This week my daughter Lexie and I performed at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a very impromptu gig that we kinda did at the last minute since we were playing in New York City two nights before for the Les Paul Tribute album release on which we had recorded. We decided to perform just the two of us and make it into a great father-daughter trip and we drove the whole way from New York. We tried to get in touch with many friends who we wanted to come to the show and some did but it was very hard because it was such a last minute gig. One thing that I can say is that even though the crowd was relatively small it was a lovely club to play (Douglas Corner Cafe), the audience was extremely enthusiastic. 

Arlen Roth

We decided to start off the show with Lexie performing songs from her latest album and I backed her up on those songs. And then for a change, she decided to hand the show over to me and let me do a bunch of solo acoustic numbers. This was a great way of us displaying all of our “wares” and it gave me an ample chance to display my instrumental prowess.

But overall, it’s just an amazing experience to be able to perform with your daughter and for me to watch her grow as an artist, a songwriter and as a performer who can communicate so well with the audience and who is fast developing a repertoire and great body of work. Another great thing is how we are able to mix and match various instruments and how Lexie is enjoying playing with electric guitars these days while I may accompany her with either an acoustic or electric guitar. It’s extremely rewarding not to mention just the feeling of sharing these incredible times with her. It’s also very important to me as a professional musician who also happens to be her father to be able to show her “the ropes” and help her through all the experiences I’ve had as a musician through the years. She just has to take one look at my face as we walk into a club and we hear the music in the background and she gets the entire picture and knows exactly what’s going through my mind. But those experiences are all worthwhile and have an incredibly deep meaning to me and to her as well.

So, even though we share this rare connection I’m sure that many of you out there who are my friends and fans have had similar experiences with parents, spouses or children and I certainly hope you take stock of just how precious it is and how much all of this can really mean to you in your life and your career. So I’ll see you out there on the road and if you see us both you’ll be sharing in something very special indeed just like the audience last night did. 

Gibson.com’s Arlen Roth, affectionately known The King of All Guitar Teachers, is music lesson pioneer and the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar.