guitarMUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (7/1/14) — What do Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Steve Wariner, Doc Watson, Mose Rager and Ike Everly all have in common?

They are all in the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame in Muhlenberg County.

If there is any one original musical sound that encapsulates the music of Muhlenberg County, it's guitar thumb picking. Others have done it, but arguably, none have done it better than Travis, his son, Thom Bresh (who is also in the hall of fame) and the father of the Everly Brothers, Ike Everly. Mix in those who have caught the thumbpicking bug and taken it to the world, most notably by Chet Atkins, and it’s a sound that truly deserves to be celebrated.

This month, many will gather in Nashville for the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society's annual four event. The event will be held July 9 through July 12. Tickets for that event are now on sale at Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, and yes, tickets will very likely sell out.

September 26 through 28, Muhlenberg County will welcome thumbpicking enthusiasts from around the world, at the 2014 National Thumbpicking Awards Show.

National Thumbpicking Hall of Fame Executive Director, Joe Hutson, joked that the event is due for a name change.

"Last year's event, more than ever, drew fans from around the nation and the world," Hudson said. "We are seriously thinking of changing our name to the International Thumbpicking Hall of Fame. This year's event will feature much more of what fans comes to see and hear, the world's very best pickers."

One thing there will be less of this year will be hotel rooms, according to Hudson.

"With two big construction projects coming into the county, I highly advise booking rooms as soon as you know you will attend," Hutson said. "This will likely be the case moving forward into 2015 and 2016."

Hutson and others from Kentucky will head to Music City to take part in the Chet Atkins four day event during a special tribute to Kentucky pickers.

For those who just can't wait until September, there is plenty of picking.

This summer in Muhlenberg County, with the Four Legends Jamboree on the second Saturday of each month at the Drakesboro City Hall, and Pickin' in the Park, at Paradise Park on the first and third Friday night through September.

Get details on the jamboree at (270) 476-8690. Pickin' in the Park and Hall of Fame Awards information is available at (270) 338-2520, or log on to National Thumb Pickers Hall Of Fame.

Paul McRee
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