Steve Wariner Looks Back on Receiving CGP From Chet Atkins
Steve Wariner was one of only a handful of guitarists ever to receive the coveted CGP title from Chet Atkins, and he pays tribute to his friend and mentor and that honor in a track on his new album, All Over the Map.
Wariner, Jerry Reed, Tommy Emmanuel and John Knowles were the only guitarists Atkins ever recognized with the CGP -- Certified Guitar Player -- honor, which, although it was not a formalized award, carried a great deal of weight coming from the legendary player. Reed passed away in 2008, but Wariner invited Emmanual and Knowles to join him on "CGP," a track on the new record.
He has fond memories of receiving the honor from his friend and mentor. It happened at a Nashville club called Caffe Milano, where Atkins played a weekly Monday night gig for part of the 1990s.
"I was up against Chet for a Grammy, same category, and he beat me," Wariner tells Taste of Country with a laugh. "He left me a message before the awards, and he said, 'Steve, I'm voting for you on the Grammys. I hope you win it. You should win it.' And then he said, 'I have 16 Grammys anyway, and I use them for door stops.' Click! And hung up on me."
After Atkins won, he called Wariner's wife and told her to make sure he came to Atkins' gig the following Monday. When he arrived, there were photographers and a camera crew.
"He gave me the CGP award that night," Wariner recounts. "He made me a CGP during his show, and he also reached down behind his amp and gave me his Grammy. He gave me his Grammy and made me a CGP in the same night!"
Wariner's new album also features guest performances from Ricky Skaggs, Eric Johnson and Duane Eddy.
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