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THE best lineup of Top Guitar Players Anywhere. Period.

Welcome to the Lord of the Strings website! 

2023 marks our 21st year of bringing you the best in acoustic music!

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Clive Carroll - 2


Born in England, Clive began his musical journey in Chelmsford, Essex.  His parents had a taste for American country and old time music and it wasn’t long before Clive was playing in the family band on a homemade banjo.  By his early teens, guitar in hand, Clive was traversing the worlds of soul, pop, funk, and traditional Irish music, balancing his affinity for Slayer with the etudes of Tárrega.
This breadth of musical curiosity was to become one of his strengths; even as a kid Clive was as comfortable accompanying a group of folk singers as he was jamming along to Nirvana, or reading charts on banjo and guitar in theatre orchestra pits.

Clive went on to earn a 1st Class Honours Degree in Composition and Guitar from the famed Trinity College of Music in London, all the while balancing his classical work with forays into the world of the steel string guitar.  By the time he graduated from Trinity, Clive had not only penned orchestral works,  he had written an album’s worth of solo acoustic guitar music. A chance meeting with English guitar legend John Renbourn proved the catalyst for Clive’s debut album, “Sixth Sense”, which Renbourn deemed “a milestone in the journey of the steel-string guitar”.  He subsequently took Clive on the road with him and the pair toured North America and Europe together, launching Clive’s solo performing career.

Since then he has worked with guitar greats such as John Williams, Tommy Emmanuel, Xuefei Yang, Ralph Towner, D'Gary, and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. He has toured across Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and North America.
To date, Clive has released four solo albums; “Sixth Sense”, “The Red Guitar”, “Life in Colour” and "The Furthest Tree".
Clive has also written, performed, and conducted music for television and film, most notably collaborating with John Renbourn to compose the music for the film “Driving Lessons”, which features Julie Walters and Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame.

2000 -  “Probably the best and most original young acoustic guitarist/composer in Britain.” -  Acoustic Guitar Magazine USA
2021 - “...arguably the most accomplished fingerstylist in the world today...” - Total Guitar Magazine

One show only

Mission Viejo Civic Center
SATURDAY - July 20, 2024
​Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm.

LJ Downtown-front-1-732x1024






“Juber scores high marks for the clarion precision of his playing and for his tasteful arrangements” – Downbeat

“A Master!“-  Pete Townshend, The Who

“The melodies, textures and harmonies he coaxes out of an acoustic guitar are absolutely spellbinding.” – Guitar Player Magazine

“One of the world’s most remarkable acoustic guitarists.” – The South China Post

GRAMMY® winning guitarist Laurence Juber is a solo performer, recording artist, composer and arranger. His playing fuses folk, jazz, blues, pop and classical styles, creating a multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument.

A music graduate of London’s Goldsmith’s College, he was featured guitar soloist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra before becoming established as a studio musician in the mid-1970’s. First internationally recognized as lead guitarist in Beatle Paul McCartney’s Wings, with whom he won a Grammy, Juber has since established himself as world-renowned guitar virtuoso and entertainer.

Juber, known to his fans as LJ, has recorded more than two dozen albums which spotlight his unique touch and tone on acoustic guitar. His latest release, A Day In My Life, is a collection of a dozen of his celebrated arrangements of Beatles songs recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios , where the band recorded most of their music. As well as being available on all the streaming services, it is being offered in a limited edition 180 gram vinyl LP format. His previous release, Select Blends,  is a ‘virtually’ live album pulled from his over 250 livestream performances during Covid lockdown.

His LJ Plays The Beatles was voted one of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s all-time Top Ten albums. His solo arrangement of The Pink Panther Theme earned him a second Grammy, while his arrangement of Stand By Me was heard nationally in a Diamonds Are Forever commercial. Juber’s DVD-Audio project Guitar Noir (AIX Records) won a CES Demmy award for best audio.

Juber has four guitar folios in print. The latest, The Evolution of Fingerstyle Guitar was published by Hal Leonard in January 2019. His ‘photo memoir’ Guitar With Wings was recently published by Dalton Watson Fine Books.

As a studio musician, he can be heard on recordings from artists as diverse as Harry Styles, Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, Seal and the French chanteuse Sylvie Vartin, plus he is featured on the soundtracks to hundreds of TV shows such as Home Improvement and movies including the academy award-winning Dirty Dancing, Good Will Hunting and Pocahontas.

Juber co-composed the soundtrack of the award-winning video game Diablo III and scored the NBC Dateline documentary Children Of The Harvest. His music is also featured in the Ken Burns’ documentary The Tenth Inning.

With his wife Hope, he composed the score to A Very Brady Musical and the ever-popular Gilligan’s Island: The Musical

He is the arranger for Part Of  The Plan, a musical featuring songs by Dan Fogelberg that was recently workshopped in London under the direction of Marc Bruni (director of Beautiful on Broadway.)

One show only

Mission Viejo Civic Center
SATURDAY - August 17, 2024
​Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm.

Martin Taylor


GRAMMY nominated musician  Dr. Martin Taylor, MBE, is a virtuoso guitarist, composer, educator and musical innovator whom magazine calls  ‘THE Acoustic Guitarist of his Generation’.

Widely considered to be the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and fingerstyle guitar playing, Martin possesses an inimitable style that has earned him global acclaim from fellow musicians, fans and critics alike. He dazzles audiences with a signature style that artfully combines his virtuosity, emotion and humor with a strong, engaging stage presence.

Taylor has enjoyed a remarkable musical career spanning across five decades, with more than 100 recordings to his credit. Completely self-taught beginning at the early age of 4, he has invented and developed a unique way of playing the guitar that is greatly admired, and often emulated, by guitarists all over the world.

