Billy McLaughlin – Guitarist, Entertainer and Man on a Mission
One of the greatest musical comeback stories of all time …
CLICK ON IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO: Billy McLaughlin Biography
To attend a Billy McLaughlin concert is a deeply moving experience. We learned this for the first time on Oct 1st (see previous post below for details) There is the incredible music he creates, the warmth and heart he conveys and the inspiring message he shares. Challenged to his core by the onset of Focal Dystonia and the apparent end of both a highly successful music career and his life’s passion, Billy has chosen to move forward in life focusing on what works rather than on what doesn’t. His ability to relearn and master his musical craft as a left-handed player is just one example of this. He role as a spokesperson and advocate for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is yet another.
We are grateful to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville for hosting the evening with Billy and grateful to area advocates of Dystonia awareness, specifically Marilynne Herbert.
Our gratitude extends to Billy for showcasing the first left-handed Lichty in the following video:
Billy McLaughlin Lichty Guitar Performance
Original Post: September 7th, 2011
Two notable things happened today at Lichty Guitars: Jay’s first handcrafted left handed guitar was getting prepped for strings and we got a phone call introducing us to the music of Billy McLaughlin, a once right handed / now left handed professional guitarist. We sit up and take notice when such a synchronicity happens and by paying attention today we became aware of a medical disorder impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
We’ve purchased our tickets for his upcoming concert in Asheville, have made a contribution to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and we’re taking time to spread the word.
On October 1st the amazing guitarist/musician Billy McLaughlin will be in Asheville, NC to perform and to build awareness about a little known medical disorder called focal dystonia. Billy’s guitar skills and talents are so extraordinary that any music-lover would find themselves awestruck. To have the opportunity to attend one of his live performances is quite a gift and, as of this writing, tickets are still available. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville is hosting this event.
What makes this event truly profound are the obstacles he has faced to reclaim a life of music that, at one time, he thought he had lost and the spokesperson he has become. Billy is the first Ambassador for Public Awareness for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and has been awarded the international 2010 Leadership in Public Neurology Award at the American Academy of Neurology conference held in Toronto. Previous winners of the award include Paul Allen, Julie Andrews, Leon Fleischer and Michael J. Fox.
This story is best shared through excerpts from www.billymclaughlin.com, video and via a feature story aired on the CBS Early Show.
Billy McLaughlin has been changing people’s idea of what an acoustic guitar can sound like since the 1980’s.
‘…you may swear Billy McLaughlin is two of the greatest acoustic guitarists you’ve ever heard.” – Pittsburgh Post Gazette
‘… it’s amazing that such an extensive sound comes from one instrument.”
– Chicago Sun Times
“Anyone who has witnessed a Billy McLaughlin concert can attest to how mind-bending this type of performing can be.” — Jim Dombrowski , Michigan Fingerstyle Guitar Society
“McLaughlin is well known in hard-core guitar circles as a mystical guitar guru.”
— Brookings Register
“When audience members close their eyes during a Billy McLaughlin performance, they don’t believe what they’re hearing is a single acoustic guitar. When they open their eyes, they don’t believe how he does it.” — Daily Mining Gazette
He is recognized as an innovative performer and composer who embraces the advantages of acoustic guitar amplification, unorthodox techniques and altered tunings while celebrating a gift for melody. His enormous yet fluid acoustic guitar tone has carried him around the world, to Billboard’s Top-Ten Chart and most recently through a devastating medical disorder called focal dystonia. McLaughlin has had to re-learn the guitar left-handed and is in the early stages of what might be described as ‘one of the great musical-comeback stories of all time.” His story is the subject of an award-winning documentary film called Changing Keys – Billy McLaughlin and the Mysteries of Dystonia.
Click on image to learn more …
CBS Early Morning Show Feature
The Return of Billy McLaughlin
We hope this story has moved you, inspired you and supports you in working through your own life challenges in the most empowered way.
Internationally acclaimed ukulele master Kimo Hussey will be giving concerts and ukulele playing workshops in the Carolinas in early November. First stop - a workshop in Asheville Nov. 6th. Learn more ...