Born in the coal camp hamlet of Beech Creek, Steve Rector learned his first guitar chords from his dad. His first encounter with thumb-picking was through a preacher that worked with his father in the mines, Mose Rager, Merle Travis’ mentor. Steve had a conversion experience with guitar styles that day and knew he would wear a thumbpick as long as he was able to play.
With a robust and joyful style, Rector likes playing old standards and sometimes ventures into popular songs, including rock and pop. Having recorded everything from Eric Clapton’s "Lay Down Sally" to the television theme song from The Waltons, Rector is a key figure in the music of his region. He holds back-to-back recognition as National Thumb-picking Champion. Steve’s music is heard weekly on the popular television show, Kentucky Afield, a Kentucky Educational Television production.