Fan Questions and Answers
1/28/2003 (updated 10/11/2003)

Replying to DM of West Yorkshire, who asks about acoustic guitar amplification, and NW of Virginia, who wants to know about models of guitar

Well folks, I mainly play on stage a Lowden L32C (old model name - it's called something else now). I own a spare of the same model, but with Walnut back/sides and cedar top - recently used on new CD. I also have a baby Lowden, currently in London, so I can't check the model number, and three Ferrington acoustics, and my old Martin 00018, which is a bit bashed about. The main stage guitar has a Sunrise magnetic soundhole pickup, and a Countryman Isomax Condenser Mic in the soundhole. These both run through a 2 channel Gas Cooker Pre-Amp, made by Ridge Farm Studios. The Sunrise also goes through optional effects - a Line 6 Delay Modeller and a UniVibe rotary effect (Dan Armstrong?). From there into the P.A.

A of Sheffield asks if "My Daddy Is A Mummy" or "Oops!" are going to be released; and DD of Anglesey wonders whether "1000 Years of Popular Music" will be released, and whether it will contain "Shenandoah"

"Oops!" and "Shenandoah" are both mixed and included on the upcoming "1000 Years" CD, release TBA. "My Daddy Is A Mummy" is intended for a childrens record, not yet recorded, but close!

MM of Florida asks if the "Old Kit Bag" will be available on vinyl

Yes indeed, Cooking Vinyl in the UK will be doing a limited edition (I think I heard 800) for you discerning folk out there. I do not know if there will be a US run as well...

AP of Illinois is curious as to whether I have had guitar-related injuries, and what I have done to cure them

My right elbow is my main problem, which is fairly knackered at this point from various abuses over the years, not all to do with the guitar. At times it has frozen up, and at other times gone into spasm. I've been treated a couple of times for tennis elbow, by the wondrous Dr. Reza at the Chelsea Harbour Club, and also by healer extraordinaire Carole Raye of Mendocino. I do a series of stretches before playing, too specific to describe accurately here, and general weight training to improve strength. I also ice down elbow and forearms before and after a show. I find it hard to do sustained rapid downbeats, and mandolin-style tremelo, and have to find other ways of achieving the same effect, usually by being more 'wristy'. On stage, I wear the guitar quite low, to get the elbow as straight as possible, although this is tougher for angle on the left hand.

YB of New Mexico asks which 5 states I haven't played in

Last week it was 7, but it's now 5 - I just crossed off South Dakota and Nebraska - that leaves Alaska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Delaware - the first four are conceivable, but I don't know of anywhere to play in Delaware - might have to do a Holiday Inn to complete the set!

On the same subject, RW of Alaska asks when we'll be heading up that way

I'm very keen to get there, and I believe there is a small tour of clubs to play, so whenever we can de-ice the float plane and find a window, expect us.

GR of the UK says, Will the UK and US versions of "Kit Bag" have the same track listing?

Yes, absolutely, only the Japanese release will have a bonus track, apparently a standard procedure there - extra track will be a live cut from "1000 Years"

PH of Kent asks about playing more in SouthEast England

Yes, Dartford would be a fine venue. I'm due for a comprehensive UK tour in the next couple of years, and I hope we can come close to you. And JdK asks if we'll be doing a real show in the Netherlands, apart from the radio broadcast. Nothing is booked, but we have windows in the summer, and I would expect to come back to do a festival or a Paradiso or such.

That's it for now, thank you for your questions, please keep hitting the site and the Guest Book, it helps us to know what you're thinking, so we can control your minds. And FW of Bournemouth, I wouldn't try the In Extremis position until you've mastered page 317 first.

Love, cheese sandwiches, and Willie Kemp 78s,

Richard Thompson