General News

September 2008 News Update

Update 27th Sept

It is with great sadness that I have just received the sad news that Paul Auden our first GG website webmaster passed away peacefully on the 11th of July. R. I. P. He had been fighting cancer for some time. I e-mailed him recently just to keep in touch and received this e-mail from his wife Carol. I feel SO sad, he was a nice guy. G.

"Dear Gordon and Hilary

I am so sorry to tell you both that Paul passed away on July 11th this year.

I had thought that I had made certain from Paul's address book that everyone would be informed when my son in law made all the phone calls back in July, but unfortunately you clearly had been missed. There were a few people that we couldn't contact at the time, and I'm still in the process of catching up with them too.

I do sincerely apologise for your not knowing, as I know that Paul had a great respect for you, and had a lot of fun working with you.

Up to the end he thought he could beat his cancer, stayed optimistic, but in the end to no avail. He was a patient in Compton Hospice, here in Wolverhampton, for the last few weeks of his life, and his departure was peaceful. In all the time he knew he had a terminal disease he had no pain, and I suppose this was the contributing factor to him not seeing his illness as terminal.

My best wishes to you both.
Have fun every day and enjoy life - both Paul's and my motto."


I'd like to send my condolences to Carole and the family, and I'm sure those of everyone who has visited Gordon's website since it's beginning.
Sue ( current GG webmaster )

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Update 22nd Sept

This Saturdays 3 Parts Guitar concert at Birmingham's Town Hall was a great success.
Read the Gordon's thoughts on the night and some reviews here then go to the photogallery section to see some pictures from the night ( 2 galleries )

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Update 5th Sept

The man in the pic taken last night after my Bury concert is the great Bill Leader, the man who produced my first two albums way back in 1966. Whenever I play in the area Bill always makes the effort to come along bless him. He's retired now.

This man is a legend among record producers and engineers. He was like a father to me in those oh so early days. He produced many of Bert Jansch's albums along with John Renbourn, Davy Graham and many many more. A great unsung hero as far as I'm concerned!

Pictured here are his wife Lynne and daughter Ani. Ani is a keen guitar player herself who favours the electric more than acoustic at the moment, but I'm sure she will grow out of it!


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This month will see the release of a stunning new book dedicated to FYLDE GUITARS.

The book has been two years in the planning and is a truly wonderful thing to own. The title is FYLDE GUITARS, THE FINEST HAND-MADE GUITARS & MANDOLINS. Full colour throughout, this hard back volume is a must for all lovers of guitars no matter what instrument they chose to play. This book really is a testament to the outstanding work that Roger Bucknall has created for the best part of 40 years.

FYLDE players reads like a who's who of world class musicians most of which are featured here. Needless to say I'm proud to have a significant presence throughout the book and I even take pride of place on the back cover where you can see me gazing lovingly at my prized collection of FYLDE guitars.

The various chapters cover Roger's history, his philosophy on guitar making and the materials he uses.

This book is a fine legacy to a dear friend and indeed one of the worlds finest guitar makers, and I know from various conversations with Roger that apart from telling the world about these fine instruments he wants to make it crystal clear that this is NOT a factory churning out guitars, but a small team of dedicated craftsmen making small numbers of beautiful instruments by hand with Roger at the helm making sure that every Guitar, Mandolin, Mandola, Bazouki and Cittern etc. is perfectly crafted to the enth degree and is the equal of any of the major makers anywhere in the world.

Roger's contribution to instrument making in this country is immeasurable, and you only have to look at all the respected players that use FYLDE instruments to know that this small workshop in Cumbria produces the finest instruments to be seen anywhere on the planet.

Oh dear, I think I have just gone off on one... grin. Seriously though, get your hands on a copy of this book, you wont regret it. It will give you hours of pleasure just glancing through its pages at these stunning works of art.

See the PDF file at the bottom of this page or visit FYLDE'S website where you can obtain details of where to purchase a copy. The price is £25 plus postage and packing. A bargain at twice the price methinks!


Make sure you tune in to Radio 2 starting September 8th as for five consecutive days I shall be the musical guest of Mr Ken Bruce and his Tracks of my Years feature, during his 9.30am - 12 show.


If you missed the shows, you these were the tracks Gordon chose,

Move It (1958 recording) ~ Cliff and the Shadows
Dreams Of Love ~ Bert Jansch
Steamroller ~ James Taylor
Substitute ~ The Who
Romeo And Juliet ~ Dire Straits
Nimrod ~ Los Angeles Philharmonic / c.Zubin Mehta
Tea For The Tillerman ~ Cat Stevens
Riverdance ~ Bill Whelan
Diana ~ Paul Anka
All My Loving ~ The Beatles

and you can hear him explain the reasons why here

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Things are building nicely for the Birmingham Town Hall concert on September 20th.

