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June 2019: in this issue:

Fylde Guitars and their players


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Strings that nimble leap.

"Strings that Nimble Leap" is a major recording project for charity. It comprises 43 tracks involving 52 musicians, all playing Fylde guitars, or in some cases, mandolin, bouzouki, acoustic bass or ukulele.

Most of the tracks are specially recorded, and many have been specially written for this project.

The charities we have in mind are MIND (nearly a joke there), because mental illness affects so many people that we know. Also Help Musicians UK, so that we can help musicians in the UK . Yes, I know, nearly another joke. And the Woodland Trust, the reasons for that choice should be obvious.

The whole project has taken nine months, I'd no idea how it would work out when I first started, but I soon realised that I couldn't possibly fit everything on to one CD, and I couldn’t decide who to leave out!

There was a simple solution-there are two CDs.

I still had to make some hard decisions, and I could not face the idea of three CDs. I did consider issuing a new cd each year for a while, but quite honestly, I need to get back to making guitars.

The CDs are in sleeves inside a 128-page book with 53 photographs. Each track and each relationship with the artist is explained. Plus, notes on style, recording techniques and tunings.

The paper, printing and binding are the very highest quality. Basically, it’s a "proper" book with CDs inside. A few of the tracks have been taken (with permission) from old recordings, tweaked and re-mastered as necessary. All the rest are full studio, professional recordings. The track order is mostly chronological, tracing the history of my relationships with the artist, but sometimes I have had to move things around in order to make it all fit, and to avoid major clashes of style or dynamics. It makes sense to me at least.

Strings that nimble leap features 52 Artists:

The featured Artists:

Eric Bibb; David Buckingham; Adam Bulley and Chas MacKenzie; Hugh Burns; Charlotte Carrivick; Clive Carroll; Martin Carthy; Phil Cool; Graham Coxon; Barbara Dickson; Chris Difford and Boo Hewerdine; Troy Donockley; John Doyle; Dave Pegg and Chris Leslie, Fairport Convention; Archie Fisher; Antonio Forcione; Bob Fox and Stu Luckley; Peter Howarth, Frontm3n; Vin Garbutt; Gordon Giltrap; Lisa Hannigan; Remi Harris; Toby Hay; Megan Henwood; Hobson & Lees; Nick Hooper; Andy Irvine; John James; Nic Jones; Birelli Lagrene and Adam Palma; Jez Lowe; David Mead; Will McNicol and Luke Selby; Elliott Morris; Ken Nicol; Henry Olsen; Tristan Seume; Martin Simpson; John Smith; Ben Walker; Billy Watman; Innes Watson and Chris While.

Plus Seonaid Aitken; Patsy Reed; Alice Allen; Pete Lincoln; Mick Wilson; Roy Dodds; Chris Laurence; Manuel Nietro and Issidro Suerez.

Some tracks from the album that happen to have video

John Smith and Clive Carroll

This is John and Clive "Killing the Blues" for the first time, at the Ullapool Guitar Festival at the late-night club in 2016. Link to video.

They have recorded a studio version specially for this project, and I suspect John will be adding it to his set list one day soon. You saw it here first, you heard it here first. You can hear it as many times as you like after you have bought the album.

Recorded and produced by Sam Lakeman. Guitar solos are taken by both Clive and John, and of course, wonderful soaring vocals by Mr Smith. I think they love working together. In fact, I know they do, they have a complete concert planned at Ullapool this year.

John's Site.
Clive's site.

Charlotte Carrivick

This is a few years ago now, but Charlotte has very kindly allowed me to use the original recording for the album, re-mastered by Paul Adams.

I loved this the first time I heard it, such a lovely flowing style. It looks dead simple, but believe me, it isn’t!

After I had a number of tracks "booked" for use in this project, I began to look for other artists who could provide a variety of music and style. This is perfect, a lovely video as well. What it does not show is that the audio was recorded with a capo on the second fret. Sneaky.

Carrivick’s site.

Bireli Lagrene and Adam Palma

I used this track about six months ago, as a way of slowly introducing the idea of the album. I dropped quite a few hints about what was happening, but nobody noticed!.

Adam arranged the recording of this concert with the album project in mind, and I'm so pleased to have it.

I was a little confused when I first heard it as Adam starts playing first, bear that in mind when you hear the album.

We have all heard Bireli, he is a master. Adam is a more recent arrival but has gained massive respect in music circles, particularly since he started to play Fylde?

Adam Palma's site.