|Meagan Taylor (Chet's grandniece) and
Robert Anderson drove up here last November to open for Scotty Anderson,
and they were a smash hit with the audience. Megan has an earthy voice full of soul and her country
roots, and for her young age can find her way around that
Tenneseean guitar pretty good that the Gibson Company gave her at a CAAS
Convention a couple years ago.
Robert Anderson was born on October 30, 1957 in
Maryville, Tennessee to Jesse and Edna Mae Anderson. His older sister, Janie, bought him his first guitar at the age of eight. It was about this time when he first heard Chet Atkins playing solo soul on the radio. Not coming from a musical background didnít necessarily prove to be a handicap to Robert,
who is, in his own words, a "self-taught player". When Robert begins to play, many experts in the
field have likened Robertís tone and technique to that of Atkins.
Around 1979 or 80, Robert taught finger style guitar at Tommy Covingtonís Music Store in Maryville. Then
for reasons that heís not even sure of, Robert gave up playing for a seven year period from 1980-87. In late
1987, he joined a southern gospel group called the Joyful Sound. They toured the southeast until about 1992.
From then until August 1998, he didnít play anywhere much except at home. But one day, while in a local
music store, (Broadway Sound), located in Knoxville, Tennessee, he was invited to a jam session on a
Tuesday night. He was greeted by members of the Chet Atkins fan club. Not playing at first, and letting the
boyhood shyness take over he waited for a while before taking his guitar out of the case. Finally, after
playing a few of Atkinsí tunes, he was given a thumbs up welcome, and strongly encouraged to join the
Atkins Appreciation Society. Almost immediately he started working on his first guitar recording. Robert had
wanted to do this for a long time. In about eight months, he had written eight brand new tunes, all original,
along with a few other popular tunes, he turned out his first cd project, titled, "The World of Fingerstyle
Guitar". A second project is currently in the makings.
Being a local truck driver, and finding the time in the evenings to practice, makes for a long day. But to
Robert, this desire to play guitar is well worth the effort in which he tries so hard to pass on the vibrant
feeling he gets from playing, to other listeners as well.
Late August of 1999, Robert entered and placed second in the "Home of the
Legends, international thumb and finger style guitar contest in Muhlenburg
County, Kentucky. He entered again this year and took first place for the
championship, in both the thumb style and the open style division. To Robert this is a great accomplishment to achieve for the small price of
many hours practicing and devoting his time to the instrument that he loves
In addition to Chet Atkins, his other musical tastes are, Tommy Emmanuel,
Doyle Dykes, George Benson, Paul Yandell, Albert Lee, Earl Klugh, Les Paul, and one of the founding fathers of thumb and finger style guitar, Merle
Certainly the guitar player world will be hearing more of this young man in
the near future. Robertís soft-spoken, down to earth personality, an ability,
which many players would envy, is purely natural for the Tennessee native.
To contact Robert for bookings and information, you may write to him at
1500 Strawberry Hills Lane, Knoxville, TN 37914, phone him at (865)
932-6459, or e-mail him at ROB1030@msn.com.
Meagan & Robert At Our Pickin' Party last November '01