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Troubadour Music Book

Troubadour Music Book
The newly published Troubadour Music Book was prepared in conjunction with classical guitarist Steve Marsh.

Steve says:
"In 2006, I met up with Gordon Giltrap, a guitarist I've had the utmost admiration for ever since I began playing; his name has become synonymous with guitar-playing excellence, is often talked about in almost reverential tones by those 'in the know' and has now become what the media often likes to refer to as a "living legend".

We got together to discuss a major venture for us both; the object was to publish all the guitar works he has composed over the last 40 years!

After many months of planning, type-setting, correcting, alterations, obtaining licensing permission and lots of visits to Koo's coffee house for 'business meetings' over coffee and cakes, we finally got the first printed album out.

Rather than produce these editions in chronological order, we thought it would be a good idea to begin with presenting all the music from one of Gordon's best-selling recordings, Troubadour, and that title gave us the idea of calling the publishing company "The Troubadour's Music", which, over the next few years, will be publishing the rest of Gordon's compositions taken from his 30 albums plus any new works he comes up with in the meantime."

This first publication features some of Gordon Giltrap's best work and includes classics such as:

A Misunderstood Man
Rain in the Doorway
On Camber Sands
The Lord's Seat
Rainbow Kites
Who Knows Where Tomorrow Goes
Isabella's Wedding
Quest for Nonsuch
A Dublin Day; Down the River
The Picnic
Daisy Chain
Nursery Chimes
The Kerry Dancers

Gordon writes about the origins of the Troubadour album:

I was thinking about the punk thing in the late seventies, and of course intuitively hating it all at the time but then realising that Lucifer's Cage in it's own way is pure out and out punk, and is it possible that this tune was the first EVER punk instrumental written for acoustic guitar ? Was I in my own way ahead of my time ?...grin...

I watched a programme on TV the other night about the birth of Punk, and it was interesting to see how these young guys were reacting to their environment and the mood of the times in an angry and aggressive way, well I guess in my own way I was reacting to my own early environment and the ugliness of it all, by trying to write pieces that had a quality in the music that took the listener somewhere else and lifted them into a different realm. I like to think that I did this with the Troubadour album.

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Many people regard this as a sort of landmark album for me, and let's not forget that these old tunes of mine were written over a fairly long period of time, and for me represented where I was at that point in time. I think the evidence of this is in the fact that most of these tunes are still in my current repertoire. Pieces like, On Camber Sands and in particular A Dublin Day have become pretty popular amongst guitarists, hence the reason for getting this book out, so that once and for all this material will be available to all those players out there who wish to play this stuff.

The recording process was quite basic actually. At the time I was using pickups made by Mike Vanden.They were cracking pickups and would eventually become the Fishman Rare Earth range. The ones I used were single coil with the built in microphone, those early ones had the pre-amp built into the end pin jack, they were great but the only problem was hum, being single coil, so I had to position myself facing in a certain direction to avoid this problem. All this combined with trying to capture the perfect take made the whole thing a little nerve wracking to say the least. I was recording the material straight to DAT. I can still remember recording about twelve takes of Down the River trying to nail the perfect one, so when you realise that the piece was seven minutes long that's quite a lengthy time to record a piece in one go. At the end of that session my brain was totally scrambled BUT, I did nail it in the end, and firmly believe that doing it this way, as tough as it is does give you a good and honest performance at the end of the day.

The guitars I used for the recording were my Armstrong 92 custom guitar, a Taylor 912C, an Armstrong Baritone guitar, an Armstrong Baby guitar, my hi-brid high strung car boot special for Rain in the Doorway. Of course because of the weird nature of this beast I have transcribed it for a normal guitar and adjusted the tuning accordingly, and the same goes for the other pieces where I used the Baby Guitar.

The odd thing about the material on Troubadour is that in the main the bulk of the tunes were written and recorded a good two years prior to the final recording sessions. I was hoping to get a deal with an American label, but for some reason this didn't happen, but at least I had this material in the can for possible future use. At the end of my seven month stint in Heathcliff, I was armed with a few more tunes written especially for the show, so when the chance came for me to make an album featuring Cliff on backing vocals on one track and Del Newman in the producer and arrangers chair, this was for me a dream come true.

I still derive great deal of pleasure from listening to that album, which is quite unusual for bearing in mind that like most recording artists, I rarely listen to my own records, apart from checking them at the final mastering stage to make sure everything is OK, and once I have finished a project I'm looking for the next thing to work on in the hope of improving on the last thing wrote. I'm just delighted to see that these tunes at long last are in book form.

Book Launch
For the official book launch of Troubadour, Gordon gave a solo recital in Birmingham on Thursday the 12th of July at one of this countries largest music stores, Professional Music Technology - PMT for short.

Gordon writes:
"I'm delighted to report that the launch of my TROUBADOUR book at PMT (Professional music and Technology) in Birmingham on Thursday the 12th of this month was a great success on all levels. The turn out was wonderful with the best part of 200 people supporting this special event in my life. Old friends, new friends and even newer fans helped to make this evening very special, and I know that my publishers Steve Marsh and his lovely partner Lesley were pretty overwhelmed by it all. The queue at the interval to purchase the book and Troubadour album appeared to go on for ever!

Here you can see ( left to right ) Hilary, Steve Marsh, Gordon, and Lesley during the evening.

Special thanks go to all the staff at PMT for making this happen. Here's a name check...Gary Chapman,Trevor Buck, Keith Dudley, Oliver Priestly, Dave the sound man, Mark, and anyone I have forgotten, looked after us all really well laying on a super buffet for friends and ticket holders.

If you are ever find yourself in Birmingham and want to visit the biggest and best guitar store in the world do give this shop a visit. The details are of course on the date sheet of this site. Everyone there will make you welcome, just say 'Gordon sent me.' Their stock of guitars is massive and the deals they are offering are second to none, and of course the after sales service is superb. This kind of service you definitely DO NOT get on E-Bay...grin.

I shall be doing similar shows at PMT later on so watch this space. Oh and I forgot to mention; PMT will also be stocking the book!

Thanks again guys.

Be well all".


P.M.T. Birmingham, voted "Best UK Retail Store" at the Music Industries Association Award ceremony in Nov 2006 is the UK's largest music Superstore.

Over 10,000 sq ft of guitar showroom featuring "THE WALL" a 150' by 20' wall of over 600 of the worlds best guitars!

To obtain a copy of Troubadour which costs £12.99, please use the contact form on Steve's brand new website, which was also built by Sue Holton. Click here or use the link below to buy from Guitar CD's.

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