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Posted on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Bill Kirchen, George Bedard presenting holiday guitar summit at The Ark

By Bob Needham


Bill Kirchen

photo by David Thrower

Fans of amazing pop-rock-blues-country guitar technique have a great opportunity to hear two hometown heroes Sunday night when Bill Kirchen and George Bedard unite for a "Honky Tonk Holiday" show at The Ark.

Kirchen is an acclaimed guitarist on the national level. More than fluent in a variety of styles, he first made his name with the Ann Arbor-born Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen; it's Kirchen responsible for the lightning guitar runs on that band's hit "Hot Rod Lincoln."

Kirchen's return to Ann Arbor for a holiday show has become an Ark tradition—as has the participation of Bedard, also a breathtaking instrumentalist who continues to make Ann Arbor home.


George Bedard

photo by Jeffrey Smith

Earlier this year, Bedard released a new album that he worked on for four years. "Pickin' Apart the Past" features classic jazz, swing and blues tunes reworked in Bedard's skilled, lively style.

The "Honky Tonk Holiday" show is set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at The Ark, 316 S. Main St. Tickets, at $20, are available from The Ark box office (with no service charge); Michigan Union Ticket Office, 530 S. State St.; Herb David Guitar Studio, 302 E. Liberty St.; or online from the Michigan Union Ticket Office.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.



Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Music at it's finest and most fun, and all of it from right here in Ann Arbor! Yes! These guys are guitar dynamite!

Jensen Lee

Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 12:35 a.m.

"Hot Rod Lincoln" is a cover of country singer Johnny Bond's 1960 hit, written by Charlie Ryan. On Rockaeology at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Bill Kirchen says of his famous guitar riff, "I thought I pretty much nailed it exactly but I go back now and it wasn't even close. But I like mine better and it was originality born of incompetence." The Commander, George Frayne, says that he picked the song because "I couldn't sing a note really, but I could talk fast."