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Ray Flacke’s “Songs Without Words”

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A native of Sussex, England, Ray Flacke remains one of Nashville’s most respected guitarists of the past 30 years.

Influenced by the rock guitar of Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) and the honky-tonk of Roy Nichols (Merle Haggard), Flacke has contributed his trademark Telecaster stylings to the recordings of Marty Stuart, Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless, Janie Frickie, Emmylou Harris, Mark McGuinn, and Travis Tritt. His guitar work helped to fuel the success of Ricky Skaggs’ early hits — “Highway 40 Blues,” “Heartbroke,” and “Uncle Pen.”

In 1989 Flacke recorded his first instrumental album, “Untitled Island.” The 1990s found him on the road with Marty Stuart, filming instructional videos for Homespun Tapes, teaching privately and conducting guitar clinics around the United States.

Flacke’s “Tahitian Skies” was recorded twice by his hero Chet Atkins, first in 1990 with Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, then again in 1993 with The Chieftains, resulting in a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocal/Instrumental. Flacke performs this composition on “Songs Without Words.”

Despite his success behind the electric guitar, Flacke’s current aspirations lie in the acoustic realm. “Songs” is his first solo project.

“The phrase ‘superpicker’ applies perfectly to Ray Flacke.” — Carl Perkins

“Ray is a very aggressive, energetic player, and I think it’s a big plus to have him here in Nashville.” — Chet Atkins

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