General News

August 2022 News Update

August 2022 News Update

Scattered Chapters Launch Update

I love this pic of Paul, Nick and I at the launch of Scattered Chapters.

In spite of being at the tail end of COVID the launch day and previous night gig at Hilderstone Village Hall went extremely well.

HERE is a link to a gallery with a nice selection of images taken on the day by Hilary, including a great pic of Katie Stones and Sam interviewing the artist who painted this image of Heartsong. Katie was given the job of filming and Sam interviewing myself, Nick and Paul along with some of the artists who turned up to share the day with us. Also a pic of yours truly playing for the people.

Last month Hilary and I at last succumbed to Covid that laid us low for a while and I had to cancel my West Kirby concert (now rescheduled for August 5th). There was no way I was well enough to do the concert. Fortunately Hil and I have been quadruple jabbed so I dread to think how this latest strain would have affected us!

In an attempt to spread the word about Scattered Chapters I approached various friends in the business and so far my good friend Roger Bucknall of Fylde guitars is going to do a feature on the Fylde website about the project.

Old friend Nick Campling of G7th capos is also doing a feature for his website and an interview with Tommy Loose is pending on Zoom which in turn will bear fruit for a nice feature on the G7th site.

Another friend and supporter David Mead who is assistant editor of Guitarist magazine wants to do a feature on the project for future publication.

Westside music who distribute Martin Guitars and their fab strings very kindly agreed to do a little news item on the Scattered Chapters project. All they asked was a photo of yours truly holding a string packet and a bit of blurb. I was still laid up with Covid but managed to scrub up, drag Hilary out of her sick chair and take the enclosed pic. Not great but better than nothing and once again it helps to spread the word.

I have used many excellent string makes throughout the years starting with Rotosound and then of course Newtone whose design was my creation and for the past many years I exclusively use Martin strings who have proved to be for me personally the best choice. They never break. They always sound brilliant. They last for ages and on top of that the company are glad for me to be an endorser bless ‘em.

On the album I use a Danelectro electric seen cradling it on our home page pic. They as a company have also run with info on Scattered Chapters for their news page.

A lovely day was spent signing CDs with my music partner Paul Ward and Carrie Martin and Linda Bonner supplied the refreshments for the morning.

Towards the middle of the month we travelled to Wymer publications to sign copies of the book with Paul, myself and Nick Hooper in readiness for the launch day on the 23rd….

My Biography

It has been four years since I was honoured to have a biography of my life Perilous Journey written by Steve Pilkington and published by Wymer Publishing. For all those who didn’t purchase it first time round and would like to get a copy at the great price of £10 then just click on the link for more information. HERE

This book was written with immense dedication by Steve over a two year period and I thank him for his time and friendship in writing this book.

The Long Road Home

I’m delighted to report that as from 23rd July Ray Burley’s beautiful album of my tunes, The Long Road Home will be available to download from MirrorNoir records all the details will be on Ray’s website, also the TAB and music if all you pickers out there want to learn some of these old tunes of mine re interpreted by a master of the classical guitar, mainly in standard tuning. The man’s a genius!

To get hold of the TAB, please contact Paul Roberts who also arranges my Zoom lessons, details below.

Zoom Teaching

I remember watching a wonderful documentary on that towering genius of musical theatre Stephen Sondheim. He was talking about his life in general but more importantly his passion for teaching. When he was speaking about this passion he became quite emotional and the sincerity and humility of this great man came through. I in my own way feel EXACTLY the same!

Nature has kindly bestowed on me the gift of music and a smattering of creativity and this gift needs to be shared and in so sharing hopefully inspire the recipient of that sharing experience hence the title SHARING DAYS that I have used for some time now.

Since Covid the only way forward to teach has been via Zoom and I have grown to love it, and to see the fruits of these lessons flower and come to life is a real joy.

Join me if you can for a Zoom sharing experience by contacting Paul Roberts.

All enquiries about online guitar sessions should be made to Paul Roberts at or call him direct on 07860 648068

New Guitar

Everyone knows that I have always had a weakness for small bodied guitars and in my opinion these antique stain Paul Brett Viators just sound amazing. I bought this second hand from a cracking little guitar shop in Sheffield whilst visiting friends Cath and Geoff Olner.

As much as I love my beautiful Fylde baby guitar I don’t want to risk taking it to smaller gigs in case it gets damaged or stolen so this little beauty will do the business. Many will know that I used the first issue of the PB Viator way back on The Anna Fantasia on The Last of England album, and although it had a sweet sound these later models are superior in tone and have a richer sound. This one had a slight technical problem with the electrics but my friends Nathan and brother Chris at JHS sorted it out for me within 24 hours. Thanks chaps. My original Viator is on loan to Mr Olner for safe keeping.

Hilary’s Birthday

My beloved Hilary celebrated her 83rd birthday on July 3rd in Sheffield with friends Cath and Geoff Olner where we attended a Sheffield Phil open air concert in the Botanical gardens.

The posting I put on Facebook received nearly 400 Postings which means that the great lady is far more popular than I, which is exactly how it should be bless her. Yes, she does not look her age!

Boldmere concert 9th July

This is from Carrie Martin's FB Page.

Always nice to do what I can for a special friend.

Nice to meet some of her special fans.

New Toy

You can never have too many effects pedals and this vintage Zoom 3030 presented itself in a little guitar store in Ashby De La Zouch for a mere £40. They are dead easy to programme once you get the hang of it. When time allows I shall have fun with it!

And another new toy....

Carrying on from the new toys theme. That nice little guitar shop in Sheffield had one of these lovely old 1960’s Da Armond sound hole pickups. I had one years ago and back in the day that’s all there was if you wanted to amplify your humble acoustic. Anyway I bought it and at some point I may just install it in one of my acoustic, probably the Warren.

Great guitar players like Martin Simpson love them as does the wonderful John Smith. They do have a sound of their own which can’t be replicated with modern pickups so we shall see. I shall report back next month.