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…


Hi folks… What a beautiful Winter it has been.  OK… not for everyone right!  Hasn’t it been crazy this year!  It’s good for pickin’ at home unless you’re like me and have to dodge snowstorms to get where you need to go.  I need to pray that God will direct me to more places like Florida and Southern CA or AZ this time of year.  Actually,  I’m having a great time today in Virginia.
Sometimes things come along that you just know are a blessing or “reward” from the good Lord.  I remember things like taking a tour of the Fender factory one-on-one with CEO Larry Thomas and likewise touring Taylor Guitars with Bob Taylor or riding on a 747 with my friend David Magagna in first class doing a fly-by looking down into the very top of Mt. Fuji and going “Moosing” at midnight in New Hampshire with my friend Mark Santos or touring the International Space Station training facility in Houston with my friend Dr. Dave Vandercliff and touring the FBI Academy with John Hall and playing with the “Free Agents” (all FBI Agents) and climbing through a C-17 transport plane with my buddy Bob Faiano and son Caleb in New York and touring a post classified underground nuclear missle siloh at Vandenberg AFB and an afternoon safari in South Africa in a wildlife preserve or having lunch with Chet Atkins and Duane Eddy in a local Nashville ‘Meat and 3′ or getting up to play with Les Paul at the Iridium or spending the day with Merle Travis playing guitars at Grandpa Jones’ house and playing on the Grand Ole Opry and getting a new guitar (or a vintage one) and when Rita said “Yes” in front of the Fountain at Friendship Park on the St. Johns River with the ring I worked a year to get and seeing your new daughter or son for the first time and now grandchildren!  When my friend Asa Lowe in Chesepeake, VA asked me this week if I wanted to take a private tour of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Aircraft Carrier in Norfolk… I just said “yes.”  Some things don’t have to be thought out or prayed about or fasted over.  You know in your “knower” this is a blessing… a gift for you.  I’m a patriot at heart as most of you know as I continue to pray for our military personnel on a daily basis.  This kind of stuff makes me so proud of our country and what people do to allow us to do everything we do on a daily basis without thinking of being terrorized.  If that day comes once again,  I’m even more aware of the thousands of people who go to our aid and support.  Military and civilians as well.  I’m on the road so much and away from my family to do what I do so these extreme experiences take me to another realm at least in my mind.  All I got was “Wayne” from our guide who’s in one of the photos.  I’m grateful for his patience and unselfish effort in giving Asa and me the best afternoon anyone could have aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt!
I’m off to Germany next week to play at the Music Messe in Frankfurt once again.  I’m so excited to be showing my new signature models that Guild is producing as well as just representing this beautiful brand of guitars.  Fender is sponsoring my trip so I will be in the Fender booth if anyone reading this is able to attend.  I’m so excited about the new Kirk Sand-inspired and designed (along with the Guild team) electric nylon string guitar as well as my new signature 12 string and of course my six-string Doyle model.  I love the new Barberra pickups teamed with the Lloyd Baggs pre-amp system that will thrill anyone who is looking for a fantastic acoustic guitar that will electronically also fill any hall.  Having released these at NAMM is right up there with the USS TR Aircraft Carrier I must say!
I trust things are well for you so far this year.  Keep something going at all times in your music.  I’m going back into the studio soon to finish up a project of all of my original tunes from 1995 to 2005 to be released as a compilation.  I’m also including some bonus stuff never heard before as well as “The Lights of Marfa” theme song that’s included in my Moody Pub. book.  I just listened to the Watermelon Mountain Jug Band’s version of my songs “Country Fried Pickin'” and “White Rose for Heidi.”  Can there be any greater compliment than this?  I think not.  I am so thankful that my music is touching people and this way others will be blessed that don’t even know me because of this band’s CD.  (They’re really great by the way!)  Never underestimate the power of music and remember where it comes from.  The good Lord.  Just like Moosing and touring Aircraft Carriers comes from Him too. That’s the Gospel according to Doyle and if it ain’t true… (as my FBI buddy John Hall would say)…”it oughta be!”
Truthfully,  none of these things can even come close to comparing with when I accepted Christ in my heart.  Occasionally I’m told not to get too religious when I perform.  This is way more than religious stuff.  This is relational… family… life-changing… life-building… Life.  These other things I’ve mentioned have been “Touchstones” of rememberances for me.  This one I’m speaking of now is the “Cornerstone” to everything else.
In a couple of hours I will be joining Asa and his family for dinner.  Seafood.  Crabcakes to be more specific.  Here comes another touchstone!
God bless you… God Bless America.
Doyle Dykes


Hi everyone! What a way to start off the new year! I just returned from the NAMM trade show in Anaheim where Fender/Guild debuted two new models in my signature line for Guild. It was pretty cool to see some of the biggest stars and best pickers around picking them up to play and seeing smiles come up on their faces.


