• Slope Fret Ariel with Scoop
  • Walnut Ukulele for sale, for Charity
  • Remi Harris. Shake Your Money Maker
  • Used Touchstone Mandolin for sale
  • The Old Crown Sessions
  • A Thank You to our lovely friends.
  • And a special Guitar for Simon
  • Will McNicol, Jule Malischke and Us, in Italy
  • Will and Jule
  • Ullapool Guitar Festival 2024
  • Nic Jones. The Jukebox as she turned.
  • Will and Sönke
  • Megan Henwood on Beyond Paradise
  • Findlay Napier
  • Martin Simpson
  • John Smith "Candle"
  • John's Media Storm
  • John Smith in Guitarist Magazine
  • Hugh Burns feature in Guitar Techniques
  • Tristan Seume Guitar Breaks
  • Contact by email
  • And finally …
Slope Fret Ariel with Scoop

A special order for a customer with limited movement in his hands. In cases like this, I like to make a cardboard mock-up of neck, body and bridge for approval before going ahead. You can probably see the idea- it isn't a fan fret; all the frets are at the same angle so it's a slope fret or slant fret. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works.

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Walnut Ukulele for sale, for Charity
  • Walnut Ukulele for sale, for Charity
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This was custom made for a splendid gentleman in 2018, he no longer plays it and has very kindly offered it to me to sell for charity.

We will put the proceeds into our charity bank account along with proceeds from the charity CD sales and share it out between our favourite good causes - "The Woodland Trust", "MIND" and "Help Musicians UK". We always get very pleasant thank you letters back and they all have lots of connections with music.

It's a Tenor size Ukulele, Figured Claro Walnut back and sides, Sinker Redwood top, Laminated Walnut Neck, Ebony fingerboard and bridge, rather a sweet little thing. It's in good condition, it has some "whiplash" marks below the bridge, we'll try and remove those before we send it out. I think £1200 is about right, including case. Feel free to offer more if you wish. It is for charity!


Remi Harris. Shake Your Money Maker

Yes, I know it's not acoustic and not a Fylde, but it is Remi and it takes me back about, let me think, 58 years. Look at that crowd! That could have been me. Or you??

It's part of Remi's Peter Green show, I still haven’t seen it all, just little bits. I need more weeks in a week. 

Remi's Website

Used Touchstone Mandolin for sale.

A standard Touchstone made in 2019, in excellent condition, and including case. New, this would be £1070, and always fetch a good price on eBay because they don't come along very often. They have always been popular, and we've had a significant increase in orders over the last eight months or so, so delivery times are getting stretched. A lot of the enquiries are coming from the USA, I don't know why.

I think £875 would be fair. SOLD

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The Old Crown Sessions

I wonder how many free pints I can get out of this. A collection of music that we didn't use in the 50 years video, all recorded at "The Old Crown”.

For those of you who don’t know (there can’t be many now, I keep banging on about it), I’m a shareholder in this wonderful little pub , the first co-operatively owned pub in the UK, opened by some guy in a posh suit called Charles who changed his name recently. The same guy who pinned that nice little badge on me a few years ago, it’s worn quite a hole in my pyjamas now so I’ve put it back in its box.

One of the limiting factors for the 50 years of Fylde video was the availability of suitable venues. It started off easily enough but soon became the one thing that restricted us.

Helen and Simon opened the pub specially, put on free beer and sandwiches, then kept out of our way while Mike and Sam put all this together. Asking people to come to our house, then taking them to the pub solved everything. In fact, we had to turn one or two away.

All the artists here, are of course, seasoned performers. Playing by yourself, sat in a pub with cameras and lights but no audience is a lot different to what they usually do, and some of that shows a tiny little bit in this video, but only in a human, open hearted way. It’s that relationship with them that counts for me, it’s been that way for the last fifty or more years, and having them travel hundreds of miles just to play this wonderful music in exchange for a pint of beer or two is very very special.

The beer is rather good though. Just saying.

Artists not linked elsewhere - each one a whole story.

Clive Carroll's Website
Adam Palma's Website
David Mead's Website
Peter Howarth'S Website

A Thank You to our lovely friends.

Mike English has produced a memento book for Helen and Simon. They really enjoyed themselves.