In addition to his solo concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genres, including: Jeff Beck, Tommy Emmanuel, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, George Harrison, Jamie Cullum, Bryn Terfel, Dianne Schuur and Gary Burton.

Taylor brings a rich and varied musical heritage to his play, to the extent that Tommy Emmanuel remarked that [Taylor] is “a portal into all that came before.”
Over his stellar career, Taylor has amassed a record 14 British Jazz Awards as a guitarist. Several of his albums have been in the Top 10 in the USA and Europe.


“She has the ability, rare in all but the best jazz singers, to make even the most frequently heard, over-recorded standards sound fresh and interesting.” – Jazz Journal

“Burns’s voice strikes the right balance between sensitivity and power”
– HMV Choice

“Scotland’s foremost jazz singers” – Glasgow Herald

“Wonderful” – Michael Parkinson Show BBC Radio 2

“a collection of classic jazz torch songs set to race up the charts” – Daily Express

“Impressive….superb” – Crescendo Magazine

“Burns confirms her pedigree with the lightest of touches – imperceptibly hurrying a word here, turning another into a soft hoot, stretching a sound into a whispered glissando.” – The Guardian

“triumphant…a voice full of confidence and authority”
– China Sunday Morning Post

One show only

Mission Viejo Civic Center
SATURDAY - September 7, 2024
​Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm.

Transatlantic Guitar Trio


This extraordinary guitar trio features three very different members with very different backgrounds.  Richard Smith is an International Fingerstyle Guitar champion from London England.  He is a soloist and master of just about any and all guitar styles from Chet Atkins to Merle Travis to Jerry Reed to you name it!  Joscho Stephan is from Germany and a true superstar, known the world over for his sensational Django Reinhardt "Gypsy Jazz" style.  Joscho's guitar skills are so special you will be left breathless just watching him.  Rory Hoffman is from North Dakota and a master of many instruments from Guitar to keyboards, accordion, harmonica and all reed instruments.  Rory has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry many times as a soloist and sideman to Ricky Skaggs, Kathy Matea and Kacey Musgraves to name a few.  These three diverse styles  become so harmonious in the music they have created that audiences tend to cheer while watching "note play" bordering on the impossible!

One show only

Mission Viejo Civic Center
SATURDAY - September 28, 2024 - NOTE CHANGED DATE
​Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm.

Richard Smith - 2


Smith was born in Beckenham, England. He picked up the guitar when he was five years old after watching his father playing an Atkins and Travis version of "Down South Blues". He begged his father, a longtime Atkins admirer, to introduce him to the fingerpicking style. Smith soon became a child prodigy on the guitar. As a kid he could play the entire discographies of Django Reinhardt and Chet Atkins. At the age of 11 he shared the stage with his idol when Atkins invited Smith to play with him at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. He was also influenced by guitarist Big Jim Sullivan and briefly studied jazz guitar with Shane Hill at Warlingham School, Surrey.

He formed the Richard Smith Guitar Trio with his brothers Rob and Sam before marrying American cellist Julie Adams and moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 1999.  He founded the Hot Club of Nashville, a jam band with a varying lineup that included John Jorgenson, Pat Bergeson, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan, combining gypsy jazz and western swing. Smith performs as a solo act and a duo with his wife. His repertoire includes country, bluegrass, blues, ragtime, folk, jazz, pop, and classical music.  In 1999 he won the AFG Golden Thumbpick Award.

Smith won the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas in 2001. The National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame named him Thumbpicker of the Year in 2008 and 2021 and inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 2009.  He received the Golden Thumbpick Award by the Association of Fingerstyle Guitarists.

Richard has played with Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Nato Lima, Boots Randolph, Tommy Emmanuel, John Jor­genson, Marcel Dadi, Tommy Tedesco, Joe Pass, Biréli Lagrène, Mark O'Connor, Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Martin Taylor, Jorge Morel, Earl Klugh, Suzy Bogguss, Victor Wooten, John Cowan and countless more.

One show only

Mission Viejo Civic Center
SATURDAY - October 19, 2024
​Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm.

Carl Verheyen Band


In his 50-plus years of playing the instrument, Carl has created a wildly successful, multi-faceted career. He is a critically acclaimed musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, producer and educator with sixteen albums and two live DVDs released worldwide. Carl is commonly regarded as a guitar virtuoso capable of playing any style of music with remarkable mastery and conviction. He has been one of LA’s elite “first call” session players for the past 40 years, playing on hundreds of records, movie soundtracks and television shows. Verheyen has graced the pages of countless industry publications and been the subject of numerous articles chronicling his rise to the forefront of the modern-day guitar scene. Carl has won numerous polls and musical honors in the US, Germany, France, Italy and the UK.

A member of the smash hit British rock group Supertramp since 1985, Carl has played to millions of enthusiastic fans in sold out arenas worldwide. As the creative force behind the Carl Verheyen Band, he has released an impressive and eclectic discography that showcases his endless talents across a wide array of musical genres. The CVB tours all over the world and continues to draw fans on the festival circuit as well as theaters and clubs. Carl also works with Police drummer Stewart Copeland in his PDO project, playing the music of the Police with symphony orchestras around the USA.

A much sought-after studio musician, Carl plays on other artists’ CDs whenever his busy schedule permits. He has recorded and played with a virtual who’s who of the music industry. His vast collection of movie soundtrack and television credits is enviable. Carl was heard by 67,000,000 people as a featured soloist at the 2009 Academy Awards. He is also heavily featured in the film documentary about the electric guitar, Turn It Up!

One show only

Mission Viejo Civic Center
SATURDAY - December 7, 2024
​Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm.