Sam Pacetti: Fast Fingers On 6 Strings

A stroll along the St. George Street corridor will engage all of the senses. There is so much to see, smell and hear on any given day, especially if you happen by the Milltop Tavern. Guitarist Sam Pacetti has become part of the quintessential St. Augustine experience with his deft playing, songwriting skills and impassioned vocals.

Growing up in North Florida, Pacetti credits Chet Atkins and Merle Travis as his earliest musical influences. But he found a kindred spirit in legendary finger picker Gamble Rogers of St. Augustine who took the young player under his wing and guided him through the folk process.

The pair played together every week for a year until Rogers’ untimely in Flagler Beach in 1991. During his time with Rogers, Pacetti learned the value of the oral storytelling tradition passed from teacher to student. Tradition and innovation are strong elements of the American primitive school of guitar and those techniques are exhibited throughout his work.

photo: Robert Futrell
photo: Robert Futrell

He recently celebrated the release of his latest CD July 18 with a concert at Post to Post Links II error: No link found for term slug "Limelight Theatre" in St. Augustine and an event July 24 at the Mudville Grille in Jacksonville. His music is available at

Pacetti recorded his first album ‘Solitary Travel’ in 1997 after a benefactor generously funded studio time and production as a Christmas present. Pacetti released two more albums including a live album ‘Live at the Milltop Tavern’ and ‘Union’, a collaboration with friend and producer Gabriel Valla.

That tradition echoes through Pacetti’s work and it’s largely word of mouth that draws people to him like moth to flame. His music exhibits a powerful vulnerability that has earned a dedicated following spread in the grassroots tradition, folk festivals and in the stories of those who have shared in the musical experience.

Sam will be performing on Saturday, August 15 at the Riverside Arts Market and again on Saturday, September 5 at 5:20 p.m. on Hypolita Street stage during St. Augustine’s 450 Celebration.


About Liza Mitchell

october, 2021