General News

December 2012 News Update

Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman at Maltby
It will come as no surprise to hear that much of this month’s news will be taken up with things related to Giltrap & Wakeman, due to the fact that it has been pretty much full on since the great man and I embarked on our musical journey together at the beginning of this year. The Ravens and Lullabies tour was a big success with the last concert at St Michael’s Church Bishop’s Itchington, the venue where it all started in terms of rehearsals. What a great last night it was as has already been reported within these pages.

Oliver has just added a 'tour story' article to his website HERE so you can read all about it from his point of view, and there is also this great backstage interview too.

As soon as the tour was over it was back to the grindstone in terms of writing and recording the final material for the album. There was much to do, and as I write this Oliver is hard at it in the studio recording drums, bass, vocals, and backing vocals as well as adding my additional parts.

I have been working away in my studio here at home writing guitar parts for Oliver’s pieces and re recording a Giltrap Classic for the bonus CD...Yes, there is going to be bonus material taken from some of the live shows and brand new recordings as well.

I have to admit that I’m getting quietly excited about this album, and I promise you it will be a good one, and one that I believe will surprise quite a few people along the way. I had always hoped for a collaborator such as Oliver, but never dreamed it would happen, now it has, and  I must practise what I preach and just “go with the flow”. I have pretty much done everything in terms of my solo albums, so  now it’s time to be brave and do something that much more adventurous, and I think exciting.

By the time you read this, the album will have been completed and with the record company in readiness for its spring release date. I promise to give you all the details once we are ready to get that press release out there.

Oliver believes it to be his finest work, so who am I to argue. Watch this space my friends for more Ravens and Lullabies news as it happens.

Gigs Of Note

St Michael’s Church Bishop’s Itchington, mentioned above.

School Concert

On Friday November 2nd Oliver and I did a short concert for the children at Oliver’s son Arthur’s school, which was great fun and the children loved it, particularly the array of sounds that Oliver can get from his keyboards, and they clapped along like mad to Heartsong!

4 Parts Guitar

November saw the short tour with 4 Parts Guitar, which is always great fun, and it’s great to be on stage with three of the finest guitar pickers on the planet, namely John Etheridge, Clive Carroll, and Raymond Burley.

Our first show was a sell out in Eastbourne. The other dates were Swindon, Aldershot, Huntingdon Hall and Oxford.

4 Parts Guitar Eastbourne Concert Review by Roger Drew

For me this gig had been a long time coming as unfortunately I wasn't able to get to the Colston Hall show in Bristol which Em attended alone. I met up with her shortly after the performance so I know full well what I missed; I’ve been waiting patiently for the next 4 Parts Guitar performance...........

The Underground Theatre, home of The Eastbourne Arts Centre, is a compact 145-seater venue. We managed to get front row seats and after a quick chat with Hilary the lights went down and Gordon appeared. I seem to recall that he said he had 15 minutes before having to leave the stage so it was straight into the bright and uplifting “Shining Morn”, followed by the more reflective “Fiona’s Smile”, which is destined to become a classic Giltrap track if it already isn’t. Next came “Anji”, which had the guitar players in the audience purring. Some nice words too from Gordon about his friend the late Bert Jansch and Davey Graham. His last tune was “On Camber Sands” (not before a few bars of “Splinter” has been played!), a personal favourite of ours. For someone unacquainted with Gordon’s music this 15 minute spot was a very good taster!

Next on stage was the virtuoso Ray Burley, the only “classical” player to be a part of the evening. I’ve heard Ray playing on the “Double Visions” and “4 Parts” CDs, but this was the first time I’d seen him play live. He started with a piece composed by Bach and then played a barcarole (a Venetian gondoliers song which Em really enjoyed!). There was an effortless grace about Ray’s playing which never appeared hurried. His interpretation of Gordon’s “A Christmas Carol” followed and then Ray ended his solo spot with a Brazilian tune with a strong very latin feel - the highlight of his set for me. Again a very varied solo performance.

Ray handed over to John Etheridge, who was soon joking about his lack of time on stage and even at this point of the evening the banter and humour between the four guys was very evident. This was the first time I’d seen John play live, although Em had seen him a few years back with Stephan Grapelli. More musical contrast here, as John appeared on stage with an electric guitar. His solo set consisted of three songs, including a piece by Richard Thompson. All of these were well received by the audience, but the highlight of his set was his final offering “M'Sanduza“, which was the sort of track that you really didn’t want to end! However it had to and then appeared Clive Carroll...........

Clive went straight into a very haunting, almost eerie “atmospheric” piece called “Oregan”, followed by a tune inspired by his son and The Foo Fighters called “Shiny Wooden Toy”, which was superb and a fitting end to the solo parts of the evening. To my shame Clive Carroll was very much an unknown quantity to me before this gig, but his two pieces have instantly converted me to being a firm fan!

After the interval all four guitarists appeared on stage for the second part of the gig. The set list for this part of the performance was as follows:

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Maddie Goes West - RB/GG/JE/CC
Swing 42 - JE/CC
Five Dollar Guitar - GG/JE
A Renaissance Suite - RB/CC
Places Between - RB/JE
The Tailor Bird - RB/GG
A Dublin Day - RB/GG/JE/CC
Encore - The Dodo’s Dream - RB/GG/JE/CC

It’s really difficult and perhaps a tad unfair to pick out a highlight of the second half, although “Swing 42” seemed to capture the essence of the evening with John and Clive grinning and laughing as they played. Indeed , it came across very strongly to the audience that these four excellent musicians not only enjoy each other's company, but admire and respect their mutual talents - certainly no egos here!

