General News

January 2013 News Update

Hello and welcome to the first News Page of 2013

I always feel in a reflective mood when writing about a previous year and am always mindful that twelve months on, my friends and loved ones are still here in relative good health. My new grandson continues to thrive, my hands still work OK and although the memory isn’t quite what it used to be I can just  about manage to remember the pieces I’m supposed to be performing at a given time, with the help of the odd cue card here and there.

Year after year I try to find new ways to present this music of mine whether it is in a duo, trio or quartet format. With this new venture with Oliver, that hope is still there to broaden the appeal of the music. I firmly believe that the new Ravens and Lullabies album deserves major success, and when I listen to it I get a little tingle of excitement, and hope that maybe this will be the one that moves the old career forward, but not only that, I hope it gives Oliver the break HE so richly deserves.

One thing I have learned is that regardless of how I feel about a new album (or any new project come to that), my feelings have no bearing whatsoever on the eventual outcome in terms of public acceptance or success (whatever that means) but I’m sure in my heart that this new venture with this exceptionally gifted new musical partner of mine will thrive!

I was chatting with my dear friend Del Newman over Christmas, and he said that the secret is not to take one’s self too seriously, which of course is easier said than done. To a large extent he’s right. We all think that what we are doing is SO important to us, and of course it is, and without belief and vision nothing of worth would be created. The secret is keeping it all in proportion!

This Months Guitar

This month’s guitar is REALLY special. It’s my Deluxe GG Vintage acoustic.

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giltrap 4138

giltrap 4138

I’ve got to tell you that it has surpassed all my expectations. It sounds FANTASTIC, and belies its retail price of £599. I truly believe we have a potential award winning guitar here. There is nothing on the market that can touch this for outstanding value for money and quality.

This is what you get.. Solid Rosewood back, Rosewood laminated sides, Ebony fingerboard, Cedar top,  Plush fitted case, and a Fishman  Rare Earth pickup as standard. It has already garnered an amazing review from David Mead in this month's Acoustic magazine. Read the review here ........Under this Blue Sky is the chosen piece for my column in the mag this month.

Ravens And Lullabies

It is now all finished and with the record company. Oliver has done a fantastic job all round of production, choosing the right musicians, engineer and recording studio, along with designing the cover, getting the deal and writing all the songs on the album apart from our joint pieces.
Read the press release below... More info as it happens.

13th Dec 2012. Ravens and Lullabies album press release...

Guitar Legend and the next generation of keyboard wizardry join forces for a new record!

March 2013 will see guitar legend Gordon Giltrap and keyboardist Oliver Wakeman (following his years of touring with the classic progressive rock band YES) release their debut collaborative album 'Ravens & Lullabies' on theEsoteric Antenna label.

The album is a 13 song collection of hard hitting memorable rock pieces coupled with thought provoking lyrics alongside acoustic duets featuring their fine instrumental interplay.

The project was initiated with a phone call from Gordon to Oliver in early 2012 requesting Oliver's keyboard services for a new rock album. Within 24 hours Gordon had phoned again suggesting a full collaboration instead and the 'Ravens & Lullabies' concept was born.

Gordon and Oliver spent 2012 writing and recording the album which features a return for Gordon to his rock roots following a 30 year absence and Oliver's first recorded works since his departure from both Yes and Strawbs.

It has been recorded and mixed by 'Threshold' guitarist Karl Groom (who also mixed the Yes 'Live In Lyon' record which featured Oliver on keyboards).

The album will be available in two formats, a single CD featuring 13 new pieces and double pack special edition featuring a Bonus CD of live recordings taken from their 2012 tour and re-recordings of pieces from Oliver and Gordon's past catalogue.

The new album features performances by the following well respected musicians.

Paul Manzi - vocals
Paul has performed with the Oliver Wakeman Band for the last 6 years (appearing on the live DVD 'Coming to Town') and is the current vocalist for the rock band Arena.

Steve Amadeo - Bass Guitar
Steve, an in demand Jazz/Blues/Rock session bass player, is currently performing with Blues guitarist Aynsley Lister.

Johanne James - Drums
Johanne has been the Threshold drummer for the last 12 years.

The album also features a special vocal appearance by Benoit David, Oliver's old band mate from Yes, on the track 'From the Turn of a Card' written by Oliver during the Yes recording sessions of 2010.

Many of the pieces were debuted and refined during their acoustic duo tour in September and October 2012 where they performed sell out concerts across the UK. The tour will resume in March 2013 to coincide with the release of the new album.

One of the most innovative acoustic guitarists in the UK today, Gordon Giltrap has developed his own unique style, much copied, but never bettered. It is impossible not to be awestruck as he coaxes incredible melodies from his instruments; you almost suspect a second pair of hands. He is well known for his varied musical output and 'Heartsong' (a hit single from the album 'Perilous Journey' in 1977) is instantly recognized as the theme for the BBC TV's long running 'Holiday' programme.

