Latest News 2015
January News 2015
A quick mention of Robbie J’s CD launch –
If anyone would like to attend the event come along to
Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, Tuesday 27th January,
you can expect an evening of fine guitar playing by Robbie and Dave Smith
and try a selection of Brook Guitars brought to you by the Shady Grove guys.
This little Clyst is just going up to Soundpad in Barnstaple.
We’ve had a few of our older instruments in for set ups this month:
This distinctive narrow bodied lacewood Tavy of Lucy’s that needed
a tweak of the trussrod,
And this lovely little English walnut Bovey of Phil Bird’s
which suffered some damage to the top when he lent it out!
Oops! – Phil Ecclestone also had an unwelcome accident with his Taw,
we can’t expect to carry out an invisible repair this time without replacing the top,
Here’s stage one! More to come as we proceed.
Fabrice’s daughter took this photo of him playing his new Lyn
on this sunny day in Lavande, Provence.
Quite a lot of repairs again this month,
one interesting one was a refret on this immaculate Hofner Verithin,
And here’s Andy doing a neck reset on a resonator.
Back to that David Oddy tenor guitar re-neck,
Marc thought it would look great with a black top,
rather like the vintage Gibsons so we were happy to oblige,
here’s Andy spraying the first coats
And the neck and body hanging to dry in the spray room.
Next month we’ll be able to show you some of the new guitars
for Intersound and Project Music along with some other interesting instruments
which are nearly ready to leave the workshop,
also hopefully an update on Robbie’s event at the Wiltshire Music Centre.
December News 2014
It’s been a busy month again. We got couple of batches of guitars out to the shops –
We completed these three for Ivor Mairants in London,
Then we delivered these five to Project Music in Exeter.
Dave Smith came down for the mahogany Torridge he’d ordered,
Dave asked for a rosewood fingerboard, bridge and head veneer.
Here’s a full length photo,
And a close up. It turned out a really nicely balanced, lively guitar!
While our weather is getting cooler Marcus headed out to India again
for a gig in Mumbai!
Simon Boulter came down from Bristol for a set up and a pickup
on his twelve year old Taw.
We also did a set up on this beautiful 015 maple Torridge we made back in 2003.
This is one of our favourite sunbursts of all the guitars we’ve made over the years.
Steve had a fairly drastic headstock break on this Taw,
We got it back together, you can’t see the damage and it’s playing like new again,
Steve was really pleased with the result!
Here’s an interesting project –
Marc sent us this fine David Oddy tenor guitar over from Switzerland.
He found he wasn’t using it as a tenor and asked us if we’d make up and fit
a short scale six string replacement – more of this next month….
Season’s Greetings to all our readers and see you next year!
November News 2014
We've just seen the first frost of the year and the orchard was white
when we arrived this morning.
A couple of weeks ago we sent this custom Torridge up to Richard in Nottingham,
Richard had sent us this design to inlay in the fingerboard.
We’d found enough of this very old yew to make up a three piece back.
These four Brooks, an OM, Teign, Taw and Lyn, were collected by
Mike from Project Music in Exeter,
Amongst them was this left-handed rosewood Lyn custom ordered through the shop.
Here's the Lyn along with another standard one an early stage of the build,
showing the different bracing for the left-handed model.
The customer wanted a rosewood head veneer and Waverly tuners.
John here has a busy touring schedule as lead guitarist and singer
with Dire Straits tribute band Dire Streets,
He popped in to see us on the way down to their gig at St Ives Guildhall with the intention of ordering a walnut and cedar Taw - but couldn’t resist this Tamar.
Looking at the unusual figured oak back it’s not hard to see why!
This red gum Tamar is going off to Julie in Gloucestershire
who custom ordered it through Intersound in Dursley.
Here’s a photo of Roseanne Ball playing her Lyn and in character
for her Halloween gig at Tapeley Park in North Devon!
This month we saw a couple of our older instruments:
Cams dropped in the Bovey we'd made for him back in 2003
for a set-up and some remedial work on the way down from Arran
for a short holiday in Cornwall with his family.
We built this cherry Tavy for Rhyd in Whitstable in 2004,
we’ve just had it back to give it a complimentary set up,
the tone has developed over the years and it’s playing and sounding
even better now than when it left the workshop!
A new guitar still thinks it’s a tree ... but a played one knows it's an instrument!
October News 2014
To start off the October news I’d like to point you towards two new galleries we’ve
just added. We thought it would be nice to use just black and white photos for these. Hope you like them!
Tony came over from the Isle of Wight earlier in the year to choose woods
for this sitka spruce 015 Taw,
He chose Kew walnut for the back and sides,
He went for a sound-port and of course it’s obligatory to take photos
of the inside workings through it!
Tony couldn’t come over to collect his Taw but sent us this photo.
We try not to blow our own trumpet too much on the site but he sent us a
message to say it was the easiest, nicest guitar he’s ever played!
We’ve had a few international visitors and customers this month:
We had Tommy over from Sweden specifically to see us and order a Taw,
We had a Tavy order from Aaron in Australia and Tinker here came across
from Norway with his family, he’d been keeping an eye on the site for many years
and came over to order a Weaver.
