On stage at Jake's homecoming gig in Nottingham 2013
Raised on a steady diet of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the brothers Gallagher, English singer / songwriter Jake Bugg blends the melodious, working-class swagger of the La's and the primal; bluesy simplicity of the White Stripes with the wry, weathered romanticism of Jens Lekman. Born in Nottingham, Bugg picked up the guitar at the age of 12 and within a year he was composing his own songs. Disinterested in the hip-hop and grime that dominated the listening habits of his peers, he turned to the classics for inspiration. Bugg's first brush with recognition came at the age of 17, when a local DJ began spinning one of the cuts he uploaded to BBC introducing, a program that supports "unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar musicians." An invitation to play Glastonbury arrived shortly thereafter and before he knew it, he was supporting acts like Lana Del Ray, Example and Michael Kiwinuka and had inked a deal with Mercury. His first single, "Lightning Bolt," arrived in early 2012, with his first studio album released later that year.
"The first thing I noticed about Patrick's guitar was that it sounded huge from the word go. There's an awesomely rich, bassy bottom end to its sound that gives it a weight I haven't really heard in an acoustic before. Of course, the top end is perfectly zingy as well. The pick-up does a great job of publicizing all this, and it has certainly made my sound-guy happy! The leaf design on the fretboard looks awesome and the binding around the edge of the body is taken from an English Walnut tree which grew in the village where I grew up."
For three long and often lonely years of life on the road, plying a brand of honest and passionate folk/punk, Frank Turner continued to rise to prominence with an ever increasing following. But it was in the sweaty climes of the Lock Up Stage at Reading and Leeds 2008 that his solo career really started to take off. Inside the packed out tents, heaving with adoring fans and intrigued passers-by, Frank led the congregation in a mass sing-a-long; a stirring set that not only sparked the interest of the British mainstream but resonated unassumingly across the pond as a wealth of American punk bands watched approvingly from the sidelines.
No stranger to the festival, Frank had not only played the Lock Up Tent with former hardcore band Million Dead back in 2005 but also as a tentative solo artist in 2007 when debut album ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ was just an underground success. Within the following year, Frank’s popularity grew with yet more touring and the release of second album 'Love Ire & Song' in March 08. He started to play larger headline shows and develop the live band that he was looking for.
The profits of all his hard work came together that festival weekend; it kicked started a new wave of interest and thanks to the unwavering support from Radio 1 DJs Mike Davies and Steve Lamacq, the rest of Radio 1 began to follow suit. Soon enough when Frank’s single 'Long Live The Queen' – taken from ‘Love Ire & Song' – was released in October, it made the R1 C-list, was Single Of The Week on Sara Cox’s show and helped sell out Frank’s largest UK headline tour culminating in a bursting-over-capacity-finale at London’s Scala. The following single 'Reasons Not To Be An Idiot' released in January of this year eclipsed those successes by graduating to the R1’s B-list, 6Music’s A-list and XFM’s daytime playlist, prompted a Live Lounge session for Sara Cox, a Hub Session for George Lamb as well as making iTunes Single Of The Week all helping to recruit a new army of Frank followers.
“I'd been aware of Patrick for quite a while. I told the guys what I liked in an acoustic; a smaller, concert, OM sized guitar. They made me one and it's turned out really nice.
Albert Lee was born in Herefordshire, England and by the 1970's had become a household name, recognised as one of the worlds best guitar players for Rockabilly, Country and Rock music with a distinctive signature "picking" sound. He turned professional at age 16 and his associations with a list of internationally acclaimed artists seems endless. He has notably played and recorded with Emmylou Harris and Eric Clapton (Just One Night album & tour and the Crossroads Guitar Festival). He is also a member of Bill Wyman's band, The Rhythm Kings who opened for Led Zeppelin's now legendary reunion gig at the O2, London.
In Nashvile and Los Angeles he is one of the most in-demand session musicians around, and can be heard on many emminent recordings featuring stars such as The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Crickets, Joe Cocker, Jackson Browne, Bo Diddley and Eddie Van Halen. He plays guitar, piano and sings in his own band, Hogan's Heroes and has toured consistantly throughout the years, including gigs at Glastonbury, The Montreaux Jazz Festival and headlining at the 20th Festival of Country Music.
Albert remains a virtuos's virtuoso, respected across three continents and pretty much living out the life that most of his colleagues, when he first started out, could only dream of.
"For me it's the top of refinement of all the acoustic guitars I played so far.
In every concert I give the guitar sounds better and better"
Dutch player Jan Akkerman has, over the years, worked with many of the greatest musicians in the world such as BB King, Charlie Byrd, Cozy Powell, Claus Ogerman and Ice-T, besides being a former member of both Brainbox and Focus. He has made more than a dozen solo records that highlight his versatile playing style including the early 70's classics 'Tabernakel' and 'Jan Akkerman' to later in his career, 'CU'. He never ceases to explore and push musical boundaries, merging elements of rock, jazz, blues, classical and modern dance music together, giving all his unique signature sound.
