• Claro Walnut Alexander for sale - SOLD
  • Eric Bibb. Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down
  • Will McNicol. The Springtime Grove
  • Peter Green's Fylde Guitar.
  • Skeet Williams. Albatross
  • Peter Greenbaum and my Bro-in-law
  • Remi Harris
  • Ullapool Guitar Festival
  • The Ullapool Guitar
  • Charlotte Carrivick. The Old Spinning Wheel
  • Ben Robertson. The Crow on the Cradle
  • Fergus Hall. Live and let Die
  • Gareth Evans. Stand By Me
  • Jack Haigh. This song will sooth your soul
  • Walnut Mandolin - SOLD
  • Custom Cases for "Tenor" Mandolas
  • Antonio Forcione @ 606 club
  • Irish Bouzouki. Come West Along the Road
  • David Delarre. The Sailors Bonnet / Tommy Peoples Reel
  • Steve Turner and Nic Jones
  • Chris Herring. Luke’s Little Summer
  • I've never been so grateful for What’s App
Claro Walnut Alexander for sale

It's a lucky day for somebody, as we are struggling to have anything actually for sale nowadays. 

This is an unusual guitar but rather lovely if I do say so myself. 

Heavily figured Claro Walnut back and sides. Fine Red Cedar soundboard with marquetry and red line purflings and "Rosewood" bindings with matching red borders.

The sound is rich and full, with all the warmth you would expect from these splendid timbers. The Alexander size is particularly comfortable and ideal for anybody that does not want the bigger "Dreadnaught" guitars.

The neck is slim by our usual standards, 43.5 mm wide at the nut, made from exceptional quality Mahogany, laminated with Rosewood, and a slotted Headstock. 
LR Baggs Element pickup fitted.  

For sale at £4700. SOLD

  • Claro Walnut Alexander for Sale
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Eric Bibb. Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down

Eric and I had a few conversations during his recent UK tour, but we didn't manage to meet up this time, there is far too much going on at the moment. I do have some news about Eric that I will share in a few months.

The guitar is one of a pair we made for Eric and his musical partner Habib Kiote. Both were shallow body Alchemists made using Wenge for the back and sides, which Alex, Paul and myself all agree we will never use again. It's a lovely timber if you enjoy splinters and pain, and if you don't mind infinite amounts of lacquering and sanding. But to be fair, it sounds good and looks good.

Eric was at Music and Art high school with our good friend Arlen Roth, and both have new CDs out. 

Eric's Website
Arlen's Website

Will McNicol. The Springtime Grove

Another of Will's pieces from " The College". He is such a good composer, (and player of course).   Will's technique is a blend of steel and nylon styles, it's very clear in this video and that probably explains his whole approach to composing.  I'm fascinated by his right thumb.

Really looking forward to seeing you soon Will. 

Will's website

Peter Green's Fylde Guitar.

Well, it’s only fair, I have all his albums, so he should have had just as many Fylde Guitars.

I had no idea about this. What a lovely, splendid, heart lifting bit of news. Remi Harris sent me the picture and link. He has been invited to an event at the auctioneers and hopes to get to play some of Peter's guitars. There is nobody better to represent Peter's music.

I was in Frankfurt when Peter first performed after his break from Fleetwood Mac and subsequent long recovery. The tickets were like gold dust, and I was given one by the organisers.  Guess what? I didn't go and I can't remember why.

Many years later, one of Peter’s friends from those lost years helped me dig a trench for a gas pipe in our garden. I should write a book. Oh, I remember now, I did.    

Skeet Williams. Albatross

I've seen a video of John McVie playing exactly this bass part, two notes the whole way through and 100% effective and fitting. Anymore and the top line wouldn't be nearly as dreamy. Who'd have thought that a simple acoustic guitar could reproduce both parts, and the overall feel, so brilliantly?

Full marks Skeet.

Skeet has a new album available, with Deb!

Skeet's Website

Peter Greenbaum and my Bro-in-law

I know this isn't the usual music to include here, but I do really enjoy some loud rock, and Terry Vickerstaff is my brother in law.

The other connection is that he has Peter Green's "proper" autograph from pre-Mac days.

