Q&A JANUARY 2013, Part III
2/12/2013 (updated 2/17/2013)

Re: Headstrong Lil King Reverb
Richard - did you use the Headstrong Lil King amp for your upcoming "Electric" album? If so, what are your impressions of the amp? Does it compare favorably with an old handwired Fender Princeton Reverb? Or does it have its own thing going on? Thanks! Daniel Sekerak

I have a couple of Headstrong Lil Kings, which I will use on stage on the upcoming US tour. I borrowed Buddy Miller's for the Electric CD. It basically is a Princeton circuit, but with a better speaker, a 12" Eminence. The speaker efficiency and size was always the problem with the Fender. I think it gives you everything you want from a small Fender-type amp.

This is a follow-up to the question in the December Q&A concerning an off-Broadway run of Cabaret of Souls. I wonder whether Richard has considered using Kickstarter or a similar instrument to help fund such an endeavor. I suspect that he'd get a lot of contributions, especially with incentives like performance tickets, walk-on roles, leftover props, etc. (Also, Washington, DC, is off-Broadway… we'd love to get the show down this way.) Thanks, Pam Winters

Walk-on roles - now that's an idea… Kickstarter is a great concept, and probably works best for raising $20,000 or less. COS really needs a corporate sponsor, or an individual with deep pockets. It's a much bigger financial investment. You can say, I told you so, if I come back begging in a few months time.

Re: Headstock tuner
Hi Richard, I play a 12 string acoustic, an old EKO which I purchased 40 years ago! Its basic, a bit cracked but great action and a half decent sound with good strings on. I'm wanting to get into songs using different tunings but to be able do this confidently in performance I need the help of a headstock tuner. My question is what sort of tuner do you use, will it readily handle alternative tunings such as DADGAD, DGDGBD etc plus the fact that I normally tune the guitar to Eb rather than E? Hope you can help! All the best. Phil Swain

I use a Snark headstock tuner, small, stylish, good accuracy and readout. Fully chromatic, although Eb will read as D#. These I believe are manufactured in the UK. If you need super accuracy, there is the Peterson Strobo Clip tuner (not cheap at $69.99).

What has become of Fairport, the house? Is it still in Simon Nicol's family? One would think it deserves a plaque naming it as a cultural landmark for the music that was created therein!

Simon's family sold the house in the late 60s. It does have a carved wooden name plaque which is quite attractive, featuring a fishing boat (presumably in reference to the 'fair port' of Arbroath), but nothing to identify it with the band. The residents at the senior's home across the street are constantly bemused by the steady stream of visitors having their pictures taken in front of the house.

Has writing CoS whetted your appetite to write (or co-write) a musical theatre or light opera piece? Could you imagine yourself writing something as irreverent as, say, "The Book of Mormon" at some point in your career?

I'm working on another theatrical piece, and I won't jinx myself by describing it here, but it's a bit darker than Book Of Mormon.

Given that you have an affinity for black, I was genuinely surprised that Frets & Refrains T-shirts were white. (Summertime requirement?) Might this year's model have a darker theme?

Given the heat at last year's F&R, I think the white was a godsend! Anticipating a slightly cooler time of year this year, perhaps we'll go darker.