Jan has, for years, toured extensively throughout the world to appease his long-term fan base including such places as Russia, Brazil and Indonesia as well as playing the festival circuit, to include several appearances at the Montreaux Jazz and the Dutch North Sea Jazz Festivals. He received a Golden Harp in 2005, an accolade to his outstanding achievements within the music industry.
Seeing Jan Akkerman live in concert is always a refreshing and fascinating, never-to-be-repeated experience. Being an authentic improvisor, he demonstrates his capabilities to the max whether gigging solo, or with his band members Coen Molenarr (keyboards), Wilbrand Meischke (bass) and Marijn van den Berg (drums).
Jan and the band have been working on a new studio album, due out in 2011.
"Oh my gosh. - I opened the case a few days ago, I just meant to tune her and have a noodle and two songs came out within an hour - amazing. Since then, she just keeps giving me tunes."
Martha Tilston grew up surrounded by music; her father is acclaimed singer-songwriter Steve Tilston and stepmum the London-Irish folk singer Maggie Boyle. Hearing folk lumineries such as Bert Jansch, Ralph McTell and John Renbourn playing in the kitchen with her dad and learning traditional songs from Maggie formed the background to Martha's love of music. It is hardly surprising that she has become such an original and accomplished performer.
Martha became a firm cult favourite on the underground festival circuit in early 2000 with guitarist Nick Marshall, however by the end of 2002 Martha became a solo artist and supported Damien Rice on tour. The following few years saw Martha steadily gigging and being adored by an ever growing fan base with the release of several CD's such as "Rolling", "Ropeswing" and "Bimbling" which was funded by selling original canvases she had painted to provide the artwork for the CD.
In 2007 she came to the attention of a more mainstream audience with the release of the critically acclaimed Of Milkmaids & Architects" followed by a nomination for the best new act at the BBC folk awards
The CD "Lucy and the Wolves" was released in 2010 which was promoted successfully by extensive gigging throughout the UK, at times accompanied by her band The Woods. In the Autumn Martha took to the road again as support act for GRAMMY nominated singer-songwriter Beth Neilsen Chapman.
"Everything I asked for in a guitar has been delivered and exceeded. Patrick has gone to great lengths to build the instrument that musically stretches my artistic boundaries!!! Thank you Patrick"
Barely out of his teens, Welsh guitar phenomenon Gareth Pearson is already considered a virtuoso in the field of finger style guitar. He has already developed a distinctive style to his playing that has earned him the greatest accolades from world renowned players; he has been called a genius by Jan Akkerman, and Tommy Emmanuel was inspired to write a song about him which he named 'The Welsh Tornado'.
"Those who have seen him play will agree that Gareth is a special talent. Fingerstyle pyrotechnics combined with explosive lead runs make Pearson one of the most exciting musicians gigging today." Steve Harvey (Guitarist Magazine) Mar 2010
"When the Wesh Tornado hits your town, get ready for total devastation!" Tommy Emmanuel
"I'm Gareth's number one fan! What a guitarist! His original compositions hit the ears like cool spring water on a hot summer's day. His stage show has everyone up on their feet. Fingerstyle guitar is in good hands for the next generation." Stefan Grossman
"Not only is Gareth one of the most amazing guitarists around, he is really a nice guy and funny as hell!" Andy McKee
"I am delighted with the tonal complexity and voice of the guitar... that neck you build is just incredibly playable. Gauge .012 strings feel like .011's on there - remarkable... I have played some fine guitars in my time, but this BEAUTIFULLY handcrafted instrument, in my opinion, puts you and your team in the top 10 of steel string acoustic builders on the Planet."
Andy Innes - Johnny Clegg Band
Andy was born near Manchester England, but lived and studied in South Africa from the age of six. During his university studies (Bachelors in Philosophy and Literature) he became actively involved in live performance music, both in theatre and for touring bands. After working with several South African bands in the capacity of musician, composer and musical director / band leader, Andy, who was already a fan of Juluka's early music, joined Johnny Clegg and Savuka in 1992 on guitars and mandolin and has toured with Johnny ever since that time in more than 200 cities in 28 countries. In 1996 he became the band's Musical Director and started to play a part in arranging pieces for live performance, rehearsing bands in and more.
Andy has worked as a session musician on various recordings in addition to the six albums he has recorded on for Johnny. He has also worked with Jackson Browne, Dave Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Ernest Ranglin, I Muvrini and several other international artists.
He splits his time between performance and production and has launched his own recording label, Khangula Music, which has recently signed its first joint venture deal with Sony BMG South Africa to release "Thwasa" by Mahoyana Nkwanyana. Andy is also one of the producers who worked with Johnny on tracks for the new HUMAN album.
In 2011 the band performed a sell out tour of North America and Canada covering over 30 venues and have just announced their tour dates in Australia for 2012.
"It's absolutely perfect, in every detail; from gorgeous wood selection, build and finish, through to the precision set up and exquisite tonal palette. This box has magic in it. Patrick, you and the team have built the finest guitar i have ever seen or played.
Many, many thanks!"
