• Three Guitars for 2023
  • Remi Harris
  • Ullapool Guitar Festival
  • Magician for Sale
  • Gordon Giltrap. Harp Harmonics Lesson
  • Eric Bibb in Australia
  • Graham Coxon. All Along
  • Guitars and Pottery
  • John Doyle, John McCusker and Mike McGoldrick
  • Bireli Lagrene and Sylvain Luc
  • Seth Lakeman
  • Maz O'Connor
  • Che Bradley
  • Pete Townshend
  • Mandolin in Antarctica - Twice!
Three Guitars for 2023

Three guitars on the same theme.

Each is a long scale Alchemist, with the most dense, blackest back and sides we could find. Each one is different, one in each timber - Bog Oak, African Ebony, and dark Brazilian Rosewood. All are loosely based on John Smith's special Alexander; and another we made for Richard Lindsay, which were much admired at Ullapool last year.

The Soundboards are Alpine Spruce on the Bog Oak and Hybrid Sitka Spruce on the other two. Diamond Inlays, Snakewood bindings, red borders, laminated neck, and Gotoh 510 tuners. They might be for sale one day, but I have plans for them and I'm starting to think about this year's Ullapool Guitar Festival, having such guitars ready well in advance will take a lot of the pressure off us nearer the time.

  • Three Alchemists
  • Ebony-Alchemist-front
    African Ebony Alchemist
  • Ebony-Alchemist-back
    African Ebony Alchemist
  • Bog-Oak-Alchemist-front
    Bog Oak Alchemist
  • Bog-Oak-Alchemist-back
    Bog Oak Alchemist
  • Rio-Rosewood-Alchemist-front
    Rio-Rosewood Alchemist
  • Rio-Rosewood-Alchemist-back
    Rio-Rosewood Alchemist

Remi Harris

Mustn't have a newsletter without Remi!!! We've been talking about a simple but interesting project, hopefully not too long now before you will see it. Remi and Tom Moore will be at Ullapool this year. Remi's Website.

Ullapool Guitar Festival

It's the usual suspects on the artist list this year, plus Richard Lindsay's top line additions to make the best weekend you will ever have. We have our tickets and accommodation booked; all we need now is to make some more instruments. I have plans!

Ullapool Website

Magician for Sale
  • Magician for Sale
  • Magician-1
  • Magician-2

A standard Magician, made in 2005. It's in very good order, with just a few marks in the soundboard which we will tidy up a little before we send it out. The action is probably a little low at the moment, which might suit some people, so we won't adjust that unless we are asked. Frets are in excellent condition, fitted with Headway FEQ pickup of course.

New it would now cost £6,900, and I think £3900 would be very fair. In fact, it’s a bargain!

For Sale £3,900 - SOLD

Gordon Giltrap. Harp Harmonics Lesson

Gordon and I have been talking a lot recently. He was my first ever professional customer 52 years ago. He's on a new trajectory in his work now, and I think this video might remind you of how important he is to acoustic guitar music in the UK and elsewhere. Long may it continue.

Gordon's Website

Eric Bibb in Australia

Eric tells me he has largely retired from touring but has some dates in France and the UK after this tour down under. That doesn't sound much like retirement to me.

Really good to see him playing his "Cedar Fylde". It's an Eric Bibb Signature model made with Macassar Ebony back and sides, with a Cedar top. Also, great to see he has lost nothing of his power and audience connection.

Eric's Website

Graham Coxon. All Along

A track from the new Album "The Waeve” by Graham and his partner Rose Elinor Dougall.

Graham of course, is a co- founder of "Blur”.  There are quite a few Fylde Citterns out there in the wider world away from Folk music. Anthony Philips from Genesis and Nancy Wilson from Heart come to mind.

Graham and Rose will be touring in March and are starting to write their second album helped along by another, new Fylde currently "on the bench". Watch this space.

Graham's Website

Guitars and Pottery

This is Paul Wilson with his old Oberon, which cost him £300 in 1979(!). Paul came to visit me for this guitar with Jonathan Woolston who was working for me at the time.

Paul has gone on to become a professional potter, and as you can see, specializes in alcohol containers. What a splendid job, just think of all the testing that must require? He does ask what would have happened if I had ever picked up a lump of clay? A pottery guitar? If I had time, I'd love to try that out.

Paul worked for a while in the same pottery as Keith Brymer Jones, host of The Great Pottery Throw Down on TV, and who presented me with the Heritage Craft Award some years ago.

Paul says he doesn't have much online presence, as he’s kept very busy so he suggests you email him if you have any queries: MAIL PAUL

Jonathan has gone on to be become a renowned violin maker and still a good friend. Jonathan's Website

John Doyle, John McCusker and Mike McGoldrick

Three splendid people each at the very top of their game. They met during the "Transatlantic Sessions” recordings where Eric Bibb often played.  John's guitar is the Falstaff that we tried to deliver at the start of Covid and got horribly lost in all the ensuing chaos. John had to leave to fly back to the USA without it, and the guitar was carefully looked after by friends until the Pandemic was over. It obviously survived.

John Doyle's Website

Bireli Lagrene and Sylvain Luc

The guy playing second guitar is important as well. Both players are magnificent. I do wish Bireli's volume was higher though!

Seth Lakeman

Seth made this video a day or so after getting the bouzouki back from us after emergency surgery. It had a little accident. Alex fixed it, Paul lacquered it, I advised and drank tea. The video is excellent, full of Seth's usual energy. I think passersby were trying to put money in his hat, but he had no hat. Business lesson number twelve. Always have a hat.

Seth's Website

Maz O'Connor

I can't help wondering about the electricity extension cable involved in this recording. I'm probably 100 years behind the times.
Maz has her roots fairly close to us in Cumbria and has visited us a number of times. Like a lot of artists her plans were spoilt by Covid, so it's great to see her pushing forward again.
I've mentioned before that when we supplied the guitar, it didn't have a cutaway, Now it does. Aren't we clever?
Maz's Website

Che Bradley

One of my regular spies sent me this. I encourage people to sit at their computer 24 hours a day just watching out for Fyldes being played in exchange for - well, not much other than thank you.
I remember discussing the guitar with Che but I've heard nothing since, so it's good to see a new face.

Pete Townshend

Another from one of my spies. No comment needed

Mandolin in Antarctica - Twice!

I really do not know if this is blind chance or if Aliens are somehow involved. I did read somewhere about there being a "portal" at the South Pole so maybe that's it.

We sold this mandolin to a young man, Al Davies, about 2014. He took it with him during two tours at the Halley Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica. That's him at the beginning of the video.

When he returned, it had suffered a little bit from the climate, so we made some repairs and sold it on to somebody else. I don't think anybody stops to think that Polar regions are actually VERY dry, and fire is one of the biggest worries because all the water is solid.

And here it is again, that same Mandolin, this time at Stonington base, even further south. In fact, the new owner, Steve Moorhouse, says it is the furthest south any Stringed Instrument has even been played. Surely that can't simply be chance.

That reminds me that many years ago I was told of a Fylde being played in a British Nuclear Submarine, underneath the North Pole, but I haven't been able to track the story down. Any help would be much appreciated.

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