Eddie Pennington is considered by his peers to be the greatest living thumb-style guitarist. He is in constant demand at major gatherings of guitar players throughout the United States and Europe. The thumb-picking style of playing originated in Western Kentucky, Pennington's home, and was popularized by singer-songwriter-guitarist Merle Travis. Pennington learned many of his licks from Mose Rager, the man Travis also credits as his teacher.
Pennington's performances are marked by his humorous southern mannerisms and his ability to get the audience tapping their toes to the sounds of a four-piece orchestra originating from a single guitar. Eddie has performed such venues as Wolf Trap, Library of Congress, the Atlanta Olympic Games, the Smithsonian Institute, and the 50th Anniversary of the Louisiana Hayride (where Elvis, Hank Williams and Johnny Horton began their careers). In 2001, Eddie Pennington received one of thirteen National Heritage Fellowships, the highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. He also received an honorary PhD. from Western Kentucky University for his music. In 2005, he received the Governor's Awards in the Arts Folk Heritage Award.
Alonzo Pennington is a multi-award-winning guitar player who's been performing his own music since he was 13. Casting a respectful nod to his musical heroes, Alonzo adds his passion, energy and drive to create a soulful and unique blend blues that's all his own. He has been fortunate go grow up around and learn his craft from some of the world's best guitar players. Alonzo cut his teeth playing alongside his father, respected and renowned thumb picker, Eddie Pennington.
Alonzo is one of our area's most respected and skilled artists - and for good reason. He's played with some of the world's most notable musicians, including Chet Atkins, John Michael Montgomery, Willie Nelson, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (just to name a few); he garnered the title of International Thumbpicker two different years (1999 and 2011); his full-length record, Thumbin', was chosen as the 2011 Thumbpicker's Hall of Fame "Album of the Year"; and he's played Nashville's premiere country music venue, the Grand Ole Opry.
Library Evenings Upstairs - An Evening with Eddie and Alonzo Pennington