October 2011 News Update
Saturday, October 1, 2011
This past few weeks have been pretty busy with filming a DVD for Roger Bucknall, doing concerts, and fitting in a photo shoot with my favourite photographer Rob Jewell whilst away on holiday with our dear pals from the States Lori and Tim Blixt, with my St Ives Festival concert towards the end of it! The holiday was great by the way, the weather good and a nice stopover in Port Isaac with our friends John and Jill. John is a member of The Fishermans Friends and a nicer man you couldn’t wish to meet. One of their number Bill Hawkins now plays a GG signature guitar!
Info updated 6th Oct -Whistle Test episode date changed again
Just to remind you that I was supposed to be on BBC Radio 2 on the 28th of Sept. I have now been told that my episode will air NEXT week on 12th Oct. The BBC website says: "guitarist Gordon Giltrap provides a stunning new performance of his hit single Heartsong".
If you miss any of the shows live you can listen again via the BBC OGWT website
JHS Mahogany Guitar
I’m delighted to report that the new GG Signature mahogany model has finally hit the shops here in the UK.
The instrument is part of the GG / Armstrong designed range and is the exact dimensions of its original cousin. The back and top are of solid mahogany and the sides are laminate, like the original. The front and back have no binding and comes as a completely stand alone acoustic without any on board electrics and is complete with its own superb fitted case, once again as per the original model. This is good news for players who want an instrument for recording and wish at a later date to fit a pick-up of their own choice. I shall be fitting a Fishman Rare Earth to my model!
Once again this instrument represents outstanding value for money, and if it gets the same response as its more expensive cousin then I’m certain we are on to another winner!
Filming a DVD for Fylde
I had this bright idea of creating a performance DVD for Roger Bucknall for him to use as a promotional tool at music trade shows. Roger apart from being a close friend for nearly forty years makes some of the finest and most beautiful instruments on the planet. Roger has been very generous to me over the years, always going out of his way make some of his great guitars available to me at a price I can afford.
Filming this DVD for Roger was my way of saying thank you. At this point in time I haven’t had sight of the footage but just hope it has all turned out well. It should have with the great Harold Houldershaw behind the camera lens. Harold and I make a good team and it is always a joy working with him. So far Harold has filmed my Symphony Hall concert, various live shows and the DVD for JHS and my Signature Guitar.
An Old Friend Returns to the Fold
My dear friend Garry Burnett recently decided that he wanted a GG signature 12 string. He said that the 1973 FYLDE 12 string that he bought from me about 15 years ago and that Roger Bucknall superbly restored wasn’t being played enough, and would I like it back. “You bet” I cried! It is now in my possession and is being used for selective concert dates.
This guitar represents a huge part of my and Roger Bucknall’s history as it was the very first ever 12 string that he made and was built just before he established FYLDE guitars in the early seventies.
I used this guitar on my Visionary album and my Phonogram album. You can see a VERY young GG with his lovely two year old son Jamie blowing bubbles on the front cover, and on the rear cover is a pic of me with this very instrument. It is quite special to have it back with me, as it does play quite a significant part of my creative and personal life.
I would like to thank Garry for looking after it so well all these years and for letting me have it back. Also a big THANKYOU to Roger Bucknall for lovingly restoring it to its present glory. It won’t be leaving my side again that’s for sure.
Birmingham Town Hall
Please, please do all you can to support Troy and I on this special October 10th evening at Birmingham’s most loved concert venue. See details on the Concert Page.
I’m delighted to report that I am now officially an ambassador for Martin guitar strings. I have been using their superb SP range for many years now along with of course Newtone Strings. Sadly Newtone couldn’t supply me with number of sets I needed as a gigging musician that now uses SIX guitars on stage! My old mate Neil Cope introduced me to the SP range quite a few years ago. From that point on I was hooked.
I KNOW that one’s choice of strings is a very personal thing. One player will favour one make and another player a different brand. I say whatever works for you, works for you. For me Martin strings fortunately filled that gap in between my Newtone years, and gives me a string I can trust in all situations. I KNOW that sounds like a quote from a string advert but it’s true. The Martin Company are a great bunch of guys to deal with. Westside Distribution are the UK distributor for the range and are delighted to have me on board. I already own a superb high end Martin M3M guitar that features on Em’s Tune on my Shining Morn album. I keep this guitar especially for recording. It really is an outstanding guitar. Martin has been making them for a long time now, so I guess they know what they are doing!
I recently had a request to add a little solo to a song called Faded Photograph written by a superb young songwriter called Simon Goodall. Simon apart from writing and recording great pop songs is a busy session singer and he sounds remarkably like Sir Cliff ... no kidding, you would be hard pushed to tell them apart. Anyway I digress.
After reading Simon’s e-mail I asked him to send an MP3 of the song. I couldn’t believe how good it was and promptly set aside the time to create an eight bar solo that would be sympathetic to this lovely song.
My guitar of choice was my Fylde classical, which I recorded straight on to the track without using an external microphone. I recorded Simon’s track on to my multi-track machine, panned his track over to the left hand channel and placed my track on the right hand channel so that Simon could place it wherever he wanted in the track, adding his eq and reverb of choice The results were excellent, and Simon was pleased so that was enough for me. More information on the track and the album can come from the man himself.
Over to you Simon......
