So much to tell you this month.
First of all I'm delighted to report that the first stock of the HEARTSONGS album has sold out and a further 500 copies have been ordered. Please support the cause by ordering on line HERE
On August 2nd I went into the QE Hospital Radio station to do an interview and chat about the HEARTSONGS CD, my history with the hospital and the privilege of giving something back to a team of amazing people who basically saved my life.
I recently received the first production model of the VINTAGE JG guitar from JHS. This guitar was created in memory of my son Jamie. I was expecting just a slightly upgraded version of the original GG mahogany model, but believe me, this instrument has exceeded any expectations that I may have had. It is truly a beautiful instrument as you can see by the photographs.
It has Jamie's initials inlaid at the 12th fret of the fingerboard, has beautiful abalone inlay round the sound hole, has multiple wood binding around the body and inlay in the back and at the heel. The mahogany is a lovely golden brown. This model comes with a Fishman hum bucking sound-hole pickup and a gig bag.
I have already used it on stage and in the studio on a brand new tune (more of that shortly) its sound is excellent. The label inside reads "IN MEMORY OF DJ TANGO JAMIE GILTRAP." Needless to say I was quite emotional on seeing this guitar for the first time!
Hopefully it will be available to buy in October. A retail price has yet to be set, but you can bet your boots that it won't be out of reach for players who want a good sounding instrument at a very affordable price.
We as a family thank Paul Smith and all at JHS for bringing this guitar to the market place.
Our friend and webmaster Sue Holton had a very special landmark birthday recently, and I have had it mind for many months now to compose a special piece for her to mark this special occasion. The end result is a brand new GG piece entitled "The Constant Friend."
On the 28th of last month I went into my friend Terry Hill’s home studio to record it. I'm very pleased with the end result and not only that, I recorded it on my new JG guitar, and it recorded beautifully. It is so hard to try and describe the sound of an instrument, but this one has a very characteristic "woody" tone to it not unlike its old mahogany cousin, but somehow has a more refined sweetness to the sound. For anyone who would like to book some time in at Terry Hill's studio give him a call on 07581-355886. He is a great chap and good to work with.
I sent Sue the first basic guitar recording and was pleased to hear she likes it! I sent a copy at the same time to Paul Ward to see what magic he intends to weave on this new tune. I can't wait hear the end ‘orchestral’ result.
On the 4th of last month I attended a JHS event at The Chapters Arts centre Cardiff organised by Paul Brett and JHS. It was great to see John Etheridge and Ray Burley again and for us to perform Maddie Goes West, and A Dublin Day. The Living Room charity was the main recipient of funds raised that weekend. The charity helps people with depression and addictions. Our pal Carrie Martin was also one of the featured artists on the weekend. Carrie like myself is a JHS endorsee and owns several Vintage instruments including FOUR GG deluxe models, a GG Mahogany, a PB Viator guitar, a GG 12 string and a Vintage electric guitar. When I first met Carrie about 6 years ago she owned just one guitar! What have I done to the poor girl...grin.
Gigs of note last month include Hindolveston village hall in Norfolk. Thanks to all the folk there and Chris and Annie Abrams for hosting us.
The other one was Alstonfield village Hall in Derbyshire. A big THANKYOU to Martin Snodin, a man who has promoted many shows over the years, and in particular my Purcell Rooms concert with Virginia Luque. It was great to see him again and also old friend the gifted singer and multi-instrumentalist Anna Ryder who attended the concert. We have known Anna since the early days of the legendary Warwick Folk Club. Anna performs on occasion with Sally Barker.
Thanks to Malc Welch for the photo below.
On a personal note Hilary and I spent a lovely few days with my daughter in law Karen and my grandson Braden in beautiful Mudeford near Christchurch. It was a lovely bonding time for myself and Braden. This was all courtesy of our friends Russ and Carol Gannicott, who let us have the use of their chalet for the week.
Russ is very much involved in youth work and every week runs an open mic session at a local pub. Karen and I went along and of course I took my JG guitar and played a few tunes. It truly did my heart good to see Karen enjoy herself for a short while. The talent on the night was astonishing in particular a great singer songwriter called Lester Allen.
Sharing Days and Guitar Weekends
This month we have two teaching events for your diary. On the 8th is the Frodsham Sharing Day with a concert in the evening. There are still spaces left for any pickers out there who wish to attend. My special guest is one of the world’s finest 12 string guitarists Mr Paul Brett. The chosen piece for the weekend is taken from The Last of England album, 'Ania's Dream'.
Over the weekend of the 14th my friend Paul Roberts is hosting a teaching weekend in Lancashire.
All the details are on the website HERE
See you next month.