Terry said I could use the picture if I promised to use one of his videos. (not really). We saw him play at a wedding a year ago, with his three daughters as backing singers. Splendid, almost brought me to tears, and don't take that the wrong way.

Remi Harris

Another demonstration of Remi's superb playing and his two signature guitars. I asked him a while ago if he could "compare and contrast" the two models, the cedar top bing warm and loud, while the spruce is bright and punchy. 

Remi is booked at Ullapool again this year along with Joscho Stefan, so we can expect the best in Gypsy music.

We are trying hard to have one of these guitars to display at Ullapool.

Remi has a new Gypsy jazz guitar book coming out soon, look out for it on his website.   

Remi's Website

Ullapool Guitar Festival

Richard 'Ullapool' Lindsay, as we know him, has organised this splendid video compilation of the world’s friendliest guitar festival. We are trying very hard to have a variety of guitars to display this year, with a few surprises. It will be certainly a surprise to us if we manage to get it all done.  I wonder if I can use holograms? 

Ullapool Festival Website

The Ullapool Guitar

We have started work on our annual "one off " guitar to sell on behalf of the festival. Here are some photos. I won't say any more yet, just in case. When they are finished, they always sell quickly and the festival is such a good cause, I think there are still tickets available.

Ullapool Festival Website

Charlotte Carrivick. The Old Spinning Wheel

I hadn't heard from Charlotte and Laura for a long time, just little comments from people that had been playing alongside one or both of them in one of their many musical formats.

I was really pleased to see this, I've no idea how I found it.  Charlotte’s guitar is a custom Falstaff with an Adirondack Spruce top. We don't have many connections with Bluegrass music, so it's lovely to see.

The Carrivick Sisters Website

Ben Robertson. The Crow on the Cradle

Ben sent me a number of new links, but this one has strong memories for me, Ian and Lorna Campbell singing it at the Jug of Punch Folk Club in Digbeth, Birmingham, circa 1965.  

To get to the club involved several buses and sometimes a very long walk home to the other side of Birmingham, always inspired by what I had heard and seen. Brian Clarks simple and effective guitar accompaniment was an early push into guitar playing, followed by Dave Swarbrick’s mandolin. Eventually, I made guitars for every one of the group in its different formats. Ian and I swapped various books for a while, and I shared a glass with him at the Folk Awards not long before he died in 2012. 

The song was written by Sydney Carter, who of course also wrote "Lord of the Dance" and just happened to be in the same wartime Ambulance Unit as my dad.

Fergus Hall. Live and let Die

You may not know his name, but you must have seen Fergus' work. He designed the Tarot cards used by Jane Seymour in "Live and Let Die" with Roger Moore playing James Bond.

He came to collect his new Cittern recently and brought his only remaining set of the original cards with him. He didn't bring Jane Seymour though. Next time Fergus?

We laid the cards out on the Falstaff soundboard template. I should have used Prospero - "The Conjuror".

Moira and I have been discussing the possibility of commissioning a painting from Fergus, he likes to be given a theme and some idea of what we would like the painting to include.

It's going to be a very big painting.

Fergus makes part of his living by selling sets of "Greeting Cards". Some of you might realise that our dining table background is Brazilian Rosewood, albeit very old and sun damaged. It will not be made into guitars.

Fergus' Website

Gareth Evans. Stand By Me

Gareth gets such a good sound from his Falstaff and has a particular knack for finding tunes that get your feet tapping. Also, of course, his job is to teach those very same tunes. I think video is so much better than tablature for the learning process.

Goliath Guitar Tutorials Website

Jack Haigh. This song will soothe your soul

Jack is dead right, it's exactly the tone I'd expect to hear while getting an aromatherapy massage. I've just had a fleeting memory of Sesame seed oil, I used to go home smelling like a freshly baked bun and very relaxed. Until the next day, then I'd smell of dust and glue and be wound up like a spring again.
Beautiful playing. I can sense Jack feeling for each note.

Jack's Website

Walnut Mandolin

We try to have mandolins in progress at all times, that way we can have something to sell on the spot rather than the usual annoying delivery times. When they are finished, they always sell quickly.

It also works well for us to sometimes take a break from guitars and relax a little with smaller instruments.

