We are very happy to say that Gareth Pearson is returning to Camp this year! He is a marvel on the guitar and a true master of the instrument. In fact, he is referred to as “The Welsh Tornado” which is particularly appropriate, seeing as this special talent combines fingerstyle pyrotechnics, with explosive lead runs making him one of the most exciting acoustic musicians playing today.
Gareth’s distinctive style can be heard through his creative and innovative arrangements of Michael Jackson, Radiohead and Bruno Mars to his own beautiful and often intricate original compositions. Drawing his playing style initially from influences such as Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Jerry Reed and Tommy Emmanuel, he has developed a style that is both inspiring and entertaining.
Within a year of taking up the guitar, Gareth was opening for Tommy Emmanuel on his 2005 UK tour. It was in Cardiff where Tommy invited Gareth to play at the CAAS convention (Chet Atkins Appreciation Society) in Nashville Tennessee. Later that year, he was performing and touring alongside Ray Davies (The Kinks), John Renbourne, and Southside Johnny and the Ashbury Jukes. During the Southside Johnny tour, Gareth was invited by Southside to be flown over to the USA to open for his annual New Years Eve concert at the Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey.
The following year, Gareth was invited by Tommy Emmanuel to be the support act for his UK tour, following extensive UK supports to Jan Akkerman, Andy McKee and appearing at numerous Folk Festivals and Guitar workshops including the Montreal Jazz Festival. With appearances throughout Europe and a growing reputation, he was invited to perform at the 2008 Canadian Guitar Festival where he came to the attention of Candyrat Records. This lay the seed for Gareth to be the first UK guitarist to be signed by the label. On its release, his debut album “Urban Echoes Vol 1” was selected by Acoustic Guitar editors and frequent contributors as one of the “Essential Acoustic Albums of 2010”.
In December 2018, Gareth released a brand new recording called ‘A Tweak on Antique‘. Of it, Gareth says:
Going into this record my priority was to pay tribute to the forefathers of fingerstyle guitar, such as Merle Travis, Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. My task was to ‘Tweak the Antique’ by recapturing the vintage vibes of their classic albums then modernising it with contemporary ideas. Incorporating my own personality into this created a sound that’s new, fresh and exciting to listen to!
The most exciting aspect I can share about this album is that it features collaborative works with some of the most incredible musicians in the world.
These include; Tommy Emmanuel C.G.P, Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck & the Fleck Tones/ Dave Matthews Band), Daniel Pugsely (Skindred), Dave Newington (Boy Azooga), Dean (Beat Technique) Yhnell, Greg Coulson, and Pasha Lychagin.
Having these musicians sharing their gifts and talents not only took my music to a higher level, but they were able to help turn my vision into a reality. With everything that went into it I’m proud to say that this is my best work to date by far.
We are extremely excited that Gareth will be with us at Camp again this year! We can’t wait for everyone to have a chance to experience and encounter his extra-ordinary musical gifts!
“I really respect Gareth’s abilities. He’s a great young man and a great ambassador for the acoustic guitar.”
– Tommy Emmanuel
“I’m Gareth’s number one fan! What a guitarist! His original compositions hit the ears like cool spring water on a hot summer’s day. His stage show has everyone up on their feet. Fingerstyle guitar is in good hands for the next generation.”
– Stefan Grossman
“Not only is Gareth one of the most amazing guitarists around, he is a really nice guy and funny as hell!.”
– Andy McKee
“My friend Gareth Pearson is a huge talent and in his genre, one of the best young players around. I mean there’s many roads that lead to Rome, but this one is definitely a great one. I can see a great future for him.”
– Jan Akkerman