“You’re too young to start playing the guitar!”
This is a phrase familiar to many youngsters who express an interest in guitar. Evan Twitty may be an exception to this statement. He started playing guitar at two years old and won his first talent contest at five, thus setting a precedent that proved he was not too young to play. By age 13, Evan was already being recognized by the masters of the thumbpicking style as he began winning competitions against adults. That talent contest he won at five in his hometown of Vincennes, Indiana was to be just the beginning for hm.
His recently won the 2017 Traditional category at the Merle Travis Thumbpicking Weekend competition in Mountain View, Arkansas, which he had also won in 2016. He placed second in the Contemporary category in both 2016 and 2017.
At the 2015 International Home of the Legends Thumbpicking Weekend in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Evan was honored with the Horizon Award, which was an induction into the International Thumbpickers Hall of Fame. He also competed in and won the Traditional category at the same event, receiving a coveted Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose guitar as his prize.
Other accolades he received in 2016 are International Instrumentalist of the Year and International Teenage Performer of the Year from the Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA) in Branson, Missouri.
While Evan appreciates all his awards and honors, his favorite thing to do is to perform in front of a live crowd. If you happen to catch one of his performances, you will notice that he owns more than one guitar, several of them are made by Gretsch. He bought his first Gretsch at age eight with money he saved up to get a 6120 model. Since then, he has won two Gretsch guitars in competition and purchased several others. Evan likes their beauty, playability, and quality, and the Gretsch tone is compatible with the traditional music style he often plays.
Evan cautions his fans not to be fooled by all the traditional elements in his repertoire, however. He plays many different styles from blues to country, contemporary, and jazz to rockabilly. He has appeared on the Wood-Songs Old Time Radio Hour as guest of Tommy Emmanuel and has performed multiple times at the annual Jerry Reed Tribute Concert in Nashville, Tennessee. Evan has been a featured performer many times at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Music Convention, also held in Nashville. He began by performing at Open Mic and has had his own featured sets on the CAAS program for the last three years and is often asked by other performers to join them, such as with the Gospel Showcase ensemble.
Some of Evan’s musical influences are Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Tommy Emanuel, Thom Bresh, Fleetwood Mac, Robert Johnson, and many others. Certainly those influences have been a motivating factor for the two-year-old who picked up the guitar and apparently has never put it down, as evidenced by his performance schedule while still excelling in his high school studies.
Evan is honored to become part of the Gretsch Guitar family as an artist. You can catch him performing live across the country solo or with his band, Wood & Wire. When it comes to playing guitar, Evan Twitty is excited to see where his musical journey takes him as he continues to astound us all with his talent and on-stage performances.