Sedgefield Guitar Show

I’ve just been to Sedgefield Guitar Show at The Racecourse. There weren’t too many people there this afternoon, but there were some lovely guitars, as well as excellent show prices on leads, stands, knobs and switches. I managed to come away without spending any money at all, though I did play 3 guitars that I would dearly love to have brought home with me (one in particular).

This 1930s Kalamazoo was surprisingly playable and had a lovely warm tone to it. It sounded good for strumming as well as fingerpicking. If I had it, I certainly wouldn’t want to drill holes in it for electrics, it would have to be miked up. I would certainly be happy to own it, though! John, the owner of the Kalamazoo and the lapsteel below, has many nice guitars, which he buys and sells just as a hobby.

The guitar I really really would have loved to bring home is the Recording King lapsteel. I’ve been tinkering with my Tanglewood acoustic lately, trying it out for lapsteel, but this Recording King from the late 30s is just in another realm. Played through a small valve amp it had “that” classic lap steel sound – I just needed a touch of reverb and some tremelo and I’d have been in heaven – the pickup has been rewound by Wizard pickups and it was so warm and inviting, I could have played it all day. Recording King were made by Montgomery Wrad and later evolved into Gretsch lapsteels. Luckily for me (I guess), even though it was reasonably priced, I had no money to buy it, though there’d have been room for haggling, I guess. Unluckily for me, John, the owner, lives in Durham City and I work in Durham City, and I have his card – so it’ll be niggling at me for ages!

The other guitar I enjoyed playing was this Alembic style guitar built by Martin Dixon of Otley, near Leeds. I was attracted to it, of course, because Garcia and Phil Lesh used Alembic instruments, but this was a good guitar in its own right – easy to play and a good variety of sounds from the Kent Armstrong pickups and the pickup switching system. Nice inlay too. Martin runs “build your own guitar” courses, and they’re very reasonably priced – I’ve added this to my “list of things to do when I win the Lottery!” Martin gave me a promotional CD which I’ll investigate more closely. I’d like to have got to the show a little earlier and stayed longer, but they’ll be back in September. Maybe if I start saving, I can get that Recording King! (If not, Recording King still make lap steels today)

Penny Black last night

Frank Marley
Andy Roderick

Katie Coleman

Barbara Helen

David and I accompanied Phil to this new Open mic night – we opened up with a 20 minute spot and after some great solo spots from all of the guests, we finished the night off. Not many people in, but Angie & John are very busy trying to promote music all around the Teesside area.

Tri Triumph at otTrington

We had another great night at The Otterington Shorthorn on Friday – we were supported by Bill Oxbrough and he played a good mixed set of songs – there’s a song of his “Proximity” that I really like and wouldn’t mind singing. We played straight through rather than take a break as we didn’t want to lose the audience, many of whom were there as much for the real ales on offer as part of the Beer Festival as they were for the music. We kept things lively and kept the audience happy too. A return booking is confirmed before Christmas.
Photos by filmar photography.

North East Beat

I’ve got this copy of this short running North East magazine not too far away from me, and a couple more issues too – it features Little Feat, coincidentally. I’m going to go to this exhibition at The Discovery Museum in Newcastle.

Gig for Tri

Tonight Tri are playing at The Otterington Shorthorn, South Otterington near Northallerton. It is our 4th appearance there and is the start of the Beer Festival. Should be a good night.