Music and Pubs do go together rather well, don't they? I think the BBC Symphony Orchestra should explore the possibilities.

First and second Violins in the main bar, Violas and Cellos in the snug. Timpani in the pool room. Wind section in the smoking area. Conductor - ahh, conductor, hmmm. Outside, via his phone? Or from "the facilities" ?

The Old Crown's Website

And a special Guitar for Simon
  • A special Guitar for Simon
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While we were at the pub, I took several guitars along for the artists that hadn't been able to bring their own Fylde. One of them was a lovely Alexander made from Malaysian Blackwood, which Simon fell in love with. Unfortunately , before he could tell me how much he liked it, I had sent that guitar off to another customer, that is by itself an interesting story and I hope to be able to tell you more about that soon.

Anyway, quite quickly Helen asked me if the pub could buy Simon a guitar, and we began to sneakily find out what particular things he would want. Helen was passing me scribbled notes over the bar, and I engaged Simon in seemingly innocuous musical conversations. All the time promising that the guitar he had so admired might be available one day, but not yet.

This is a long scale Alchemist made from Malaysian Blackwood and Cedar, with yellow lines and Snakewood bindings. The yellow colour was a bold choice, I do feel it matches the other timbers perfectly and the end result is startling.

We delivered the guitar to Simon on Saturday - he played a nice version of Deep River Blues, in the bar, with customers present. He was a little overwhelmed. So were we.

They hold music nights every week, so we might get to hear Helen sing.

Will McNicol, Jule Malischke and us, in Italy

Our first significant venture out since Covid, staying in the middle of Pieve di Cento in Italy, and trying to fit in with the local lifestyle of breakfast - lunch – dinner - music - pub with hardly any pause. We hadn't realised how out of practice we were. Better now thank you very much.

The video is of Will playing at the concert using a guitar made by our lovely friends, Giulio and Giulia of Sec guitars who organised the whole thing and were wonderful hosts.

On Will's right is his Fylde Ariel, and on his left his Tom Sands guitar. Will aims to please everybody.

We've been promising to go to this event for years and so pleased we made the effort this time. We were testing ourselves out, seeing if we were still able to fit into aeroplane seats, with the excuse of seeing Will and Jule in concert at the magnificent local theatre.

Jule played a great opening set, then at the end, she and Will sat on the edge of the stage for a final number played acoustically to make it all a bit more "Family". All very pleasant indeed.

The Theatre has a small museum of musical instruments. Mario Macaferri lived nearby, and some of his instruments were on display, along with lots of other fascinating history.

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The town even has a school of guitar making , where Gulio and Giulia met. And it has an amazing street market which fills the town and goes on all day.

I nearly had to leave Moira there, but it was me who eventually bought something, an articulated lamp for my bench at work. Bringing that through Customs was fun.

Will and Jule

This isn't taken from that same concert, it was recorded at the Ullapool late night club
but it gives you an idea of how well they play together.

Jule will be playing with Don Ross at Ullapool this year; we've started to make plans.

Will's Website

Jule's Website

Don's Website

Ullapool Guitar Festival 2024

Another year is passing, I think age should be measured in  "Ullapools" not years. As in "I am 24 Ullapools old". If only.

The usual, and the not so usual list of artists will be present. We have everything booked, just to be certain. Don't leave it too late.

Ullapool Festival Website

Nic Jones. The Jukebox as she turned.

This track is symbolic of something that happened in Italy .
We were in the friendly "blues bar", near our friend’s house, I suddenly thought  "I recognise that music" 
They had Nic Jones "Penguin Eggs" playing on the sound system. The famous Fylde Orsino in the middle of Italy, in a place we had never been remotely near!

That is going near the top of the list of weird and wonderful events in my life. 

Nic's Website

Will and Sönke

We saw Will and Sönke in Ambleside last week; the whole Fylde crew went along to cheer them on. As it happens, this was where Moira and I had our first dates. (Although the last time we were there, we caught covid).

It was an excellent show, and I really liked the story of one of Sönke's tunes - he tells the whole thing on this video.

Afterwards of course, we sat in my conservatory and had a few drams. Next morning  I introduced Sönke to a full English breakfast and he is still alive. Will has a certain immunity.

