Showing posts from March, 2014

Amazing instruments.

Saw this post about some amazing instruments - all guitars don't have to look like a Fender or a Gibson ;-)

Lost Days - Henry Maybury

Touching song from Henry Maybury.

Walter Trout needs a new liver

I’m combining for once guitars and alcoholism on here. Walter Trout the renowned blues guitarist is currently in UCLA hospital in desperate need of a liver transplant.  He stated when news of the illness broke in the Blues Magazine that “It seems my early years of debauchery, lechery and partying has finally caught up with me.”   The latest statement says “Walter’s condition has rapidly deteriorated. His surgeon and team of doctors say it is a matter of him getting a liver transplant within the next 90 days or he will die.” Now look at this picture… yes that is before and after and before Walter deteriorated to his current condition. There is a campaign to raise money for his health bills and to support his family in this time. I saw him once when with the Blues Breakers and have dipped into his music at times.  He is a great guitarist.  But this post is about what drinking can and will do to you if you don’t get sober and stay sober the statements above and th

Cover it better

Very often these days I'll hear something the radio or the TV and when my daughter says "I really like this" I'll say "You should listen to the original" and then dig it out of either my collection, Spotify, YouTube etc. to show her the difference between a performance with the passion of the writer often in it vs one just cleverly produced by the pop music factories that churn these things out constantly these days. However the other day I was listening to a cover of Dear Prudence by folk band Lau.  Now I really like Lau but this one didn't cut the mustard as a cover for me.  However one did in the past so I wondered about my top list of covers, where I feel the cover is better in some way... Here it is... Starting with - Dear Prudence by Siouxsie And the Banshees.  I just love the guitar sound on this her vocal this really works so much better than any other version for me.  Next - Mr Jimi Hendrix.  Ok I struggled and gave up - dear Jimi i

Young gun guitarists mixing it with the elder statesmen

A couple of new tunes/videos from bands with new young guitarists. First up Asia, who lost Steve Howe sadly last year after he admitted being in both Yes and Asia was too much for him - which was fair enough but odd give Geoff Downs had rejoined Yes and they were both in both bands seemingly I'd have thought that easier to arrange commitments - still. Here is Valkyrie featuring new guitarist Sam Coulson a mere slip of a lad at 27 who was spotted on YouTube apparently. Not bad similar to some of the recent Asia fair and a nice flutey sustained solo by Sam... but ... but... just not Steve Howe who is one of those people who is just for me special Next ... well a new band called California Breed.  However you could say this is Black Country Communion minus Joe Bonamassa after is public bust up with Glen Hughes over not putting enough effort into touring and promoting BCC.  Derek Sherinian (keyboards) has gone as well being now a regular feature in Joe's recent touring b

Book Review - The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

I've really enjoyed some of Tom Rob Smiths Previous books particularly Child 44. This time he has moved on from Leo Demidov and the Russian setting of that trilogy.  This book is split between London and Sweden.  It is a very dark novel focused on themes such as death, lies and deceit within families, incest, child sexual exploitation and mental health problems. Not a jolly laugh a minute read then clearly.  However what it lacks in jollity it more than makes up for in terms of the way you are drawn into the tale.  Essentially you hear a story of a woman's concern for a young girl who is missing.  The lady has moved to a farm in Sweden only recently having sold up her business.  She is talking to her son after she flees from a mental institution that her husband has tried to have her committed to.  She has come back to London to her son who she believes is the only person who'll believe her.  She believes her husband to be complicit in the sexual abuse of young girls lik

A lesson in many things!

Stupidity!  Don't be hasty.  Leave it to someone who knows... etc. Ok My Gibson Les Paul Custom, which used to on the old blog at least and maybe here for a while be my banner at the top, has had to go to the menders. Why?  Cos I was daft that is why.  I've filed a few nuts in my time, normally on my cheaper guitars or on the kit build etc. and in those cases all has been fine, a success.  I took my time, carefully noting what I was doing.  So one day a little while back I thought may be if I lower the nut slots on the Gibson some of the intonation issues on the lower frets will be fixed.  Good idea I thought.  I remember laying it down and thinking "This is a pretty pricey guitar do you want to do this?"  I went at it.  Stupidly I went just one or two strokes too far on the low E string.  It buzzed it rattled.  I was mortified, how stupid.  I did a temp fix with superglue and some dust off a spare nut blank but frankly what a numpty. Nevermind I thought.  Buy a

Off the peg .... or not...

I was doing my usual wandering around sites related to guitars on the web today. Now let me be honest - Gibson, Fender, PRS, Ibanez and many other names will make people think that these are the pinnacle of guitar building skills etc.  And let us be honest they are great but they are pretty much all churned out by the dozen, hundred, thousand from factories with much of the work computerised etc. and you're buying the same as the next guy into the shop. Let us take a Gibson Les Paul - the iconic Standard.  Today they are often more than £2000 a pop for essentially a bulk standard Standard - good guitars but £2000 a pop.  I came across this on Feline Guitars site . Yes a custom hand made LP a like from a custom builder here in the UK.  Look at the neck joint - terrific. Crimson Guitars in Somerset recently featured them working on a LP standard where they were dropping in a tremolo and doing a neck mod like this - the picture below shows a hole they found you could lo

Entry Island - Peter May

I really enjoyed Peter May's Lewis Island trilogy.  His latest book has some links - a murder on a small remote island and a link to the Hebrides.  However the murder is on Entry Island which is a small island in the Gulf of St Lawrence in Canada.  Oddly Entry Island is the only English speaking island in the Magdalen Islands, the rest being French speaking.  When a murder occurs Sime Mackenzie is called in to help as he is an English speaking detective and he journeys out from Quebec to help interrogate the suspect(s). Here is where the odd bit of the novel kicks in.  Firstly there is the thriller element of the murder investigation and the direct and side story issues with that.  But secondly this novel has a time slip element to it as Sime begins to recall some diaries read to him by his grandmother when he was a child about an ancestor of his who travelled to Canada after being evicted in a clearance on a Hebridean island in the 19th Century.  Now Sime firmly believes some fo