So here we are, a rare chance, for sale at £1,600 plus case etc. SOLD

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Custom Cases for "Tenor" Mandolas

This has been "a journey", another one in a long series of journeys. It's always hard to find decent cases for the smaller instruments, and none of our designs are the same as anybody else’s. (Hooray!)

The mandola is particularly difficult, and I've been speaking to manufacturers worldwide for years. The worst problem is the small numbers required, and minimum shipping volumes.

With the help of our good friends Giulio and Giulia from Sec Guitars I've managed to source these rather splendid custom cases from Italy, I'm not sure of the price yet, but if anybody needs one, email me.

SEC Guitars Website

Antonio Forcione @ 606 club

I think the drummer is playing the same line as Antonio!

Antonio's Website

Irish Bouzouki. Come West Along the Road

Tijn Berends and Suzanne - another drummer playing a tune!        
I do like the way these tunes move, starting off slow and hooking you in so you daren't stop watching in case the couch breaks.   I'm serious - watch at 3.10

Tijn's Website

David Delarre. The Sailors Bonnet / Tommy Peoples Reel

David must be the most well-connected player around at the moment.

I've got a hat like that. 

David's Website

Steve Turner and Nic Jones

I really prefer not to use audio only youtube clips, but I can't resist ones as good as this, and any recordings of Nic that I didn't know about get an instant "pass" from me. Nic's playing is instantly recognisable from the tone and particularly the phrasing. I haven't seen Steve perform for a long time, but in checking the web it seems he is cooperating with Martin Carthy at the moment. That is something I do need to see.

Steve's Website

Chris Herring. Luke’s Little Summer

I love Chris's playing. His love of John Renbourn's music seems to be his inspiration, and he plays it on his dads old Falstaff, despite the fact that Chris makes guitars himself.

Chris's Website

I've never been so grateful for What’s App

I’m going to tell you a story (wasn’t that Max Bygraves?), 99.9% of my readers are now saying “who?”

We couriered a lovely new guitar to a regular, well connected customer living in London. 

It didn’t arrive on time. Here we go again. 

Making guitars is easy compared to all the stuff that goes alongside.

I’m going to have to make up names to protect the guilty and the very innocent. 

My customer, “Peter”, contacted the courier and made friends with a customer service agent, (always a good plan), we shall call her “Madonna”. 

Here is his story:

So, sainted Madonna was taking it upon herself to make sure the guitar arrived early today and wouldn’t spend the weekend in the warehouse - this was my worry. She said for me to be ready from 7.am as when it arrived from ***** it would be sent straight out to be put into my hands. 

The tracking shows it left ******* in the early hours. I got up at six and me and the cat waited. It was nice that time in the morning. 

By ten nothing had happened, and I was sitting on the porch of my electric shed and got a ping - it had been delivered. 

I went into the house and said to my partner where had he put the big box that had just been delivered. Blank look. 

I went outside to see if it was in the front garden - no. 

I stand in the street bewildered and a bit anxious…

Am about to ring sainted Madonna when I get a what’s app message from our neighbour who is on holiday in the Hebrides, saying that the street’s what’s app group has a post from a lady called Rita with a picture of a big box addressed to Peter that an Australian visitor had taken in - when the courier said ‘Peter?’ they heard ‘Rita?’. 

Are you following this?

My neighbour didn’t know this woman so couldn’t tell me what number she was at. 

She asked the group if they knew the number and, in the meantime, I started walking the street. I met a lady who said, ‘are you Peter?’  ‘I’m Rita at number 76 ‘(I live at 26). 

She was about to go on holiday for three weeks….

So we walked up the street for me to collect the guitar. Turns out her late husband was a guitarist and an artist. She is a lovely woman and so we have new friends and a new picture as well as my amazing guitar. 

A saga, eh? Could have gone very wrong ... as Rita said, if she had gone on holiday, it would have been weeks ...

Anyway, all is well, guitar is safe, and it seems as beautiful as I anticipated. 

A revered BBC sound engineer has just commented on the guitar that: “I'd be tempted to have it somewhere in my sightline and just spend all day gazing at it.”

I’ve been doing just that. 

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