I thought that I might start taking my time and make a proper effort with the blog. Perhaps re-organise and give all posts a structure and may be even rename – take out the ‘Music’ from the title as it’s as much about books (and children’s in particular) as is it about Music.



Photograph of meself on the North Yorkshire Moors.
‘Tis I, on the North Yorkshire Moors.

Philip Taylor

I’ve met many wonderful and talented people through the internet. This morning I received a CD of all original guitar music by one such gentleman. I encountered Philip Taylor on the Acoustic Soundboard forum and his youTube channel is here. The CD is wonderfully relaxing, well played and the compositions a mix of many genres. Recommended listening and a worthwhile purchase. A worthy companion to “The Road to Easterbrook” by fellow forum member Robbie Jessop.

Expressive and beautiful

All opinions below are my own and are just that – opinions!

This morning I was lucky enough to discover one of the most beautiful and moving guitar solos I’ve ever heard. The guitarist was Guthrie Govan (who has to be one of the most skilled guitar players alive today) and the track was Steven Wilson’s “Routine” (see the link below, you’ll find the solo starting at 4.30 into the track. It is a somewhat understated guitar part for Mr Govan but it is so restrained and soulful that it fits the track perfectly. I have to add that I am enjoying Steven Wilson’s output increasingly as I hear more of it.

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.


York, and a new beginning

I returned to York this past weekend . It’s a beautiful place and it was as hard as ever to leave my son behind for his final degree year. More so because it’s become very obvious that he’ll almost certainly settle there permanently.


Unusually, I made the journey back alone. I’d taken quite a few of the CDs that inspired my love of World music and played them at a suitable volume for the 5 hour trip (a lot of traffic problem en route). I hadn’t played the music for some 10 – 15 years but can see where a lot of the early Earth Balm tracks and general sound originated. If I haven’t already done so, I’ll create a page listing some of these CD albums and, if they are still available, create links to Amazon etc. “Sacred Ceremonies” and “Hemisphere No More” were the two stand-out CDs.

One of the significant things for me, was that I had time to think about a new name for my music to replace Earth Balm.

I’ve also managed to load up the Mac Pro with the software I need and already use.


The Bigger Picture

In my quest to make playing guitar my day job, I’ve just signed up for as recommended to me by Huw Williams when he worked with years 5 and 6 (well kind of).

I’m hoping that it will not only inspire me to take the plunge but also to do so in an informed manner.

Added to the Laney acoustic amp I bought for St David’s Day performance with an AAD cub designed specifically for acoustic amplification.