So to sum up this was really a night of great guitar playing and technique, but also great fun and we both went back to our hotel clutching our CDs with big smiles on our faces which lasted well into the night! My long wait to see 4 Parts perform was certainly worth it!!!


Thanks to Malcolm Welch for the photo (from solo Derby show)

Guitar Practiced Perfectly

During December we have the wonderful Stuart Ryan visiting our studio to do some filming and chat about his life and music. Stuart is a great player and a lovely person, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Raymond Burley's signature guitar

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I'm thrilled to share the news that the Santos Martinez ‘Raymond Burley Signature Guitar’ has won the accolade ‘Best Classical Guitar of the Year’. The awards were hosted by MIA (Music Industries Association) in partnership with NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchandise) and sponsored by the British classical music radio station Classic FM.

I'm doubly thrilled because it was I who put the idea to JHS a couple of years ago that it would be great to get Ray on board as an endorsee. They of course jumped at the idea. I suggested that they should ask Ray his thoughts on cloning his beloved Martin Fleeson guitar as part of their signature range, he agreed and the end result is the award winning Santos Martinez RB guitar!

I have one of these instruments and it is indeed a fine guitar. I love it and have used it on the album with Oliver Wakeman!

Congratulations to Ray and to JHS for making yet another fabulous guitar available to the general public at such an affordable price!

Holiday And Skeggy

At the end of November Hilary and I along with our pals Cath and Geoff Olner head for our annual Centre Parcs break. We love it! Then we head straight off to Butlins Skegness for my second appearance at The Great British Folk Festival. We had a wonderful time two years ago when I was invited to play there and we are VERY much looking forward to it again. Our beloved webmaster Sue Holton will there with husband Mike, so it’s going to be great to share it with them again.

Sadly we returned home to burst pipes after that first visit, so that won’t happen again that’s for sure!


Justin writes: Folk guitar legend Gordon Giltrap came down to see me at my studio for a hang and a jam, so thought we'd do an interview for y'all while he was there. A real gentleman and fantastic guitar player and in this video he shares some insights from his journey.

Double Vision

I’m delighted to report that at long last this cracking duo of ours has finally found an agent to represent us! My agent the lovely Sue Webster has decided to add us to her roster of artists. She will be securing small intimate shows in churches, village halls and stately homes. Ray Burley and I are going to go out as a completely “unplugged” act...well almost... I may use an amp as a bit of sound re-enforcement! The show will be billed as an intimate evening of acoustic music, aimed at those who really like their music in an intimate setting where you really are required to listen. All the usual fun will be there but without the fireworks of PA systems and Loop Stations...I will save that for when I’m solo and with Wakeman the younger.

Ray and I are very good friends and my respect for him as one of THE great classical guitars players here in the UK is immense. Do come and see us.

Acoustic Mag November Issue

My piece dedicated to the memory of Loren Jansch entitled LOREN appeared in the November edition of Acoustic. How fortunate am I to be able to help keep alive the memory of this amazing person, and in turn her husband Bert!

I continue to play Angie at each of my concerts to remind folk where it all came, and of course the piece for Loren will become a part of my repertoire in the future!

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Cross Stitch

Fiona Meredith ( of Fiona's Smile fame ) has been in touch with artist Sue Martin and she has given her permission to use her artwork from the front cover of my album "On a Summer's Night" to produce a cross stitch kit.

It has now been included in the Florashell range of kits and is listed on her website. The link is HERE

The perfect Christmas present for a guitar fan, and if you don't already own a copy, how about puchasing either the CD or a download of A Midnight Clear ?

Guitar Of The Month
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Fret King Super S, based on a very famous USA made guitar, but this being a Trev Wilkinson design is going to be radically different from its American cousin. This is a very powerful guitar and will no doubt find its way on to stage or studio at some point in the future. This was bought at last year’s JHS event at a price I couldn’t refuse!!!

Family News

Braden Giltrap born November 25th 2012

Hilary and I would like to share some wonderful news.

My son Jamie and his lovely partner Karen are celebrating the arrival of their first child Braden, born at 5-22 am on the morning of November 25th 2012. Mother and child are well!

It was truly special to share this news with my son Jamie who was there at the birth, as was I at his birth 40 years ago. To witness a new life entering this world of ours is a truly wonderful experience where no words can express the feeling of wonder at this special event. A tear glistens as I write this, and I ‘m sure you will share in our good wishes to this special couple. Ahhhh I hear you cry!

We wish them all long life and good health.

On to even MORE family news. My lovely daughter Sadie has just started her own business. It’s called Simply Define it’s all to do with looking your best and trimming up your body from the chin downwards, I could do with some of that myself, and sounds great to me!

If you live in the Weymouth area of Dorset or fairly close by and, after visiting her website would like more information on this revolutionary none invasive laser treatment, then do ring her on 0773 4817295.

Be Well all and Happy Christmas to all of you and our sincere thanks to all who attended my/our shows throughout 2012 and a VERY special Thank you to Sue Holton for her ongoing hard work and dedication to making this website of ours so special.