Saturday, 31 January 2015

What...!?!?!

Ok... This is the original prototype Les Paul Custom made by Gibson for him for the updated custom release in the early 50s.  It is NOT as claimed the first from which all others came from or made by "Mr Paul" - he made The Log first....

Now - that still makes it one hell of a rare, valuable and historically important instrument - esp to a Les Paul Black Custom owner like myself....   But I hate the inaccuracies implied in these recounting of the story.   Grrrrr!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-31070330

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/original-les-paul-guitar-goes-auction-1485949

Tributes.

I've seen a load of real negative stuff about some hearfelt tributes lately and I just feel a lot of the complaining is not only unjustified but hurtful to those carrying out the tributes.

Item one.

A new tribute to Randy Rhodes of the legendary track Crazy Train he made with Ozzy.  The comments are terrible - these guys were hugely influenced by Randy and this is their attempt to pay him tribute and all you get is people moaning away.  Not the greatest version - that is Randy and Ozzy's!  But it is noway as bad as the comments would have you believe.

Item two.

Gordon Giltrap on Facebook admitting sheding a tear when listening to some old Bert Jansch tracks.  Someone accused him of "name dropping"... sorry?  This is Gordon Giltrap and he was a friend of Bert's and hugely influenced by the man.  This troll so got to Gordon he posted and apology which most other fans instantly told him was more than just unnecessary.

Item three.

Kirk Hammett of Metallica has broken open his piggy bank to buy the legendary Peter Green/Gary Moore 1959 Les Paul.  Now some years ago when Gary sold this to pay off some debts he had it was then reputed on the market by the dealer who bought it for $2million!!!   It ended up in a rich man's collection.  Kirk has bought it to play it - using it live on Whiskey In the Jar the trad tune made famous by Thin Lizzy - therefore relevant as although not on the original studio recording Gary will have played that tune on that guitar during his Lizzy stints.  Again read the comments... OMG!  This guy has millions of album sales and can afford it and is out playing it again and still they moan on and on.... 

I feel so sad that these people can't appreciate the world moves on and that change in the world enable the creation of guitars and modern music in the first place and to moan like this is just beyond me.... truly it is so pathetic....

Friday, 30 January 2015

All change...

Have you noticed the massive change to the blog?

No?  

Not surprised but I've linked it to Google+ - I doubt it'll increase interest or traffic much.  But I did pause just before clicking.  Since now if you do gaze to the bar on the right... notice the profile?  I'm no longer Furtheron I have to be Graham Hunt (who?).  Since I've been blogging about music, guitars, recording, playing, writing, listening, reading, family, life and recovery since 2006 I've been Furtheron which came from my first blog "Further on Up the Road".  Which I deleted some years back in a fit of some daftness or other.

Now of course I'm also Furtheron in the Wordpress sphere and have a separate blog where I talk about life stuff.   I just thought it somehow fitted better having two blogs.  But on there I've mostly been outed to so people often comment back "so... Graham... "  etc.

The only real concern is that I do hear ruffle against one of the guiding traditions of AA - to remain anonymous.  I try to emphasise my point of view is always my own, I'm no spokeperson for AA and personally for me I disagree with the widely held view that AA members should extend Tradition 11 to the internet.  This isn't a broadcast medium to me like the tv, radio, film, press etc.  This is my little space in a community where I say "Hi, I'm Graham.  I'm into guitars and music.  Oh and I'm a recovering alcoholic."     Literature in AA talks about it being important that we as people for whom the 12 step programme is working tell people that so that others may in time find that solution to potentially.  I see this kind of blogging as that no one pays for it and it is not forced into anyone at all.  Also I do try to remember Tradition 12 - it is about principles not personalities.  This is not about me ego building or gaining a following - there are plenty of sober gurus out there who'll do that ... often asking for a paypal donation along the way.  That is me...    "I'm Graham.  I'm a guitarist and an alcoholic."

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Book Review - Kingdom - Robyn Young

Kingdom is the last in Robyn's Insurection trilogy.  This series of books has been charting the life of Robert the Bruce.

