published Friday, April 29th, 2011

Doyle Dykes: six-string disciple

Doyle Dykes has been playing music for more than 45 years. Those decades of study let his fingers move over the strings of his guitar with quicksilver dexterity, pulling off complex melodies with an easy, disarming grace.

As a signature artist for Taylor Guitars, Dykes is charged with writing for the company’s quarterly magazine, Wood & Steel, and he regularly updates his blog, Hello From Doyle (

When he began writing his first book, “The Lights of Marfa,” however, Dykes drew not on his experience as a writer but on his lifelong association with God.

To him, faith and music are inextricably intertwined.

“People ask me all the time, ‘How can you talk about God even in a secular setting like a theater or a festival? It must be hard,’ and I say, ‘It’s hard not to,’” Dykes said, during a phone interview from his home in Cleveland, Tenn.

“That’s just the way it is, who I am,” he continued. “I can’t separate my music and my experience with the Lord. It all tied in together at an early age.”

“The Lights of Marfa” recounts tales from Dykes’ life, from his stint as a pastor of a small church in his native Florida to his experiences as a soloist at the Grand Ole Opry.

At the conclusion of each chapter, Dykes includes a list of relevant Scriptures, and there are pictures throughout of the gear he uses onstage. The book serves as a fitting congealing of the greatest influences in Dykes’ life since he raised his hands at age 11 and asked God to “give me a job to do, and I’ll always tell them about you.”

Dykes will put his dual devotion on display tonight when he takes the stage at Silverdale Baptist Church for a concert for Prison Prevention Ministries.

Dykes has performed all over the world (he was once chased over Australia by a sandstorm), but he looks forward to the Prison Prevention Ministries show because it ties together his two great loves.

“I love that ministry,” he said of PPM, which works with at-risk youth and former offenders.

“The folks over there are really great,” he said. “I think they’ve been very effective in this area.”

Q & A

Q&A with Doyle Dykes


What: Prison Prevention Ministries presents a concert with Doyle Dykes.

When: 7 p.m. today (doors open at 6:30 p.m.).

Where: Silverdale Baptist Church, 7236 Bonny Oaks Drive.

Admission: $10 donation.

Phone: 622-5768.

Venue website:


1996: “Fingerstyle Guitar”

1997: “HEAT”

1998: “Gitarre 2000”

2000: “Zelf: A Self Portrait on Guitar”

2001: “Country Fried Pickin’ ”

2003: “Songs of Faith and Freedom”

2004: “Chameleon”

2008: “Bridging the Gap”


Fingerstyle guitar guru Doyle Dykes said he’s considering working on a second book based on his tales of Christmas with an accompanying soundtrack of Christmas music. Dykes said he is also developing a musical show he will host on the RFD-TV network.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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