Acoustic Music & the Guitar

"Acoustic music is the timeless sound of nature and resonating materials – wood, bone, gourd, gut and skin. It predates the spoken language of modern culture, crossing all borders and barriers. It speaks to great, universal truths of very personal, yet familiar stories. Those stories keep legacies alive, allow them to be shared, and create new ones going forward".


(Derek Johnson aka Musicalist)

Music is unparalleled in both its reflection of and impact on human culture, developing across time, place, religion and culture. It is the door to our souls, the balm for our spirit, an inspiration to feel deeply, our common language, and the heart of community.

Acoustic instruments were dictated by the flora and fauna of each area, evolving and cross fertilizing as people migrated across the world. The humble guitar is known for its enormous musical versatility across all cultures and genres. It is the voice of people to tell their stories, and attainable to everyone regardless of wealth or status.

"The guitar is a whole lot more than a guitar....
there's a whole attitude towards life wrapped up in it"  
(Charles Fox)


Members-Only Acoustic Club

Intimate & Personal

Acoustic House Concerts

$30pp ~ 7:30pm at Casa Las Palmas

323 E. Cabrillo, by the Santa Barbara beach



The UnPlugged Series Information

323 E. Cabrillo Blvd at Chase Palm Park

The assigned seating chart will be emailed to all seat holders on Sunday 6/16. If there are any errors or changes, email me back.

If you have purchased seats and do not receive it, please check your spam folder.  

The list and chart will be posted at the door for each show.

Patrons may be dropped off at Casa Las Palmas; all parking is either on the boulevard or the public parking lot diagonally across at the base of Garden Street.

Please do not bring disposable food or drink.

Please arrive by 7:15pm when doors open.

All shows start at 7:30 promptly.  

If you arrive late, please seat between songs.

Thank you all so much for supporting live acoustic music!

We are planning much more for the fall and beyond.

Joining the Acoustic Club gets you first notice before seats become available to the public, so that you get first dibs!


Richard Smith's

Chet Aktins 100th Birthday Party

Thursday June 20, 2024 7:30pm

SOLD OUT!


Much of the traditional music of Appalachia, including Bluegrass, originated in the stories of the Celts, Irish and Brits that were passed down through song and dance. Many of those dealt with their struggles in the British Isles and migration to North America to escape famine, persecution and oppression. 


Kentuckian Merle Travis developed a playing style in 1930’s rooted in ragtime in which his thumb alternated a syncopated bass with chords while his index finger played the melody.  “Travis picking” became the base technique for Country and Chet Atkins’ complex, jazz influenced playing. This was the beginning of “fingerstyle” as exemplified by Tommy Emmanuel and many others in our series. 


Chet was known as the “country gentleman” for his generosity and sharing his techniques, including 11-year-old English protégé Richard Smith in the clip below, of whom Chet said “he can play anything I can, only better.”  Indeed, Richard is one of the most precise guitarists on the planet, playing Country, Jazz, Ragtime, Gypsy Jazz and almost anything else. He is a National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion.


Richard will return on September 26 as one third of the finest guitar trio on the planet - The Transatlantic Guitar Trio.



Chet Atkins: "He Can Play Anything I Can, Only Better."


Clive Carroll

The Music of John Renbourn & More

Monday July 22, 2024 7:30pm

2 Seats Left!


The music of the British Isles had a tremendous resurgence during the ‘60’s folk revival on both sides of the Atlantic, led by  groups in England including

Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny & Richard Thompson, and

Pentangle with Bert Jansch & John Renbourn.


Reared on American country and old time music, Clive’s breadth of musical curiosity traverses the worlds of soul, pop, funk, traditional Irish music to classical guitar.  He became a protégé of John Renbourn, who deemed his debut album “a milestone in the journey of the steel-string guitar”. For this concert, Clive will present Renbourn’s music along with his own compositions.


I Asked In 2015: "Who's The Finest Guitar Player I've Never Heard Of?" 

Tommy Emmanuel, Without Hesitation: "Clive Carroll. I Think He's Brilliant."



Upcoming 2024 Community Based Concerts


The Idiomatiques ~ Gypsy Jazz

Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan ~ Acoustic Blues

Leokane Pryor & Kimo West ~ Slack Key & Hula



Upcoming 2024 World Class 

International Acoustic Music 

Dinner Concerts

at SOhO 1221 State St.

in Downtown Santa Barbara



Joe Robinson

September 22, 2024


Presale to Acoustic Club available, on sale to public July 1

A uniquely skilled musician, Joe Robinson is widely regarded as one of the world’s top fingerstyle soloists, improviser, composer and songwriter. His signature musical touch, tenor voice and ability to seamlessly blend these elements allows him to create a sound that is truly one-of-a-kind and defies classification within any particular genre.

Joe has released seven studio albums and built a large following through his livestream concerts and videos, and coaching 20,000+ online guitar students. He has garnered praise from some of the biggest names in the industry and has been featured in prestigious publications like the Washington Post and New York Times.

Born in rural Australia, Joe grew up in a farmhouse with his three siblings, where his parents raised cattle, horses, sheep, dogs, chickens, and even snakes. At just 13 years old, Joe won the Australian National Songwriting competition, and at 17, he took home the top prize on Australia’s Got Talent. By the time he turned 18, Joe had already performed over 1000 concerts, including earning first place at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles and moved to Nashville, where he spent the next decade collaborating with some of the city’s best studio musicians, songwriters and producers, including Tommy Emmanuel, Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris.


“Joe is, of course, renowned for being a virtuoso guitarist. But after several listens to his latest offering (Borders), i’m of the opinion that as a singer and songwriter, he also belongs in a league with such mega-selling artists as Charlie Puth and Harry Styles. But don’t just take my word for it, get a copy of the album and see for yourself.”