Following ten solo albums in a variety of styles, Oliver Wakeman joined the legendary band 'YES' in 2008, touring with them up until mid-2011. A live CD and triple vinyl release, 'In The Present - Live from Lyon', was a fitting bookend to his period in the band. He also worked with the folk rock band 'The Strawbs' and appeared on their last studio album as well as their 40th Anniversary CD release. Appearing in venues across North and South America, Europe and the UK with YES, Strawbs and as a solo artist, he has become a well respected live performing musician to add to his other talents as composer, songwriter, lyricist and producer.

Gordon says "Working with Oliver is like a breath of fresh air. I knew of his reputation as a fine musician, and it made perfect sense for me to tap into his creative energy, not only to bring out certain elements of my musical gifts but to create something new and exciting, at the same time giving a nod in the direction of our respective Progressive Rock roots"

Oliver adds, "After working with YES, the chance of working with another legendary artist was an opportunity too good to miss. I am having a wonderfully productive time working with Gordon and feel we are creating something genuinely unique in our 'Ravens & Lullabies' project."

Many of Gordon's fans have been asking for years when he is going to return to his rock roots and others wondered what Oliver would write after the Yes experiences...

In March 2013 they'll know...

Gigs Of Note
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The Great British Folk Festival at Skegness was a date I had been looking forward to ever since the date had been put in the diary. I was not disappointed. My Sunday spot was well received, and my hope was that I played as well as I had the previous time I appeared at that same event 2 years ago. Who knows, only the audience can be the judge of that, but I believe I did well from reading some of the many reviews that have appeared online. You can read a few Festival reviews by following the links below, where some of the great comments about my performance include:

"Sixty four year old Gordon Giltrap is mesmerising".

"Saint Gordon of Giltrap performed to a respectful and almost mesmeric silence followed by rapturous applause."

"A solo guitarist who doesn't sing is quite a rarity. It could be a bit samey, you might think. Not a bit of it. GG is joined by a large cast of supporters - his acoustic guitars - and each brings something new to the party so that the result is constant variety and lots of interesting light and shade.

The man himself is instantly engaging, entertaining, amazing. In turns he's amusing, enthralling and enchanting. Not only is he a superb musician (no, really Gordon!) but his jokes are funny, too."

Festival review 1     Festival review 2     Festival review 3

Skeggy is always a good opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. It was a delight to meet Peter Knight, a man who in all the years I have been in the business I had never met, and what a great guy he is! We hit it off straight away, and he dragged me back stage to meet June Tabor after her gig with the Oyster Band. It had been many years since I had met her and she remembered that meeting in minute detail. I was most impressed and quite touched. A nice lady!

It was good to see Doug Morter, Jerry Donahue and Ray Jackson of The Gathering. I was most impressed with their vocal harmonies and of course Jerry’s amazing guitar playing. Nice to see Patsy Matheson again after all this time. I did a radio interview as well which you can hear by clicking on to this link ...... My part of the interview starts about half way through.

Good to share the whole event with Sue & Mike Holton and Geoff & Cath Olner.

One band that I really enjoyed was Merry Hell....Look out for them!

Private Concert Coniston

I think most people know how much I enjoy playing private concerts and this one was no exception. A big THANKYOU to Scott & Jane for putting us up the previous night and to Karl van Heeswijk for making it happen. A crammed village hall added to the atmosphere. Love to do it again.

Karl says: “Saturday night's performance by Gordon was brilliant. We managed to fill the venue and everybody thoroughly enjoyed it - not a single moan about anything at all - even though the weather wasn't brilliant!

Those attending who hadn't really heard of Gordon were seriously impressed - a few quotes for you:

"What a privilege to be able to attend"    "We were blown away"

"Best live performance I've been to since the 1970s"

"Sensational"   "Brilliant"

"When's he coming back?" Etc., etc., etc.......”

You can read Karl's full review of the event HERE

Bramall Hall

My annual concert at Bramall Hall was as lovely as ever in terms of atmosphere, mulled wine and mince pies! I have recently got out of mothballs my old Baritone guitar which I keep permanently in a DADGAD tuning so I can play The Racer,  Rachel’s Reflections,  A Christmas Carol and Isabella’s Wedding. Good to get the battered old thing back on stage again.

Deal, December 14th

My final concert of 2013 in Deal was a bit special. The recently refurbished theatre was lovely and the staff were most welcoming. The 230 mile one way journey and five hour drive was worth it!

What made the evening REALLY special for me was having my dear friend Del Newman in the audience. Del has recently moved to Kent so it wasn’t too far for him to attend. For those who don’t know who he is and what an important role he has played in my career, I suggest you Google his name or re read the sleeve notes on my Troubadour album. The man is a genius of the first degree and an outstanding human being. He rang me a few days later to tell me how much he enjoyed it. Praise indeed from a great man of music.

Good to see friends Sue & Mike Holton there along with old friend Dave Van Walwyk.

A good way to finish off a VERY busy year.

Sue Webster

Just wanted to say a few words about our agent Sue Webster who is a lovely person . Sue has had a pretty bad year with family problems, health problems and a recent bereavement.

Let’s hope 2013 will be a better year for you our Sue.

Love from us all.