Next on the roster for Friends of Boca Grande’s breakout Rhythm & Boots series is a special duo who bring us the sounds of country legends Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins. These unique sounds live on through Floyd’s grandson, pianist Jason Coleman, and Chet’s great-niece, guitarist Meagan Taylor. This one-of-a-kind performance will take place at the Boca Grande Community Center on Monday, Dec. 12.
For those who don’t know, Floyd Cramer’s unique “slip-note” piano style was an essential part of countless country, pop and rock hits in the 1950s and ‘60s. Made most famous by his smash hit, “Last Date,” Floyd’s signature sound is widely regarded as the standard for country piano.
Chet Atkins is known as one of the world’s pre-eminent guitar virtuosos and most prolific record producers. His innovative thumb-and-two-finger style brought him unparalleled success as a guitarist, and many of the records he produced for RCA have become classics.
The two have each been inducted into both the Country Music and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame, and their names are synonymous with the Nashville Sound they pioneered.
From a young age, it was evident that Jason Coleman had inherited his grandfather Floyd Cramer’s distinctive slip-note piano style, as it managed to slip its way into even the most elementary songs from his early piano lessons.
In addition to sharing the piano bench with his Grandad at home, Jason grew up performing with Floyd at his concerts and on national TV, and their close relationship formed the foundation upon which Jason has built his own career in music. Jason made his Grand Ole Opry debut at age 17, and two years later he played for the Medallion Ceremony recognizing Floyd’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In the years since, Jason has spent his career in the studio and on stage, producing his own collection of piano albums and touring from coast to coast in concerts that bring his grandfather’s signature piano style to new audiences.
Growing up in the family of guitar legend Chet Atkins, Meagan Taylor was surrounded by a heritage of music. And although Chet had taught Meagan to play the fiddle as a child, it wasn’t until she was 18 that she first picked up a guitar and turned to her Uncle Chester for guidance in the months before he passed away.
Since then, Meagan has continued to develop her innate guitar talent, deeply rooted in her uncle’s distinctive style, with the help of Chet’s closest friends and fans. (And she likes to say that she sings a little bit better than Chet.) She has recorded her own albums as well as several collaborations with Jason.
Though both Jason and Meagan were born and raised in Nashville, their paths didn’t cross until a coincidental meeting in 2004 at ages 19 and 20-something. (Jason is quick to say he is younger.) They soon discovered how much their upbringings and musical styles had in common, and they have been making music together ever since.
Also, the two are happily married … to other people. Jason, Meagan and their respective families make their homes in the Music City, proudly carrying on the legacies passed down by their legendary predecessors.
This concert is much more than just music. Jason and Meagan will share their own personal stories, photos and films of growing up with Grandad and Uncle Chester, and audiences will enjoy hearing tales of Nashville’s early recording days as told straight from the source. It’s all topped off by a series of video duets with Jason, Meagan and their legendary predecessors that you’ll have to see to believe. Call the Friends office for tickets and information or visit their website at friendsofbocagrande.org.