Workbench Proverbs

The Decemberists.  Now playing almost non stop in the workshop, the car, the living room is this band’s recent album, The King is Dead. The many flavours include wistful acoustic and jangly guitars , cool chorusses and understated pedal steel. Most songs sound like classics but one in particular stops me in my tracks.  June Hymn is everything you would want in a song and is up there with Waterloo Sunset and Mr Tamborine Man as an example of the music and lyric being in perfect harmony.

I’m also listening to…

Yes…here at Burgin guitars International we are still buying CDs and listening to them on a player in the workshop. What better way to stop you going mad fiddling with rope binding than to listen to the latest work from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. The Harrow and the Harvest is a spellbinding piece of work from two people at the top of their songwriting and performing game. These two strum, pick, and harmonise their way through a spooky array of timeless song stories about lost love, hard times, mules, trains, and childhood with all the word power of Shakespeare. The only downside….this listener finds himself drifting off into the song, staring out the window and work slows to a halt.

Montreal Guitar Show. This awesome collection of acoustic and electric guitar makers is worth checking out in the future, and not just because David Freeman of Timeless Instruments and myself had guitars there this July. The standard of work was extremely high, and the show itself very well organised. David, his son Seth and I drove 44 hours non stop to get there from Saskatchewan,…braving moose, coyotes and a diet of Tim Horton’s coffee and food on night time roads. Then we drove 44 hours back. Canadians appear to think nothing of these gruelling journeys. Saw a tornado on our journey too,…but that’s another story.

Capital Gospel Show

Here’s a project we have been working hard on recently. More than a dozen musicians from around Wellington are involved, including Wayne Mason, Pip Payne, Bob Smith, Richard Te One,  Dave Murphy and Laura Collins. the stage will be packed with Hammond organ, electric piano, drums, many guitars and half a dozen singers. The show features the gospel music of Aaron Neville, Randy Travis, Ray Charles, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Emmylou Harris, and the Staple Singers. I’m playing electric slide, dobro and mandolin.

Jessie James and the Outlaws

Jessie James and the Outlaws has an interesting line up of musicians. We recorded “The Price Of Gum” at the Surgery and released it last year with a tour. The songs were all written by Jessie Moss, who comes from a long line of poets and teachers. Harmonising with her vocals was Holly Beals, who’s now with Family Cactus. Keyboard maesto James Coyle and guitarist Ryan Prebble now make up two thirds of Nudge and Ryan , brother Tim (bass) and Michael Kane (drums)  also play in the quasi prog rock fusion combo Spartacus R.  We occasionally perform bit of “Gum” acoustically as a three or four piece group.


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