For those who saw any of the Three Parts Guitar shows that we did a year or so back and would like to see more then this show I hope will fulfil all of your expectations.

Myself along with Raymond Burley, John Etheridge, and maestro Rick Wakeman will be performing solo sets throughout the first half. The second half will see all four musicians on stage performing duo, trio and quartet pieces. As you will know by now, Rick and I have our stunning new album released this month, but unfortunately time has allowed neither myself and Rick to get any of the material together for the Brum show, instead we hope to do a possible one off concert sometime to feature much of the albums complex material. Having said all this you never know we may just be able to feature one of the pieces for the concert!


The exhibition to celebrate the British guitar maker will officially kick off on Saturday the 22nd of November at The Hub in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. There is a preview for invited guests on the 21st where our VERY special guest to open the event is non other than the great Julian Bream! We are SO lucky to get the great man to agree to this opening event. I then will perform a brief forty minute set for the assembled guests. In all honesty I find the thought of playing in front of probably the greatest guitarist in history a little daunting but hey I'm sure he will enjoy it!

There are a number of great concerts planned throughout the six week exhibition period at the Hub including my dear friend Ray Burley on the 28th of November with more shows featuring Martin Taylor and Martin Simpson together, possibly Newton Falconer, and the final concert on January the 3rd will see me hosting a show with my pal Tristan Seume, a local guitarist called Andy Taylor, and the young welsh guitar wizard Gareth Pearson. Details of all these concerts will be on the Hubs website very soon.

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There was a great review of Ray Burley's THE LONG ROAD HOME in Classical Guitar magazine, September 2008

"The acoustic guitar has many players with highly distinctive voices: their originality often stemming from being self-taught and forging musical careers unconventionally, paying dues in weird and wonderful places. Gordon Giltrap is one such musician whose unorthodox right hand technique has produced some wonderfully cascading tunes and a big sound. In this setting Raymond Burley, a player and arranger of considerable ability and sensitivity, has put together 55 minute's worth of Giltrap's pieces that date from recordings made between 1980 and 2006. Steve Marsh, in his liner notes, tells us that Burley has been able to arrange the music in standard tuning except for the odd dropped D, saving guitarists from re-tuning to some of Giltrap's myriad scordaturas. He also tells us the excellent news that the scores are available through Lathkill Music Publications.

So, how to describe Gordon Giltrap's musical world to someone who has never heard his music. His penchant for renaissance era flourishes and solid harmonies lends itself well to the nylon-strung instrument. With Burley playing it's rather like Ralph Towner with a better classical technique, that's if you are familiar with Mr Towner, if not you should be. A lyrical folk influence is strong too with a leaning towards expressive melodies in a popular and accessible style.
Burley's lovely, clean technique and warm sound, via his Christopher Dean guitar, is captured with typical excellence by the indomitable John Taylor. This is a recording that I recommend to listeners around the world to get a flavour of the almost mystical folk traditions that come from England and the British Isles, but are rarely conveyed with such conviction and intimacy as Raymond Burley has done here." Tim Panting


Hilary and I took a short break towards the end of August and stayed in our favourite cottage in Osmotherly. Whilst there we visited the beautiful fishing village of Robin Hood's Bay where we were special guests at the Dolphin pub's Friday night sing-along session. My mate Garry Burnett is a regular there most Fridays and urged us to drop by one Friday and maybe play a couple of tunes. This we did and great fun it was to just pick up a guitar and play completely acoustic without any PA, it was just like the early days of the English folk scene. All in all I played six pieces: Dublin Day, a brand new commissioned piece as yet untitled, Kaz, Five Dollar Guitar, Maddie Goes West and Heartsong. The folk there gave me a rousing round of applause after each piece so all in all a nice reminder that these old tunes of mine even stripped bare of technology can still shine through. A most humbling and gratifying experience. I will certainly return.
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I have also been invited by that most respected of blues men Steve Phillips to play at his club at the Grosvener hotel when next in the area. Steve lives nearby and was unfortunately away when we dropped by his house on the off chance the following morning, but I left my number and he called the following day. A very nice guy and an incredibly gifted man in all areas. Apart from being a great guitar player, he also builds guitars and is a fine painter. Many of you will know of Steve's work with his old friend Mark Knopfler. Nuff said methinks.

See you all at the next gig I hope.

Oooops...... nearly forgot to mention my new Dick Knight 12 string which Sue Holton kindly collected for me and brought with her when her and Mike came to my Cardiff concert. It sounds fantastic, the only down side is that the neck is a tad narrow for me, so it may find a new home in the future but we shall wait and see!