› What: “An Evening with Doyle Dykes”
› Where: Songbirds Guitar Museum, 35 Station St.
› When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12
› Admission: $20
› Phone: 423-531-2473
› Online: songbirdsguitars.com
For fans of guitar players and guitar music, it might be inconceivable to think that someone like Doyle Dykes has to travel abroad to get a reminder of just how good he is.
Dykes, who lives in Cleveland, Tenn., recently traveled to China for a guitar convention and ran into a guitar-playing father and son. They also happened to be big Dykes fans. He was attending a trade show and, when he walked outside, the young man was playing one of his songs. It just so happened to be a particularly meaningful song for Dykes.
"It was a song I wrote for my mother. I'm in Shanghai, China, and this millennial is playing it note for note. Here I'm more the Cracker Barrel crowd, so it was a real confidence booster."
Dykes said the young man had dyed red hair and told him his father, who Dykes said looked like an Asian version of Ozzy Osbourne with the same dye job but longer hair, also played Dykes' music.
Dykes will play Tuesday night at Songbirds Guitar Museum. It's a gig he is looking forward to for several reasons. Tops among them is being surrounded by the venue's unique collection of rare and vintage guitars. He played for the museum's soft opening this past summer and is looking forward to seeing it completed.
"It is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen, especially if you are a guitar player. But, even if you are not, the history of some of those pieces they have is amazing. Just to see that many guitars in one place ... I've never seen, never even heard of, anything like it."
Dykes said he will likely play a set of holiday material as well as some of his more familiar fan favorites. He plans to play a couple of his acoustic guitars and some electric Christmas music. He said he doesn't like to create a set list ahead of time unless he has a band with him.
"If I have a set list, it's for whoever is playing with me. I never have a set list. If I do, I leave it on the floor. I have these anchor songs, but it being in December, I'll do a lot of Christmas stuff with more electric. I'll play some stuff with nylon strings, too."
Dykes said he has not been offered the chance to play any of the guitars in the Songbirds collection, but admits he has his eye on a couple he'd love to play. One belonged to Hank Snow, whom he knew from his days playing with Grandpa Jones.
"That would be fun. Hank was a great guitar player. They also have one of the best Fenders I've ever seen."
Dykes said he isn't sure how the night will go. The only thing he seems concerned about is not overstaying his welcome.
"I'll try to not be there all night, but when you are around all those guitars, there is a special feeling you get in a place like that. It's going to be a very special night for me. If no one else gets anything out of it, I will. I would like to ask people to bring a kid or someone who maybe couldn't afford a ticket. Let's make it special."
Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.