One of the important tasks for me to accomplish in relation to next month's 'Songs For Ghosts' album launch party is to choose which guitars work best with which tracks.
It would be easy to select just two or three guitars and rotate them throughout the live set, but that would be somewhat dull, both visually and sonically, especially as there's only going to be me standing in front of the audience and no 'rock band' leaping around to add visual interest. (Though there will be a great quantity of video backdrops accompanying each number.)
But, in that respect, I guess that 'The BN Guitar Parade' has become a much anticipated part of the show, and I do have to admit that I enjoy being able to bring cool guitars from my collection 'out to play,' (especially as I'm able to play live so rarely these days.) ;-)
So, today I've been lifting several guitar cases from their storage and opening them up to see what I might find of use.
Some guitars sound fine on their own but don't always sit in the right sonic space for a particular track. And as the backing tracks are fixed, inflexible mixes, this is a very important factor. It becomes a matter of trial and error, seeing which guitar suits which track by trying them out in real time.
The task of sorting this out, (with nearly 70 guitars to choose from,) will take a couple of days or more of playing along with the backing tracks, attempting to nail one guitar or another to whichever track. I also have a couple of more recent instruments that need adjustment, and my favoured 'guitar wrangler,' Gordon White, isn't available for a week or so as he's out guitar teching for Richard Hawley. I'm booked in with Gordon on the 9th though.
At this year's launch party, I want to feature guitars that don't fit the mainstream...ie: No Fenders, Gibsons or Gretches. I do have beautiful examples of all three of those brands but, maybe I need to give myself a challenge and play less 'easy' instruments.
So, I'm choosing from several other brands, including Airline, Eastwood, Musicvox, Pure Salem, Hallmark, and other less mainstream manufacturers...all producing quirky guitars with a character that sits outside the smoother, more obvious, orthodox brands.
I'll also be featuring two beautiful D' Angelico guitars in the performance, including one which I've never played live before, an old school, non-cutaway reproduction of a 1940's 'Style B.'
This guitar has become a much played instrument on my more recent recordings. It has heavy guage strings, (which are not the easiest to play,) and just one single, neck-mounted pickup, but it exudes a sweet tone that is very evocative of the golden age of jazz guitar.
More time has been lost by the need to buy a new printer. My old one wouldn't work with my new computer and downloading fresh software didn't make any difference. So, in the end, I had to buy a new printer/scanner and then go through the rigmarole of downloading appropriate software to use it. And, of course, nothing goes exactly smoothly with these things.
The printer is an essential component for the launch party...I have to type up all the performance charts, running order and listening notes for the album playback, then print them out to place in a physical folder that I can refer to at the event.
I also received, yesterday, two hundred and sixteen copies of the new 'Songs For Ghosts' double album, which I'm to autograph for fans attending October's launch party. I managed to make some inroads with this task today...but the album artwork, with it's rich colours, doesn't allow for simple black pen signings, so the best I could do was sign with a gold 'Sharpie.' Looks ok, when you twist the cover under the light. :)
And, whilst on the subject of the cover art, my manipulated photographic images look good...and don't forget, when you eventually get your hands on the package, please pull the 8 page booklet out from the pocket in the package to see the full effect of my efforts.