When I moved to Indiana in 2005, I met a retired pastor who had served a church in southwest Indiana. While serving that church, he became acquainted with Merle Travis’ brother, John, who showed him the Travis thumb-and-finger style.
This pastor and I met at a men’s retreat and had the opportunity to play together. He showed me the style and gave me a thumbpick (a Fred Kelly speed pick), saying, “See what you can do with this.”
It was like falling in love with my guitar all over again.