BLOGS

Blog Pages

Here is a list of all my Blog Pages from the start......

Blog

The Crosstown Blues Band….

    Since the age of about 24, I’ve had a version of the Crosstown Blues Band happening.. It started as a vehicle for me and my bro. Neil to play some blues rock stuff, but since then has gone on to headline European Blues festivals, open expensive facilities, play at TV commercial wrap parties(…)

Lana’s Garden

    Years go, my first Album “Tales from a High Mountain” was released, and on it was a track called ‘Lana’s Garden’ written for my beautiful wife Lana.. Since then, lots of people have been very nice about it, and it remains probably my most requested track. Lots of people have asked what Lana’s(…)

The G7th Capo Company…

    Back in the day, when I was a demonstrator for Takamine, one of my favourite places to play was Lecicester. Each year Noel Sheehan of Sheehans music would put on an evening in the Guild Hall in Leicester, and we would fill it full of musicians, and have a great evening. Since those(…)

Les Gets Blues Festival…….

    I’ve mentioned in other blogs about the Les Gets Blues Festival, but it probably deserves a little mention of its own, as it’s been a pretty important part of our lives for over a decade now. Briefly, I used to be a patron of the Bath International Guitar Festival. Every year they would(…)

Very Large Beer!!…..

Hoist by my own petard!!   So, a couple of years ago, I found myself at the Frankfurt MusikMesse, again. I think it was my 20th Frankfurt show. My business partner in GoTo and I were staying in a little village about a half hour train ride away from the city, a place called Bad-Soden.(…)

The Ash Can School…..

So, at the age of 19/20, I had a band called “The Ash School”. turns out this was an Art Movement in America in the Early 20th Century which showed a gritty realistic side of American life at a time when it was politically incorrect to do so. Who Knew? I just thought it was(…)

Musical Families……

It’s hard to know where the drive to make music comes from. I have my own theories. I have a particular memory of my Father, a wonderful pianist and singer, who worked most of his professional life as a Salesman. As kids, my younger sister Sue and I would look for opportune moments to ask(…)

Tommy Leddy’s Sound Shop…..

(Me, Tommy and Maria)…   Here’s a shot featuring one of my favourite fella’s in the Music Industry…… Tommy Leddy has run the Sound Shop in Drogheda for many many years now, and for the last 20 odd years he’s run the Irish National Guitar Show. In the past he’s had some wonderful players attend(…)

Nicest Gig setting I’ve ever played…..

  This is a series of pictures from Le Grand Ourse Restaurant on Mont Chery in Les Gets (French Alps). For the best part of the ‘noughties, it was my pleasure to play the Les Gets Blues Festival, and we usually played the Apres -Ski and Night gigs in various clubs and Bars in the(…)

Gordon Smith Guitars….

  When I was 18 I did my first tour abroad. It was to New Orleans with my mate Burkey, and we were ‘managed’ by a local entrepreneur and Club owner Tony Massey. As part of our deal we were offered shiny new instruments, and through Tony’s dealings we both ended up with beautiful guitars(…)

Rickie Lee Jones: Best Gig ever……..

For those of you that didn’t know, this is RLJ.             She is my favourite female vocalist ever. Her first 2 albums and most of her 4th would be on my All Time Desert Island Discs, and she has released so many other sublime albums and covers that its hard(…)

Very Fine Luthiers………..

Very Fine Luthiers………..

Here’s an old pic from around 2008. It features me and 2 old friends, both of whom are wonderful Luthiers in their own right. On the left is Jayson Bowerman and in the middle is the legend that is Kim Breedlove. Jayson was an apprentice to Kim and now has his own wonderful workshop, where(…)

Themify….

Themify….

