Before I get started on the HGG11 series (waiting on photos – please send yours in asap!), I wanted to mention the new products that showed up this year (many a complete surprise).
CDs! Three new titles made their debut (2 of which I brought home and listed on HGM):
Brad Hoyt’s pre-release copies of Far Away From Everyday (which you know from last month’s blog – to go on sale soon), the first harp guitar release from Claude Laflamme, Hors d’oeuvre, and a surprise Christmas album from Andy Wahlberg, Christmas Candy.
I’m listening to Andy’s as we speak (typically exuberant and impressive chops in fun arrangements). His wins the award for coolest packaging/marketing gimmick. Christmas Candy (alternately “Christmas Andy” via the color-coded font) includes an actual piece of candy – a Dyer harp guitar candy bar in dark Belgian chocolate, handcrafted by his wife, Kitty!
I’ve resisted biting into it, hoping I can shellac it or something to preserve for my collection. Andy isn’t yet sure how these will mail. Neither am I (l plan on placing in separate Ziplok bag so that if it melts into a puddle, it won’t chocolate-coat the actual CD). Too cool.
Claude’s CD also has a great cover concept – Hors d’oeuvre features an image of Claude’s 20-string Pellerin harp guitar made entirely of, well, actual hors d’oeuvre. One almost wishes his was edible like Andy’s! The album is a stand-out, with maybe half of the pieces (originals and covers) music we lucky Gathering attendees have heard over the last 3 years now. My favorites are two originals I hadn’t yet heard (a mainly 7/8 piece with occasional Hedges-style ostinato is killer). Though I wish it was a slightly longer album, Claude’s impeccable rhythm and recording quality do not disappoint.
HGG11 T-shirts (modeled above by our host John Thomas) are nearly sold out. I think we have 1 Small and 2 XXL if anyone wants a “wish I was there!” souvenir. It features our Evolution graphic from HGG5. The bumper sticker looks just like the banner below (proudly hung above the Sunday concert stage) – plenty available if you’re interested.
You’ll hopefully see more details in the blogs to come, but as always there were many cool new instruments. Those available for sale included:
The new Duane Noble harp-uke I took and played a bit (I finally got to compare it to a full-size Noble HG, owned by Stephen Warburton above)
A beautiful (looking and sounding) new HG from Tony Karol (who attended)
A brand-new Emerald carbon fiber harp guitar with wood-impregnated top (I know that’s the wrong description, you’ll just have to see it!) courtesy of Alistair Hay (attending), played (aggressively) by Stacy Hobbs, above.
One of Chuck Thompson’s outrageous new bamboo electric harp guitars.
Michael Schreiner also built his third – a cross between a Sullivan/Elliott and a Mozzani Aquila!
Sold and/or delivered instruments included:
A Dyer Style 8 copy built entirely by Scott Holloway (right) for Alex Anderson (left)
Another ultra-distinctive Benoit Meulle-Stef
A second, fan-fret 21-string for Claude Laflamme by Michel Pellerin (who also attended).
And still another (electro-acoustic 13-string) from Jim Worland (at right) for Ed Dowling (left)
Jealousy, envy and lust were all in abundance last weekend!