At the tender age of 26, Ben stumbled across an album so bewitching, that it changed the course of his life. He downed tools, bought an acoustic guitar, and locked himself in a room with Solo by fingerstyle guitar legend Martin Taylor. Seven years later he emerged in desperate need of a haircut, but clutching a bunch of original guitar melodies which became Preliminaries (2010). The album has gone on to receive critical acclaim in the pages of Guitar Techniques (UK) and is one of Acoustic Guitar (USA) magazine's Essential Acoustic Album's of 2010.
Since releasing his debut album, Ben has performed a whole spectrum of gigs. He recently described playing at the Tron Theatre Glasgow to a packed Celtic Connections' audience as a "career high". The summer before he entertained Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood on the sundrenched streets of Bath whilst out busking. This too, was deemed "a career high". In 2011 Ben teamed up with legendary guitar journalist and fingerstyle guitarist David Mead and in 2012 there is going to be plenty more to come. There might not be time for that haircut.
Ben in concert, Rome Italy -
Ben's home website -
"Now I've played this guitar for a while, other guitars feel like toys in comparison. I'm going to write a new album with it! I'm fired up by this guitar. It's also got me looking around for things to sell, because I want another one!"
Born in Manchester, England, Aziz started playing the acoustic guitar at age 7. Working through several rock and raga bands in his teens, he then joined and toured for some years with Simply Red, followed by The Christians and Asia. In '96 he took a job which Noel Gallagher aptly described as "the hardest job in the world", Aziz replaced John Squire in The Stone Roses. This successful merge created a long lasting friendship with Ian Brown which has produced some musical masterpieces, including two top 20 singles and four gold selling albums. Aziz can frequently be heard and seen on Paul Weller's albums and tours, in addition to regular gigs with Ian Brown.
Aziz has founded his own record label, Indus Records, and in the last couple of years released two albums, 'Lahore to Longsight' and 'Rusholme Rock', these are in the new style of music Aziz calls Asian blues. He plays guitar, sarod and provides vocals alongside Dalbir Singh Rattan who plays tabla. They recently gigged with The Corel during their Middle East and India tour, opened for Richard Ashcroft in Manchester and performed with Paul Weller at the BBC Electric Proms and Radio 1 Maida Vale sessions. Last year also saw Aziz and Dalbir taking to the stage at Glastonbury and WOMAD along with a tour of Tunisia, Spain and Sweden.
"An impressive set up at Eggle guitars HQ, every instrument is made to the highest standard and I'm very pleased with mine, which has a wonderfully rounded complete sound and plays beautifully - the neck is perfect!"
Benji Kirkpatrick - Bellowhead & Seth Lakeman band
Benji plays various instruments of the stringed variety; guitar, bazouki, mandolin and banjo mainly. He can also sing. He performs solo, but can mostly be found playing with folk big band Bellowhead and the Seth Lakeman band. Bellowhead's latest album 'Hedonism' is attractiong much attention and selling fast; it was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and produced by John Leckie, who has produced albums for such names as Radiohead, Muse and the Stone Roses. Bellowhead have now appeared twice on 'Later with Jools Holland' as well as featuring on Jools' 'Hootenanny 2010'.
Seth Lakeman shot to fame when his album 'Kitty Jay' (featuring Benji) was nominated for the Mercury prize in 2005. He has since built up a very large audience and the follow-up to 'Kitty Jay', 'Freedom Fields' sold more than 100,000 copies. Benji has been a member of Seth's band since 2009. Seth's latest release is 'Hearts and Minds'.
Benji has also worked with "the voice of Steelye Span" Maddy Prior and with Oysterband as well as being a member of the now defunct Faustus.
In February 2011 Bellowhead were nominated "Best Live Act" and "Best Live Group" in the prestigious BBC Folk Awards.
"Patrick....you have made a musician a very very happy guy today. This has to be the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen. Wow!
Absolutely exactly the body shape I like. Cannot wait to get her on the road. Perfect for my sound".
Ben Montague shot to fame after his debut single 'Can't Hold Me Down' was playlisted on the radio and was quickly followed by 'Haunted' (co-written with best friend Jamie Hartman from Ben's Brother). This became the Radio 2 record of the week, in turn creating a session slot on Weekend Wogan. The follow up to this success was 'Broken' which was an A list single for six weeks.
Hand-picked as tour support by acclaimed guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Ben found himself catapulted from playing small clubs to audiences of thousands. Racing supremo Eddie Jordan was impressed enough to invite him to perform in front of 18,000 people at Silverstone as part of his all-star band alongside rock legends Roger Daltry and Nick Mason.
He combines elegantly crafted melodic guitar hooks reminiscent of Maroon 5, The Feeling and the mature, resurrected Take That, blended with modern takes on the brash showy talents of 70's era Elton John, the brooding intensity of Eric Clapton and the charismatic showmanship of Queen.
In recent times, Ben has been working hard playing live and gathering new fans. He headlined the Isle of Wight Festival's Acoustic Stage, the Riverside Stage at Cornbury and recently supported The Stereophonics in Milan for F1 Rocks.
He is currently writing new material for what is expected to be a very busy year ahead.