Sönke's Website

Megan Henwood on Beyond Paradise

Did anyone catch Megan's song "Pain Killer" in this rather sweet TV drama last week?

Here's an earlier video of the song. I don't know who is doing the whistling.

Megan is a gentle superstar, she is not very visible at the moment, but keep watch, we always hope.

Megan's Website

Findlay Napier

Findlay of course, is one half of "Story Song Scientists" with Megan, he's a really fun person, and great song writer.

I've never been to Arran, but from this video, it's going on the to do list, it looks astonishing, just sit me down with a flask of tea and leave me alone for a couple of hours. I need to find out about the pubs and distilleries though, tea only goes so far.

Here is Findlay’s upcoming gig list, he must enjoy driving.

Findley's Gig List

Findley's Website

Martin Simpson

And Findlay is also part of "The Magpie Arc", with Martin.

The other relevant thing is the photo for this video. It's the "Gibson"  banjo that inspired Martin's track "Roger's Cascade" from his new album "SkyDancers"
Available to order at Martin's website.

Martin's Website

John Smith "Candle"

In the last newsletter I promised to show the dance version of "The Living Kind",  the title track to John's new album. but I've changed my mind.  This is another track from the album, this time very personal, about his father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. I think it was John Martyn that said something like "Music is just emotion", he was talking about the way music makes you "feel".  Mr Smith is an expert in that.

John has been announcing new milestones and events every few days recently.
The latest is that he is booked for Glastonbury.  Hooray!   I might go and get covered in mud. 
A few days ago, he told me that "The Living Kind" is in the top ten albums of the Independent Album Chart, the Record Store Chart, the  Americana Chart AND the Folk Chart

Is that some sort of record?

John's Website

But that's not all ....

John's Media Storm

I had a mail from Fretboard Journal asking for photographs of John's new "Smithcaster" to use alongside  their recent podcast. You can listen to it here, lots of nice words. Thanks John, thanks Jason!
and this ...

John Smith in Guitarist Magazine

Another excellent feature penned by our good friend and totally unbiased David Mead.

John, I hope you realise this newsletter needs some space for other things?
I'm actually incredibly pleased to be able to post all this. 2024 looks like being John's year.

Guitarist magazine.

Hugh Burns feature in Guitar Techniques

"Your house/studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?"
"My Fylde Ariel, Kohno Classical and Gibson Les Paul"
Quite right, thanks Hugh

Hugh on Wikipedia

Guitar Techniques

Tristan Seume Guitar Breaks

This is now fully booked for the May dates, but available again  July 6th
Join me on Saturday July 6th, when I’ll be focussing on developing fingerstyle techniques and open tunings, arranging well-known songs for one guitar (two hands!) and generally getting under the skin of the acoustic guitar to discover the beauty within.

Guitar Breaks have been around for a few years now, gaining a reputation for creating unique and inspiring experiences for guitarists of all abilities. Their guest roster is impressive, and includes the likes of Mike Dawes, Tommy Emmanuel, Joey Landreth, Chris Buck, Matt Schofield and many others. I can’t wait to see you there!


Contact by email.

I've had reports of people trying to contact me by email and failing.

It’s a consequence of all the things we must do in an attempt to stop hacking and phishing on the newsletter or my email.

If you "reply" directly to the Newsletter, it will be forwarded to my correct address by the newsletter system. BUT the “Sent from” address for the Newsletter is an "Alias". It is NOT my email address, If you have it saved in your contacts and email me from there, I won't receive it. Please delete that address from your contacts.

Why do we do this ... if the "sent from" address is compromised, my real email address will be safe.

If you want to email me you can via this website: 

  1. Go to the CONTACT page.
  2. You have the option to <CLICK HERE TO EMAIL ROGER BUCKNALL>. This will open your email program and allow you to send an email to my correct email address.
  3. Or you can contact me using the form, from the same page. ( please ensure you complete all the required fields accurately including the <CAPTURE-CODE-BOX> and remember it is CASE sensitive.)

Everything used to be so easy!

And finally …

For those of you who actually managed to get to the end of this newsletter.
This is part of what I shall be writing about next month.
Words, Pictures, Video and adrenalin are involved …

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