Please note: due to changes in regulations and constant design developments, we sometimes need to change details such as binding and inlay materials.
If you search for Olive wood, you will find "Olivewood Wood," which is rather annoying. The tree is called an Olive Tree, not an Olivewood Tree.
There aren't many guitars made from Olive, the timber is incredibly wild grained and doesn't have many straight and wide sections, or even many sections that are big enough. But the tree grows in the most inhospitable climates and isn't likely to become endangered any time soon as it has so many uses - what on earth would you put in your Martini’s?
This guitar was made in 2014, The finish is like new, and no fret wear.
The back and Sides are Olive Wood, the top is Sinker Redwood. There is a lot of Ebony, apart the fingerboard, bridge and bindings, the reclaimed mahogany neck is laminated with a centre section of Ebony and the headstock “ears” are also ebony, as if the appearance of the guitar were not compelling enough.
It belongs to Jon Thorne, Bass player with Lamb, James Yorkston and sometime musical partner of Danny Thompson and of course, John Smith.
I know him mostly through his time with John Smith. Jon had a Fylde Acoustic Bass for a while, which you can see in this twelve-year-old clip. he has now given up everything except upright bass, and has no need for an acoustic guitar, even one as nice as this.
The guitar is for sale at £ 3,900. (SOLD) There are a number of Ariel collectors out there so that might be a little cheap, despite constant pressure I'm still resisting the high price guitar thing.
I'm very interested to see who responds, there isn't likely to be another one of these.
It comes complete with its own highly authenticated case!
You might need to refer to last month’s newsletter to understand this, another in a series by Tony Husband. I'm really pleased. A lot more to come.
Adam has been busy.
Last week, he played 'Hey Joe' on his Fylde Guitar on stage in Wroclaw alongside Steve Vai and 8000 other guitarists, a world record!
Can you imagine the usual situation where everybody wants to be louder than everybody else?
Then he played on stage with Al Di Meola at The Blue Note in Milan.
They played Mediterranean Sundance. I felt obliged to point out to Adam that I was in the CBS studios in New York with Al, while he was recording this in 1979. Adam said I'd already told him that, several times.
Al recorded a lot of the album on his Fylde steel string guitars, he had about five at the time. He now uses Nylon strings, played with a pick, which would have been a capital crime in times gone by.
Look how young I was!
I showed Adam this picture, just to make a point. Once again, he said I'd already shown him, several times. I've no idea what he's talking about, I would never boast about something like that or go on and on about it, me being in the CBS studios with Al Di Meola, in 1979, in New York.
We've had a lot of interest in the Tenor Mandola recently, so we made this one in Walnut and Cedar to see how it worked out. It's a massive success, these are some of my favourite timbers for various reasons, they are readily available, not likely to become threatened and they suit the tonal range of small instruments particularly well. Just to be sure you know which instrument this is, it's tuned CGDA, scale length 422 mm.
English Walnut back and sides, Cedar top, Mahogany Neck, Ebony fingerboard.
For sale at £1,900 - SOLD
I've had some special cases made in Italy which should be available soon.
I know I've posted versions of this many times. This is a very recent recording of what is already becoming an acoustic guitar classic. I think it's destined to become an "Anji", or God forbid, a "smoke on the water". As long as Gordon continues to play it, I will continue to share it. It still gets my blood moving, the change of tempo back and forth must be very demanding, and I half expect Gordon to fall off his chair at the end. Would you believe that Gordon does NOT scratch his guitars? (Film by Dave Hodgkinson)
I have seen this before, so I don't understand why I haven’t used it. Sometimes I'm spoilt for choice in new videos.
Antonio has two of these guitars, each has heavily modified frets to accommodate a particular style. He is amazing.
I often get questions about soundhole and body size and their effect on tone. I think the answer is best demonstrated in an "extreme" situation where it becomes a bit more obvious, perhaps like a bouzouki. Some have a large soundhole and small body, resulting in a high body resonance and a thin trebly sound. Seth Lakeman's bouzouki has a small soundhole and a reasonably large body resulting in a low body resonance. I think it's clear enough in this video, the sound is full and "throaty", wonderful for backing a song as in this video or for an unusual contribution amongst a group of higher shelved instruments in a session.
If you didn't know (how could you not?), Seth is part of a musical dynasty, his father Geoff, and brothers Sam and Sean, all with their own distinct contribution to English Music, and well worth researching.
Heather is appearing at Ullapool this year, I'm sure she'll fit right in and mingle with everybody. There's always a cup of tea at the Fylde display, or we'll tell her where the kettle and biscuits are.
Heather already has good connections - she is one of Will McNicol's students. Good, isn't she?
In case anybody is wondering, I did ask Chris and Stephanie if I could include baby Smith in my newsletter. I think they are keen to introduce her to the music world as soon as possible.
Note the perfectly timed baby sneeze at the end.
They are currently touring the US on the West Coast, opening for Wilder Woods, driving up and down our favourite road no doubt... wish we were there.
Then they will be at The Mountain Winery in San Francisco with Government Mule on June 10th, and with Orville Peck in New York on the 22nd of June and the 21st-27th July with The Wood Brothers in Colorado!
Toby has a new duo Album coming out with Jim Ghedi, on 26th May.
Here is a video of one of the tracks. Toby is mostly known for his 12-string playing (check the Fylde Charity Album), but also has a rather sweet Fylde Ariel, so I'm hoping that will feature on some future videos. Jim has been talking to me about a new guitar, we shall have to see how that works out. I'll be posting new videos when they are available.
This music thing is so much fun, I get videos like this from all over the world.
Chris is a Golden Globe nominated screenwriter, director and singer-songwriter best known for writing the screenplay for the multi-Academy Award nominated film Mississippi Burning and Miles from Home starring Richard Gere.
I first heard from Chris when he recorded with his Sir Toby acoustic bass, which he has now passed to his bass player, Chance Wilder Onody. Chris bought his Orsino from Ebay ten years ago, and has abandoned his “other brand" guitar. He hopes to post more videos soon, alongside Chance and the Sir Toby. Can't wait.
It's not like me to help advertise another guitar manufacturer, but this is interesting. If you skip to 43.25, you will hear Jon talk about Fylde, he was local to my workshop in his early years, and we still chat sometimes.
Jon's a good guy, listen to what he has to say. I don’t mind “my” guitars getting bashed a little bit, but I'm not sure my heart would survive Jon playing a Fylde.
Tris was here to take part in his annual pilgrimage, the Fred Whitton Challenge. Note he is the one still riding while the others have given up and started to walk.
He is a very keen cyclist and was pleased with his time for the day's ride. I was pleased with the score at the Pool Table at the pub the day after. It's much the same as a cycle race, I was racing ahead, then when he started to catch up, I had a puncture and declared the race void.
Picture by Steve Fleming
I enjoy arranging bottles with the sunlight coming through them so that the different colours show up. I realised that this picture has Welsh, Irish and Scotch bottles so I added the English one to make a set, it would have made more sense to use Bushmills rather than Dingle, (you should know why), but I haven't had any of that for a while.
I sometimes get rather depressed when I look at all my empty or part empty bottles and realise that some would have been worth a lot of money if I hadn't opened them!!
You can't have your Whisky and Drink it. (Roger Bucknall 2023)
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