By the time this book kicks off Robert The Bruce has murdered John Comyn (Edward I's puppet Scottish Vassel) at the monastry in Dumfries.  Bruce quickly claims the Scottish throne and begins to wage a war against the invading English.  Edward I, not known for is leniency against such uprisings throws his weight behind the war.

The book fictionalises the events from that point up to the Battle of Bannockburn (with a short couple of epilogues).  It is pretty good, a reasonable page turner keeping you interested although we all know the outcome of course which is true of any historical novel.  There is some tinkering with historical details, some due to lack of knowledge.  Early on in the campaign Bruce goes on the run and the author turns this into him building support in the Western Isles but there is no real solid evidence of this.  Some people's relationships are tweaked - an affair between Bruce's captured wife and her protector during her incarceration is purely fictional and some people and places are changed more for simplicity than anything else.  The whole Lancaster vs Edward II and the issue of Piers Gaveston is to a degree embellished - the author here assumes that they were gay lovers and the complexity of the barons revolt and subsequent murder of Gaveston is played down but... this is due to really the clock ticking the narration to get Edward II to Bannockburn with a disorderly bunch of knights distrustful of each other and tired and ill prepared.

All in all a good read but read the other two first to get you up to speed on the characters, I don't think it'll work in isolation.

 Overall a one thumbs up on the  FTUBRS*


* Furtheron Thumbs Up Book Review Scale - 
lowest is both thumbs down with a frown
two thumbs down, 
one thumb horizontal,
two thumbs horizontal, 
one thumb up, 
two thumbs up 
two thumbs up with a grin - very rarely awarded


Friday, 16 January 2015

New Music

2015 has started with a few terrific new discoveries.

Firstly a duo from middle England who are just terrific - if you loved The Civil Wars then listen here....




The first edition of Acoustic Magazine to drop through my door this year had a freebie CD collection of new music, a bit all over the place as a collection but a couple of jems from it. First we have Jamie Beau and The Mill - love his backing singers by the way, my kind of guys ;-)




Next up we have Jess and The Bandits - I found this live one of them... excellent




Lastly my pre-release copy of False Lights CD dropped through the drop yesterday. Again I'm loving this album it really is the best thing in Folk Rock at the moment. This is the stunning album closer - Crossing the Bar lyrics courtesy of Lord Tennyson.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

CD reviews

Round up of my Christmas gift CDs

Øysrein Greni Forty Days 

Øysrein is the main man in Norwegian band Bigbang. This is a 9 song collection of material previously pit of under the band moniker over the years. My son saw him doing a solo support of Rodrigo Y Gabrielle some weeks ago and thought I'd like it. I do!  Think Crosby, Stiles and Nash with Tom Petty and Red Hot Chilli Peppers thrown in at times. So stuff that reminds you constantly of other stuff but in a good way. Spotify has most of the tracks off the original albums. Try it out 

Ben Howard I Forget Where We Were

Every Kingdom was a terrific début.  On his second full album (ignoring the Burgh Island EP) he seems to have leapt forward.  Simply this is a stunning album, hypnotherapeutic is one word I'd use to try and capture it.  He layers delay and effect laden guitar lines with sparse additional instrumentation and then the vocal delivery reminds me a lot of John Martyn.  Cracking album!

Counting Crows - Somewhere Under Wonderland.

Like many people I was hooked when I heard Counting Crows début August and Everything After.  I like some of the other releases but I felt they never recaptured the magic of that initial disc.  Until now... Somewhere Under Wonderland is their best release in my opinion since August and Everything.  Ever willing to push the boundaries the first track is an over 8 minute masterpiece almost a rock jazz anthem with superb poetry being read over the top!  Counting Crows picked this as the lead single... nothing if not boundary pushers since there is a lost more obvious single material on the album but Palisades Park is without doubt the magnum opus on the album.  But for Earthquake Driver and Elvis Went to Hollywood are where I love to hear the Crows.  Terrific album for anyone who has ever heard them and liked them.  I hope too it might win new fans too.