One is the Kirk Sand and Guild design electric nylon string. Kirk has made guitars for Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Jose Feliciano, Kevin Eubanks and many more! I’ve played Kirk’s guitars since my friend Darrell Owens introduced me to him in 1993. This guitar is very much like my Kirk Sand custom guitar but a little smaller and very focused on the upper mids. It is a great guitar for the fingerpicking style that I do and the Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed stuff. I’ll have to say it cuts like a knife on the fast stuff and is as beautiful a sound that can be heard on the slow ballad and worship songs. I really love it! The pickup system is a new Barberra pickup with the LR Baggs pre-amp that has always been in my models. In fact, I’ve switched to this system in all of my signature guitars. The response is incredible on the nylon string as well as the six and 12 string models… which leads me to this.

The new Signature 12 string guitar is beautiful and sounds absolutely amazing! The playability is unsurpassed by any 12 string and with the smaller body, it’s easy to hold and is very focused for finger-style solo guitar as well as the wonderful full chords while strumming. Love this guitar! The two As and Es are also switched around to get a fuller sound while finger picking (the thumb picks downwards) as well as with the chording of the left hand as the two bass strings are easy to have one accidentally muted. With the bass on the top side the smaller or octave bass notes get muted first so the guitar actually has more bass while playing which gives a fuller sound which is very important to me.

All of these models have the same pickup system as mentioned and all have up-graded Gotoh tuners and are a slightly shorter 25 1/4″ scale which makes all of them easier to hammer out solo anthems and full bar chords. Guild has made it possible for people all over the world to own the best finger-picking acoustic guitars I’ve ever seen. I’m very proud of the team who made it all possible especially Ren Ferguson, Tim Shaw and of course Kirk Sand. I’m also proud of the Fender CEO Larry Thomas as he was the one who encouraged me to bring my friends into ‘the Fender fold’ which is how Kirk Sand, LR Baggs and Richard Barberra got involved. (KIrk introduced the pickups to us.) My input was simply to give them the ideas collected through the years that appeal most to finger-style guitarists and how to sound our best and play our best. These guitars will help you do just that. However, these guitars are also great for flat-picking as well as contemporary or pop music and now with the nylon electric, even flamenco and jazz. There really are no rules in this… just what sounds and feels good to you and makes you want to pick it up and play!

We also introduced two signature guitar straps for Guild which are very Nashville or shall I say… Texas as they were inspired by my boot making buddy C.L. Wallis from San Angelo. My signature strings will be out in the spring… “Spring-strings!” Did I tell you about my signature haircut and dental floss? Okay, please don’t misunderstand all this but it really is a dream come true to have such great things to share with you. Perhaps you should read my book The Lights of Marfa in the A Word From an Outlaw chapter and maybe you’ll understand even more about all this.


Another highlight was to have my good friend and Crooner Johnny Tillotson to once again share the stage with me at NAMM.  Johnny sings so great and his song It Keeps Right On a Hurtin’  is always a crowd pleaser. One lady I saw was so taken by the whole thing she had this big continual smile on her face from ear to ear. She was a huge Johnny fan no doubt. Other people came and said how much it made their trip to hear him. It was wonderful for me too. Although he’s lived in Los Angeles for years, he’s still my ole Jacksonville, FL buddy! Our good friends (Producer) Michael Lloyd, (UK… Sound Technology) Robert Wilson and (Mr Groove Tubes himself) Aspen Pittman and Johnny’s wife Nancy were right behind us cheering us on. Crowds were tremendous….Fender’s booth was the place to be!

Just last night my friend Jimmy Capps was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN. I was planning to attend this gala event (Duane Eddy even played!) but the weather kept us in very close proximity to our little town. It’s rare to have snow and ice here. It’s more rare to have a friend who’s played with everyone from the Louvin Brothers (who brought him to Nashville) to Chet Atkins to Kenny Rogers and a big percentage of some of the greatest hit songs that ever came out of Music City. Jimmy was the one who recommended to Bob Whittaker that he have me on the show. The show was the Grand Ole Opry. Jimmy was staff guitarist on the Opry when I was with Grandpa Jones in 1975. He still is. Hats off to our buddy Jimmy “The Sheriff” Capps for his years of great music and entertainment and for being consistent and a role model to many a player including me. Congratulations on being in the Musicians Hall of Fame! I love you Jimmy! (You too Michelle!)

Well, that’s all for now. Thats enough to make me wanna go pick a little bit tonight before bed. Happy picking and thanks for giving me some of your time!