Q&A December 2011, Part II
1/8/2012 (updated 1/8/2012)
Following your excellent collaborative concert with Phil Pickett & The Musicians of the Globe Theatre at London's Cadogan Hall a while back, I recall you indicating that there may be a recording of the show made available. Are there any plans for such a release, or future shows / recordings with PP et al, in a similar vein? Regards, Ian Broom - Hereford, UK
It was recorded. There are no plans at the moment to release it, and no upcoming plans with Phil.
Re: Other songwriters' songs
Dear Richard, Like many of those who have attended most of your all-requests shows at Montalvo, as I have, grow irritated by those who request songs by other songwriters, mainly because they're likely not fans and don't know your music. What some of us have wondered is whether you're obligated to pay royalties to those artists. How do you handle that? By the way, you always make an effort graciously to perform others' music. You try to satisfy the requests, even if it's not your music. And the audience is often delighted when you do. But we long-time fans resent their failure to come prepared to request a song of yours; and you, of course, rise above such pettiness, much to your credit. A fan since 1969, Nick Ferentinos - Saratoga, Calif.
I really enjoyed your show at Montalvo, as always! I brought my daughter, 11, and my son, 8 (both of whom loved it; my son said the really amazing thing was it seemed like there were a lot more instruments than one guitar being played at once!).
I really liked hearing you play songs you did not write and wished you played more of such songs. Of course I love your own songs, having seen you in concert innumerable times, but it is so cool to hear how you play other people's music. I wondered what your idea was about these all-request shows? Do you like the requests to be for your songs, or for songs by other people? Thank you, Kim
Well, a couple of differing opinions. Personally, I like the mix, and the challenge of playing covers balanced with the challenge of trying to remember my own material. The fact that a few of the requests are totally out of my realm can be fun for myself and the audience. At the Montalvo shows recently, I seem to recall doing 'Some Enchanted Evening'.
I was wondering if you have listened to the Thea Gilmore album, "Don't Stop Singing", where she took lyrics by Sandy Denny and put them to music. If so, I was curious as to what you thought of the results. If not, what is your take on the whole concept of co-writing with someone who has left too early? Will this possibly get people interested in Sandy who aren't familiar with her work already? I'm a big fan of both Thea and Sandy, and I find the results to be very interesting, but I still don't know whether it is something that would sit well with any writer to think that someone might do this with their uncompleted works.
Also, I wanted to say that the version of John the Gun that you did on a compilation is one of my favorites. Is there any chance you would do it live at anything other than at an all-request show (which is something I doubt I'll ever get a chance to see)? I think "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" is so frequently covered by others that covering other songs by her might help people see another side of Sandy's writing. Thank you. Neil McLaughlin
I too am a fan of Thea and Sandy. I enjoyed the record. and probably felt that I was too close to Sandy's work to give it the fresh ears it deserved. I hope, as you suggest, that it brings new listeners to Sandy's music. I think this could work with other 'departed' artists, and there are no rules except that it needs to be something rewarding to listen to.
Over the years I've managed to teach myself the art of hybrid picking - pick held between finger and thumb and other fingers used to pick strings as well - which you use all the time. Did you always play that way, or were your early days spent in acquiring both fingerstyle and pick techniques independently? I use it sparingly myself - mainly if I've broken a fingernail! Regards, Mike Ainscough (Sussex, UK)
I've gone into this before, so briefly - I learned pick style and finger style, and then combined them. There are times when I use all pick, and all fingers, and all hybrid.