I did not come from a family of musicians, and I had no one close to me who could play an instrument. I was around 15 years old when I had my first contact with the guitar. First, it was a false start: my mother, who had noticed that I had a good ear for music and saw that I was getting good grades in my music classes, surprised me by enrolling me in a guitar class in our local youth center. Unfortunately, it wasn't much fun and I never looked forward to going.

 One Saturday morning, while doing the family shopping at the super market, my brother slipped a recording by Marcel Dadi into the cart. I remember it was a compilation called "Disque d'Or." When I returned home, I immediately put it on the record player and it didn't take but 30 seconds of listening to understand: If one can play like that on ONE guitar, then I would be a guitar player myself! I would dedicate my heart and soul to explore the art of fingerpicking.

  So, like many people from my generation in France, I had a 'jump start' thanks to Marcel Dadi. Using the tablature in his LPs, I began to forge ahead with my study of guitar technique. But, the most important revelation for me, while reading the liner notes of Marcel's recordings, was to discover the name of Chet Atkins. We were at the end of the 70's and at that time it was easy to find Chet's albums: I bought one, then five, then ten, then thirty, then every album that could be found in France. My discovery of Chet Atkins was like a tsunami. His perfect technique, mastery of sound, continuous creativity, eclecticism, and the width of his musical range became, and still are, permanent references for me. To work in his style, however, was not easy because it was impossible to find reliable Chet arrangements in notation or tablature.

  I had to transcribe by ear all of the tunes that I loved. In hindsight, although it is a long and frustrating journey with many questions, it was also a wonderful education and it gave me a deep appreciation for his playing...

  Listening to Chet Atkins, I became aware of the other guitar players with whom he wrote musical history. The first one was Jerry Reed, a monster player with an exceptional groove and a huge musical intelligence. He is the greatest composer for the guitar in this century. 
Working on Chet and Jerry’s music took years. After working a long time, all by myself in my room, I decided it was time to go to the place where Chet and Jerry had recorded all these records that had enchanted me for so many years: Nashville.

  I must thank my friend Pierre Danielou for convincing me to go there. It was a bit frightening for me, a little Frenchman, to pack my bags and go to the capital of ‘Country Music.’ Nevertheless, I found myself in a new, yet familiar home and this trip was the beginning of many things to come…   

  Pierre and I attended the convention of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society that traditionally takes place in July in a hotel in Nashville. The only problem was that there were an impressive number of the best guitar players of all styles. So I discovered that there is no better way to have your musical ego completely flattened!

   I saw in succession, Jim Nichols, Tommy Jones, Doyle Dykes  and others, followed by Chet Atkins, himself. If one has any illusions, this line up will certainly prove that there is still much more work to do!

   It was in that mood that I met Jim Nichols. He was sitting in the hall in the hotel and was playing a Jerry Reed song, which Chet had recorded called “East Wind.” I had transcribed this piece myself, but, when I hear Jim play it, I realized he might be able to show me some things that obviously had slipped by me. So I timidly asked him if he might grant me a quick lesson. I did not yet know that besides the fact that he is a musical genius, he is a man of immense generosity. He and his wife, Morning invited me to come to their room so that Jim and I could work quietly on some music. We played for two hours talking about our passion for the music of Chet Atkins. Jim and Morning had an appointment with Chet on the following day. I was very surprised when they told me that I just had to come along with them! That is how I met Chet at his office in Nashville. Morning Jim and I spent an hour and one half with him and what he taught me when I played for him made me think that all these years of work had not been for nothing, and finally everything was beginning…

 It is Jim, again, who encouraged me to perform on stage. From 1996, on a trip to Issoudun, where an important French guitar festival was taking place, he asked me to play with him. In 1997, I was pleased to be featured on a special concert organized by Romane at Issoudun. I shared the stage with Christian Escoudé, Sylvain Luc, Angelo Debarre, and Romane himself. I have been fortunate to perform in many situations in France and in the US. In 1998 in Nashville, Henno Althoff came to me and asked if I would be interested in recording for him. I was surprised and flattered at the same time, but I was not enthusiastic because I didn’t want to record solo. (I have found that one must be a exceptional guitarist to keep the interest of the listener for 45-60 minutes.) But Jimmy told me that I must not turn this offer down and he would record with me. Then, Tommy Emmanuel (incredible guitarist and showman that I had met in Issoudun in 1996 and with whom I had developed a relationship during our meetings in Nashville and Europe) proposed to play drums and bass. How can you refuse such a dream team? And so it is with these two accomplices that I committed my first CD, Struttin’. 

   Since then, I have had the great luck to be accompanied on stage by talented musicians that allow me to play in the same wonderful spirit. It is the spirit that I first discovered in Chet and Jerry’s music, where the guitar player’s music is enhanced and embellished by the addition of bass, drums and keyboards. In 2003, I had the privilege to record my second CD, Jump on It! Yes, again it is homage to Jerry. What can I say? I admire this guy! And anyway, I can do what I want!