-Grammy Award Winner Rodney Crowell


“It would be fair to say that guitar phenomenon, Joe Robinson, has little left to prove. Yet, he keeps moving the bar musically and artistically in virtually any direction his hybrid talent and sonic-soul leads him. Robinson doesn’t just dabble, he succumbs and embraces each style, demonstrating grace and fluidity in each he undertakes. I have to wonder if categories apply to his body of recorded fretwork.”

-Minor7th


“Real-time acoustic guitar solos, filled with so much springy counterpoint that sometimes it's hard to believe he's playing alone.”

-New York Times


"Breathtaking electric and acoustic guitar virtuosity"

-Guitar Player Magazine


"In a city of monster guitar players, Joe Robinson is a dragon slayer."

-Nashville Scene


Transatlantic Guitar Trio

September 26, 2024


Presale to Acoustic Club available, on sale to public July 1

This extraordinary guitar trio features three very different members with very different backgrounds. Richard Smith is an International Fingerstyle Guitar champion from London England. He is a soloist and master of just about any and all guitar styles from Chet Atkins to Merle Travis to Jerry Reed to Scott Joplin and more! German Joscho Stephan is a true virtuosos, known the world over for his sensational Django Reinhardt "Gypsy Jazz" style. Joscho's guitar skills are so special you will be left breathless just watching him. The brilliant Rory Hoffman is a master of many instruments from guitar to keyboards, accordion, harmonica and all reed instruments. Rory has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry many times as a soloist and sideman to Ricky Skaggs, Kathy Mattea, Kacey Musgraves and more.


Since their very first live premier with us in 2019, they have pushed each other to new heights in which the sum is greater than the parts, and are guaranteed to be fabulous.  These three diverse stylists have become so harmonious in the music they have created that audiences tend to cheer while watching "note play" bordering on the impossible! Combining jazz ballads, gypsy swing standards, a pinch of pop music and original compositions to create a broad repertoire, Transatlantic is stunningly authentic, and the finest guitar trio in the world… by far.



Upcoming 2025 Acoustic Music Concerts


Calum Graham


January 16, 2025


Brooks Robertson


2025


Alberto Lombardi


October 26, 2025


Join the Acoustic Club for $20pp

to receive invitations to these world class shows and many more.

Send a message here to get instructions to join the Club &

let us know what UnPlugged shows - Joscho, Richard or Clive - you'd like to come to.

If you send a note, but don't hear back, be sure to check your spam folder

and make SBAcoustic a safe sender.

All donations go directly to supporting the series.


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So Much Great Music!

It's been an honor & privilege to host live music

by over 100 of of the world’s great string (and more) players since 2016.  

We are so fortunate to have such talent amongst us who have the

freedom of expression to do what they do.

Don't take it for granted ~ get out and enjoy it while you can;

the musicians and venues need you now more than ever.

Thanks for your support.

A Call 2 Peace

(with Federico Ramos,

Eduardo Del Signore,

Scarlet Rivera &

Ron Wagner)

Don Alder

Muriel Anderson

Paul Asbell

Tom Ball & Kenny Sultan

Adrian Bellue

PIerre Bensusan

Claude Bourbon

Trace Bundy

Clive Carroll

Michael Chapdelaine

Nick Charles

Chucumite

Craig D’Andrea

Alex DeGrassi

Diego Garcia (Twanguero)

Jerry Douglas

(with Maura O’Connell

& a huge band)

Antoine Dufour

Ken Emerson (w/ Kimo West)

Tommy Emmanuel

(with Richard Smith

& Brooks Robertson)

Vicki Genfan

Nina Gerber & Chris Webster

Teja Gerken & Doug Young

Goh

Trevor Gordon Hall

Mark Hanson

The Hot Club of Nashville

(with Richard Smith,

Annie Sellick,

Pat Bergeson,

Aaron Till,

Charlie Chadwick &

Josh Hunt)

The Idiomatiques

(with Craig Sharmat,

George Quirin,

Kim Collins &

Frank Petrilli/

Brian Mann)

Claude LaFlamme

Christie Lenee

David Lindley

Michael Lorimer

Nick Johnson

J2B2

(with John Jorgenson,

Herb Pederson,

Patrick Sauber &

Mark Fain)

Laurence Juber

Justin King

Kaki King

Alberto Lombardi

Marley's Ghost

(with Jerry Fletcher,

Ed Littlefield Jr.,

Bob Nichols,

Mike Phelan,

Dan Wheetman &

Jon Wilcox)

Sean McGowan

Tony McManus

Maria Muldaur

(with John Jorgenson &

Simon Planting)

Kai Narezo

Kinloch Nelson

George Quirin

Gareth Pearson

Abby Possner

Donovan Raitt

Del Rey

Brooks Robertson

Joe Robinson

Jose Antonio Rodriguez

Sam ’n’ Ash

Richard Smith

Tim Sparks

Joscho Stephan Trio

(with Sven Jungbeck

& Volker Kamp)

Walter Strauss

Luca Stricagnoli

Kenny Sultan

Taimane

Sofia Talvik

The Transatlantic Trio

(with Richard Smith,

Joscho Stephan & 

Rory Hoffman)

Hiroya Tsukamoto

Andres Vadin Project

(with Yosmel Montejo,

Diego Alvarez Muñoz,

Manuel Gutiérrez &

Jade Valdes)

Dani Vargas & Jenna Columbet

Carl Verheyen Acoustic Band

(with Dave Marotta

John Mader)

Willie Watson

Kimo West

Andrew York


"The guitar can truly change the world...we've seen that in ministry and education;
it has affected international borders. It's a very dangerous tool." (Richard Hoover, with a smile)

Background image: Benedetto Guitars