News and happenings from the world of your favourite guitarists
Charles Esten has the enviable job of playing a selection of fine guitars in his role as Deacon Claybourne is the US TV hit Nashville, and he says he’s just as guilty of Gear Acquisition Syndrome as the rest of us. “The one that I play all the time [in the show] is a Martin D-28,” he tells us. “I have it around my neck half the time I’m on stage, and when Deacon plays, he’s plays that an awful lot, too. There’s just something about it that really felt great, especially when I put it down in double drop D.” The tuning (dropping the two E strings down to D) has become a favourite for Charles and has even shown up in a couple of songs on the show. “It takes out that 3rd, which makes it not quite as positive if you’re playing a major and not quite as sad if you’re playing a minor,” he explains. “It’s that kind of nebulous area, which I like a lot… and I think Deacon likes a lot, too.” Series five of Nashville is on Sky Living.
We were sad to hear that guitar builder Steve Acworth passed away on 21 May. Initially based at Wing Music in Kent in the early 1970s, he went on to work on instruments belonging to Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi and make guitars for Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend and Keith Richards. Guitarist reader Keith Smart notes: “Steve made a lot of T-style guitars and said that Leo’s original guitar design could not be bettered. As well as creating instruments, he was an artist and an inventor. He will be missed.”
The second Gary Moore instrument auction at Bonhams took place on 28 June and saw the collection sell for 10 times its estimate. The Sonic Blue ’57 Reissue Fender Strat that he used for the Out In The Fields promotional video, 1997 Dark Days In Paradise European tour, plus Live At Montreux performance from that year, sold for £22,500 (including premium). A 2008 Gibson Les Paul Gary Moore/Dark Fire prototype guitar hit £12,500 against an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000, and Moore’s 2012-made prototype of his 2013 Tribute Les Paul signature went for £10,625 (estimated £2,000 to £2,500).
British folk guitarist Martin Simpson will host a three-day workshop at the Kenwood Hall Hotel in Sheffield from 17 to 19 November. The workshop is open to players of various abilities and is question-led, with a communal dinner in the evening. For more info visit www.martinsimpson.com
Nashville’s Deacon Claybourne, played by Charles Esten, has an affinity with the Martin D-28