War building once again cranking out one of the most innovative and treasured guitar brands of all time… Ovation!

Speaking of shows in VA and NY,  I played at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA and the Iridium Jazz Club (where Les Paul played every week)  in Manhattan last week.  My crowds were not very large but the response and encouragement from the people was huge!  My friends Neal and Gwen Ferry were in New York and I believe that we all witnessed another turning point in my life and career.  The Iridium said next time they’ll put me on their guitar night since they weren’t familiar with me.  That, of course, is on Mondays like when Les played there.  I played my heart out.  I’ve found that when you do that… you’re not simply looking at a few people but huge potential, and I think somehow even a promotion.  Dave and Brad at Dynamic Artists Management are to be thanked for taking a risk on a finger pickin’ church musician/preacher… who has now been invited back!  Film at Eleven!  HA!

I’ve played with Greg Laurie with 55,000 people in a stadium and huge crowds of people on the Grand Ole Opry, churches and festivals, but to play at the Iridium with even a small crowd… where Les Paul, Chet Atkins and Jeff Beck, etc.  had played… I was a bit nervous.  Small crowds always make me more nervous anyway.  After I played “New Hartford” on the blue Adamas,  I switched over to the Olson.  Nothing but silence.  I checked switches… jiggled cables… looked at power indicator lights… nothing.  For about a minute it was silent on stage.  That feels like an eternity!  I was rattled for a few numbers then I finally setttled down.  I found what had appeared to be a faulty cable on my pre-amp board for my Olson.  I didn’t replace it then but prayed it wouldn’t happen again during my show.  I forgot all about it.  On Saturday I went to do my soundcheck for my church concert date in Groton, CT at Groton Bible Church and remembered the cable problem.  I jiggled and bumped and shook my little pedalboard up and down and ‘I couldn’t Get it to stop working!’  What am I saying?  Anytime you start crossing over into new territory… especially something you’ve been wanting, hoping and even praying for… don’t be surprised when opposition comes.  What to do?  Look beyond the circumstance and the small crowd and see that God is there with you.  I pray for everything I do and for direction to everywhere I go… way before I get there!  I had to remind myself that this was where I was supposed to be and I had already done the ground work to get there.  I didn’t have to prove otherwise… and it all worked out!

Perhaps reading this right now is where you’re supposed to be!  I had so many things this year that seemed to have set me back and I could have “plummeted,” but instead I have decided to let it “propel” me to the next level!  I may not be seeing it completely yet, but I have laid claim on reaching more people and sharing my music and a message of hope and encouragement to people in places that I’ve never dreamed would have happened.  The Iridium was one of those I had never dreamed I’d do… but now that I have,  next time I’ll bring an extra cable?  No,  next time we’ll put in extra “tables!”

Happy Fall!


Special Tribute to Chet Atkins

You won’t want to miss this special video tribute to Chet Atkins, featuring Doyle and other artists such as Steve Wariner, Duane Eddy, John Knowles, Jimmy Capps, Pat Bergeson and Richard Smith…