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Buster B. Jones (1959-2009)

February 5, 2009

I just learned that Buster B. Jones died on Feb 2nd. What a sad loss for guitar fingerpickers everywhere. Buster was a fabulous entertainer and the sound of a guitar in his hands was nothing short of astounding. He played with amazing virtuosity and yet it all sounded so simple. It wasn’t. I will never forget the time at the 1999 Chet Atkins Appreciation Convention where I was sitting at a vendor’s booth noodling around on a guitar. Buster walks by, listens for a moment, compliments my playing, grabs a nearby guitar and together we began to jam. Before long, I’m totally lost and at the same time totally absorbed by the moment of sitting next to one of the world’s greatest fingerpickers. We shook hands and then he autographed my program card which I still have hanging on the wall in my office.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Thom Bresh said this about Buster http://breshman.com/news/ : “Those who got to know him will never forget him. Those who heard him play knew they had just witnessed a master at what he did. Those who play the guitar would understand their limitations. For the past 25 years, he and I traveled all over the United States and Europe playing our guitars and soaking up life. Taking the stage with him was like some sort of magical ride that only we understood. Time will heal the hurt of losing a friend, but playing the guitar will never be the same again.”

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Todd permalink*
    February 5, 2009 7:41 pm

    I remember that day you met Buster. Daren and I were watching as he was helping you out on the Roland Guitar Synth. I was awe-struck. I had one of my guitar heroes right in front of me. When he started playing Mr. Sandman with the piano patch I almost lost it.

  2. Bob permalink
    February 5, 2009 8:44 pm

    More information about Buster’s life, music and death can be found here:

    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/193586

  3. Jessica permalink
    February 23, 2009 10:36 pm

    I’ll miss my dad for the rest of my days. He was More amazing then anyone could ever immagine. And I love him dearly.

  4. Bob permalink
    February 24, 2009 8:57 am

    Dear Jessica,

    Thank-you for your comment about your dad. The four of us on this blog have witnessed his amazing talents with a guitar. I’m not aware that he played any concerts in Minnesota and would have loved to see him at events other than at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society conventions. Still, it’s my sense that he was at “the top of his game” at CAAS. I recently watched an instructional DVD of Buster playing some Jerry Reed tunes. It’s a nice connection I have to Buster – working on some of those tunes.

    Any memories you’d like to post about your dad would be much appreciated. I wish you all the best as you work through the grief of his death. Know that his memory will linger long with those of us who in reality only knew him in passing. But what a memory he made.

    Take care, my dear.

    Most Sincerely,

    The Four Guys Who Know Nothing – but we knew Buster.

  5. Colin Wells permalink
    March 26, 2009 4:43 pm

    I find myself with the greatest sadness, shock and despair in hearing the news of the death of Buster B Jones. His tutorial videos have the simple magic of one to one communication. His slow and simplistic delivery of tutorage, showed a magnificent understanding of the pupil’s needs, and the requirement needed by not so talented a player to grasp the sometimes very difficult task at hand. He was an extraordinary teacher.
    I offer my sincere heartfelt condolences to his immediate family and friends.
    Chet, Jerry, Buster….It’s a sad time for the people who love music, and the feeling of loss is incalculable.

  6. Doy LeVan permalink
    April 9, 2009 6:29 pm

    This is for Jessica. The first time I met your dad, was in Nov. 1999 at the first annual North Carolina Thumb and Fingerstyle Guitar Players concert, in Statesville, NC. He treated me like we were old friends. I did not get to stay long enough to hear him perform, but all I heard for the next year was how impressive he was, not just as a player, but as a personable man. The next year, I was doing some last minute work to the stage the night before it was to begin. It was late, and as I drove into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn where it was to be held, I saw your dad walking across the parking lot. We walked in together and as I worked, he talked. He said that he had a bit of a cold that he had probably caught from his “grandbaby.” I really did not say very much but he sat there for over an hour talking about you and his “grandbaby.” I know he loved you very much.

  7. April 30, 2010 11:24 am

    Hello let me present you LA NOTE PICKING a music structure dedicated to Fingerstyle guitar , lesson my radio show in memory to Buster B jones http://www.otoradio.com/hommage-a-buster-bjones-dans-les-joyeux-pickers
    Buster is a fantastic guitar player
    Best
    Eric

  8. Anonymous permalink
    November 21, 2011 3:29 am

    One of the greatest guitarists I will ever have had the pleasure of listening too! Inspired by the late Jerry reed, He inspired me to play ! Rest In Peace!!
    P.S Only the good die young!!!!

  9. Anonymous permalink
    March 26, 2013 4:55 pm

    For the love God, will someone please tell me why all the greats go so fast. I just recently found Buster. Same thing happened with Danny Gatton. Both gone before I could pay homage. Bet Danny and Buster knew eachother… Bank on it. So young, what happened? He is surely missed by all those who know music

  10. DRMyers permalink
    April 12, 2013 9:10 pm

    I have been listening to Buster on Youtube and smiled when he said “I play with a limp”, referring to some limitations with his pinky finger. God only knows where Buster’s limp or disability would be, because no one here on Earth could find it. God bless Buster and his family. -DRM, Tallahassee

  11. scott van sant permalink
    June 1, 2013 3:36 pm

    WOW Its so funny that someone else feels the same way. when I found Danny gatton i looked in the paper ever day to see when hes coming to town. for a few yrs.
    only to learn of his death. shame, buster and danny had the same issues im sure, just handled them differently. rip to both

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