Earl Dummer played his flattop Martin guitar during the folk music boom of the 1960s as part of the Shenandoah Trio. The group toured with Jimmy Rodgers among others and recorded for Billy Vaughan at DOT Records. Earl was greatly influenced by jazz great Barney Kessel who provided lessons for Earl and some sound advice. Earl was encouraged to listen closely to other players and add his own personal style to form a unique approach to his playing. Barney also suggested that Earl form his own group, which resulted in the Shenandoah Trio and several long playing albums for DOT.
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