Books and She Moved

I keep meaning to start writing proper reviews of books. I was going to begin with Terry Pratchett’s “The Last Hero” hardback ‘picture book’ which I managed to get for £2.99 in Swansea’s Oxfam.  The many and rather magnificent illustrations seemed to have a profound effect on TP’s prose (or perhaps my way of reading was altered by the format) and I took a while to adjust to the experience. After adjusting, the book really was a riot and the illustrations really did enhance the reading experience. Before I could write a review, I began reading “Thief of Time” and that novel is proving so enjoyable that I haven’t had the inclination to write the review. Still, all in good time eh?

I began writing an Earth Balm arrangement of “She Moved Through the Fair” recently but abandoned it and have instead completed a solo guitar arrangement in the altered Csus2 tuning. It’s not the best tuning for a Mixolydian melody but I was able to use some of the ideas in my arrangement of “Lisa Lân” to accommodate the flattened seventh.

Taking a break from taking a break

Thought I’d just take break from taking a break from the blog and just post that music and graphics for the CD are moving at pace. Getting to know Logic and Daz Studio and Photoshop (Elements) very well now. I’ve ditched the idea of drawing and painting the physical artwork by hand as I don’t have the hours required to acquire efficient skills. I will be investing in a set of Rode M5 microphones shortly, to record acoustic guitar solos, in addition to my ‘band’ style work.

I also have to mention that I’ve begun reading my first ever Terry Pratchett novel (Unseen Academicals – not the best Discworld novel with which to begin ((it’s the 37th)) but it was a bargain hardback, in a charity shop, in Monmouth). My kind of (brilliant) author! There’s some clever wordsmithery going on and some well realised character development. I haven’t laughed out loud quite so much with a book before now!



Back to the music!

Avalon L325 acoustic guitar

This Avalon is now sold.


The time has come to part with the musical instrument, software etc that I haven’t used in a long while.

My Ireland built Avalon L325 Legacy Premier that I purchased new from the Cheltenham Acoustic Guitar show has been out of its case less than a dozen times and so falls into that category. The instrument is a beautiful one and although I loved it at the show, I thought it too expensive to play regularly or put on a stand when I got it back home. It has a Hiscox case and all of the paperwork that originally came with it. It was built in the original Avalon factory in Newtownards, Ireland.

Enough writing. Here are the pictures:

avalon and case
Avalon L325 guitar and case.
avalon only
Avalon L325 guitar top and side.
full avalon back
Avalon L325 figured rosewood back.
avalon side figuring
Avalon L325 figured side. Sides are bookmatched.
avalon soundhole
B Band magnet and condenser mic pickup.
avalon headstock back
Avalon L325 back of headstock
avalon headstock front
Avalon L325 headstock front
avalon mark
Only damage on guitar (just to the right of the penny).



I paid a visit to PMT, Cardiff today (again) to pick up a Shure SM58. I’m now all set to start committing my folk and acoustic guitar repertoire to hard drive.

Thursday’s visit to the Lyceum folk club in Newport convinced me that this is the way forward for me musically speaking. I shall still be remastering (but not re-recording) old Earth Balm material and sending them out to the world via my Bandcamp account (it’s not live yet but I’ll post here when it is).

Sure SM58 microphone photograph. Copyright Shure Incorporated.

For sale

I’m going to list a considerable part of my musical instrument ‘collection’ on Ebay this weekend. Below are some of the items going:


Photograph of Vintage AFD guitar.
Vintage AFD guitar.


Photograph of Turkish saz / baglama.
Photograph of Turkish saz / baglama.


Photograph of Vintage Metal Axxe Raider - Ibanez Rg500ish clone.
Vintage Metal Axxe Raider


Blackstar HT1-R
Fender Super Champ XD
Tanglewood TE1000SR solid rosewood guitar with K&K pickup



Take a Break

I’m going to be taking a break for a short while to say goodbye to my father, spend quality time with my family, wind up my teaching job and work on my guitar playing / performing. Take care everybody, see you soon.


Photograph of myself and Nigel Hodge at the Castle jam night. Copyright info to follow.
Photograph of myself and Nigel Hodge at the Castle jam night. Copyright info to follow.