"I woke up at 4.00 am one morning, whilst in the middle of recording my new solo project aptly called "Collaborations". I had written with my good friend Rod Trott the above mentioned song. I had an idea for an acoustic guitar solo to feature in the song and had this crazy thought.... wouldn't it be fantastic if I could get Gordon to do it....(in your dreams Simon!!) I heard of him from Cliff's production of Heathcliff where Gordon had done a lot of the guitar work for the studio version as well as the live tour. Anyway I also knew someone who knew Gordon, so I sent a text to her. She emailed him, but I thought it highly unlikely I'd hear anything back from him, since he'd probably be far too busy and he doesn't know me from Adam! However, to my surprise I got an email form Gordon pretty much the same day asking me to send him the track, which I did without delay but thought to myself... don't get your hopes up, it still may not happen (ever the optimist hey)! I was wrong though, because a few days later he sent me two finished versions of the guitar solo, which when I heard, my jaw nearly hit the floor. I couldn't believe it; a beautiful piece that fits in perfectly with the song. I was so pleased I called him up to say thanks. Such a nice guy and so professional - I hope we can meet up one day?! But thanks a million Gordon for your fantastic work and "Collaborating" with me .. I'm really honoured".
Album info: The album "Collaborations" will be officially launched & released on 8th October 2011 at the Annual Cliff Richard Fan Club Event in Birmingham. You can also pre-order the CD at a special low price using the order form at the bottom of this page (pre-release orders must be in by 3rd October 2011).
Visit Simon's webiste http://www.simongoodall.org
More News from the Studio
My good friend the wonderfully gifted Carol Sampson asked me if I would care to add some acoustic to a song for her new album. The song is called 'Underneath The Everlasting Arms' and was written for a close friend who was dying of cancer. It is a very moving and beautiful tribute to this person. It gave me great pleasure to compose a suitable accompaniment to this lovely song.
I completed my part on Sunday the 25th and duly sent her an MP3 of the rough mix. The result... she was delighted!
I shall let you all know in these pages when the album is due for release which I believe will hopefully be before Christmas.
How would you like to have Gordon Giltrap appearing on YOUR album?
I enjoyed the process of adding my thing to Simon and Carol's tracks so much, that it got me thinking that maybe I could extend this idea to all you guitarists and songwriters out there that fancy the idea of having Gordon Giltrap playing on a track of your album!
Let me know your thoughts please via the Contact Form
Concerts of Note
Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury, Saturday September 3rd.
Lovely venue, great sound, enthusiastic crowd and staying over with Sue and Mike Holton. What more could one ask!
Wavendon September 6th
One of my favourite venues here in the UK. Wonderful theatre, great sound, helpfull staff and a jolly good turnout for the old boy! Unfortunately I was suffering with a headache that night and took some strong pain killers which I think contributed to a lapse in concentration on some pieces, particularly my favourites Em’s Tune and Fiona’s Smile. Never mind, you can’t win em all!
St. Ives Festival Western Hotel September 16th
This is an interesting one, and a tough one at the same time. I LOVE St Ives but it is murder parking there, in fact the parking is non existent which adds to the stress of it all. All that aside it was a magic night with a sell out audience and some very special people in attendance. Piotr and his lovely wife Anna travelled all the way from Poland to attend, also in the audience were honeymoon couple Tom and Lucy Ashby........... plus an old acquaintance of mine from way back celebrating his son’s 34th birthday on the evening.
The concert was incredible, I was wearing my GG T shirt and Gordon surprised me by saying that Piotr from Poland should be in the audience - I had to stand up and show myself! Wow, and then he dedicated Here Comes the Sun for me!!! I bought CDs for friends and asked Gordon to sign them, we had a little chat also with Hilary (who also wanted to chat with my wife Anna, but there was a language barrier). I must say that it is a great pleasure to meet such warm people. The music and Gordon’s performance were fantastic. And we also met Andy Smy who has been to Iron Maiden concert with Gordon. An unforgettable evening'.
You can read more about Piotr's visit and see some photos in the review section
I went for a bite to eat before the show with our American pals Tim and Lori Blixt, and on the way back bumped into Phil Beer of Show of Hands, who were playing at the Guildhall (lucky them.) One day I hope to play there! I don’t think Phil recognised me as he appeared to be in a world of his own. I know that feeling!
All in all a great night and my thanks to Allan, Sally and all at the venue for looking after us and finding me somewhere to park!
St Peter’s Church Langham September 24th
This concert was special and interesting at the same time! Special because it was a sell out, and is always good to see. I got cramp in my left hand (a first) because I didn’t spend enough time warming up before going on stage. The folk who organised it were absolutely wonderfull! My special thanks go to the lovely Amanda and her partner Ben for hosting us and making us so welcome. Amanda’s cheesecake was to die for, and was the reason I was late getting to the venue and not giving myself enough warm up/practise time, but believe me it was worth it!
The acoustics in this church were really good, which is a bit unusual for a church which is normally very resonant by nature. For some reason after the cramp subsided, things started to get into gear and from there on the show just built and built. I hadn’t played with such energy and verve for quite some time. I felt like a young thing again....amazing.
A few special folk turned up on the night namely Keith and Fiona Meredith and an old friend from the late seventies Jeremy Clulow who hadn’t changed a bit. You can read Keith's review on the Forum.
I really look forward to a return visit and maybe just maybe that old energy will return!
Till next month.