              This is just a short postscript to an earlier blog, where I compared trying to use Themify to skin this site, and finding it darned difficult. Turns out the answers simple. I’m a knob. I thought I’d disabled all the old Platform Pro plug-ins and I’d missed a(…)

TV, RADIO and CINEMA

TV, RADIO and CINEMA

  Paying Too Much: This is a great little piece of retro Graphics from the amazing Mark Mason. I was pleased to do this, not only ‘cos of the Music track, but I did all the character voices and the VoiceOver… J   Trafford Centre Christmas 2012 : (Video not available until 11th November) Some(…)

E Major 13th

E Major 13th

This is a copy of the piece I did for the North American Guitar Companies monthly newsletter earlier this year….   E Major 13th:                             A splendid ‘jazz’ voicing of a lovely open sounding chord, this is a particularly useful chord when(…)

This Site……

This Site……

              OK, so after nearly a year and a half of being away from it, I finally decided to do something about this site…. I hadn’t neglected it out of disinterest, just that life has got stooopid busy over the last 18 months, and this bloggin’ lark was an(…)

Road Rules pt 1

Ok, Before we start, every touring musician/actor/performer has their own version of the Road Rules, and each is different and personal to them, so I’m not saying mine are anything other than the product of a warped mind, twisted by many years of travel, airports, hotels, venues. bars and restaurants.   However, in over 30(…)

Muamba

I’m writing this amidst the happy news that Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba was today discharged from hospital, almost a month to the day after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a game.   Midfielder Muamba collapsed on the pitch in the first half of Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur on March 17,(…)

Happiness is Easy…….

This is a follow on to a post about “Why are we Here” which I received some nice compliments about….. Not particularly original, but I’ve come to a conclusion that life is essentially a struggle.   For everyone.   Its a struggle trying to win the race to create life (see aforementioned post), its a(…)

Why Are We Here?…………

Why Are We Here?…………

WHY ARE WE HERE?                       Do you believe in Nature? Do you believe in Birds, Flowers, Trees, Mountains and Oceans? Do you agree that there are things within Nature that seem Miraculous, Unbelievable, Joyous and Heartwarming? If you do, its because you are part of(…)

People playing my Stuff….

During the ‘90’s I was a patron of the International Guitar Festival run by Phil Castang and Tom Kerstens. For a few years we ran a competition in conjunction with the IGF, Takamine Guitars and Total Guitar Magazine to find the “Young Acoustic Guitarist of the Year” The basic premise was that I would compose(…)

Skiing.

A few years ago, I was asked to write this article, about the experience of learning to ski, at shall we say a ‘later’ age. I’m including it in this Blog, because B.A.S.S. mentioned below have been issuing some really good short videos about ski technique, and I wrote the music they use.   http://www.britishskischool.com/performance_breakthrough/ebook_promo.htm(…)

A Band Mentality for the Solo Producer…

A ‘BAND’ MENTALITY FOR THE SOLO MUSIC PRODUCER….. One of the great things about being a musician, is the chance to play with other musicians. It is indeed the life blood of many players, allowing them to learn and grow and develop their abilities alongside other people doing the same thing. And it shows in(…)

A Thank you to Two Davids….

A Thank You. If a blog is for anything, I figure its for getting down whats on your mind, and this one is a thank you to someone from my past. When I was 7yrs old, we moved to Ivy Rd in Bolton. Well actually, the Front door was on Ivy Rd, but the back(…)

Be-Bop Scales….

This is in response to an email from Eddie, who asked about be-bop scales, I cant do individual lesson’s etc. from this site, but I can post info that might be of benefit. Basically David Baker looked at how some great Bop players managed to get about so swiftly, and concluded that they were adding(…)

Altered Tunings……

Whenever I play a clinic or concert, people are always fascinated to know how difficult it is to play in altered Tunings, and why would anyone want to do it? So here are some answers….. It’s not difficult if you’re prepared to concentrate. That’s it. End of. And why would you do it? Because altered(…)

Why I play Breedlove…..

Each Breedlove American & Atlas Series Instrument has been designed and engineered by Kim Breedlove. With a strong art background and refined design sense, Kim Breedlove acquired the tools, the training and a keen interest in building guitars, mandolins, banjos and other fine instruments in 1974. At a very young age he entered the elite(…)

Recording Acoustic Guitars in a project studio….

OK,  I’ve been playing a lot of clinics recently, and one of the questions people ask a lot is, how best to record their acoustic guitar. So for what it’s worth, Here’s my guide to doing just that….   The first thing to remember is that if you get a good initial recording, it saves(…)

Health and Safety

I am, it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, less than patient with the ideas of Political Correctness, and its shining star “Health and Safety”. As far as I’m concerned if you have a peanut allergy, and you require a warning on a packet of peanuts saying ‘This product may contain(…)