Stephen came over from Switzerland to visit and bring along the Taw he’d bought from Ivor Mairants back in 2008, we were impressed that the action and set-up was still perfect after all those years.
This has to be one of the grubbiest Brooks we’ve seen on our workshop benches,
It's a Tamar that came in for a set-up. I’m not naming names but the guilty party has been made aware that an occasional clean wouldn’t go amiss!
To be fair the guitar has spent a long time in hot and humid conditions in India where the unamed owner has been busy working on recordings with local musicians.
Here’s the latest bubinga tenor uke, the owner’s well into double figures
with his collection of Brooks, hopefully a photo of Steve and some more
information when he collects it next month.
Dave came down from Wiltshire to collect the latest two guitars for Shady Grove.
A walnut and Engelmann Taw along with a mahogany and cedar Lyn, if anyone’s interested in these head off to Shady Grove via our Links page.
Now for a few of the many repairs we’ve been working on:
This battered Taw came down from Brighton with a broken headstock and
various dinks and damage, it’s now back together, looking a lot better
and back with its happy owner!
We also worked on these two fine vintage Nationals.
See you next month.
September News 2014
Roseanna Ball is a fine singer/songwriter from North Devon, she picked up her new Lyn earlier in the month, here she is playing the first few tunes on it!
It has a beautiful figured bubinga back
And a rosebud inlay on the 12th fret.
Rose asked us to soften the end of our standard slotted headstock shape with a gentle curve. We’ll look forward to some photos and YouTube clips of Rose and her Lyn in action in future months!
Peter was interested in having a guitar made using some wood from his area.
He drove down the other day to spec out an O.M. from this English walnut
he’d sourced that came from Letheringsett churchyard in Norfolk.
Andy’s sawing the walnut into sets.
These two Brooks went out to Urs’ shop in Switzerland,
The twelve string Tamar has English walnut back and sides and the six string Taw has walnut with a cherry book-matched centre stripe.
Urs asked for a cherry blossom inlay and Jack designed this for the headstock.
We had a couple of nice ukes in for repair –
a koa Kamaka to sort out some intonation problems and fit a pickup,
and a vintage Regal for a neck set and new bridge.
Talking of ukes here's Tony Hazzard live in concert with his much travelled
Brook in Hondarrabia, Northern Spain, not far from San Sebastian.
Phil and Anna were also gigging in Spain this month, Phil was using
his recently repaired Tamar. Here are the before and after shots!
And here are some photos of Phil and Anna playing at the festival in Catalonia.
The tall lime tree outside the workshop was trimmed the other week,
That reminded us - it was planted in the early days of Brook Guitars,
here’s a photo of Andy and me in front of it when it was a little sapling,
twenty years ago.
And another of us in front of it now!
We made this Taw for Paul about five years ago, he came back this month and we upgraded the tuners to gold Gotohs.
Pete from Celtic Chords in Stonehaven paid us a visit and picked up the latest maple Clyst for the shop.
Lastly - a couple of photos from the ‘Guitars on the Beach’ event at Lyme Regis
which I went along to with my guitar,
Three and a half thousand of us got together with Ian Gillan to play
‘Smoke on the Water’ in the hot sun,
All of which was rather good fun!
August News 2014
We’ll start the August news with a fine photo of Roger and his new Lyn 015
on the quayside in the Moray Firth village of Cullen.
Roger's a songwriter and plays guitar with local band Heatherstay.
Here’s a full length shot of the guitar
And a close up of the Adirondack top,
The reclaimed figured mahogany back
And the 015 trim headstock with Waverly tuners.
Stuart from North Devon came to pick up his new Torridge,
living in Westward Ho on the Torridge estuary it was the obvious choice!
We laminated the neck from mahogany boards that Stuart had acquired
from a friend of his.
We inlaid two very personal designs on the guitar – A rose on the headstock for his daughter
And a monkey on the twelfth fret in memory of his son.
Here’s Jack’s drawing with the woods chosen for the design
Full length shot.
Rich came down from Bridgewater and bought the mahogany Torridge
we had in the shop, we were very envious of his VW camper!
This Clyst has also just gone up to Scotland,
The second Adirondack top this month, it’s probably the finest tonewood we know of.
Hopefully we'll get a photo of Tim to add to next month’s news.
The final guitar taking the trip up to Scotland this month is this
sunburst twelve fret Teign.
I’ve just found this photo from a few month's ago –
Martin Bell, the editor of our Babbling Brook magazine, came all the way down
from Staffordshire to play a fine set at Okehampton Acoustic Club.
Coincidentally - the club is situated right beside the Okement,
the river we named Martin’s guitar after!
As well as completing these guitars we’ve been fitting pickups
and taking on some tricky repairs:
We repaired rib damage to this Martin earlier in the month
But that was a fairly minor problem compared to what happened to Phil Bird’s guitar,
A monitor fell on the cutaway side of Phil’s beloved yew Tamar.
Here's an unexpected view of the label!
Check out next month to see how we fare with the repair!
A few months ago it seemed to be all Telecaster repairs,
this month it appeared to be to be all Strats!
Here’s a link to Steve Benford’s website.
He has some beautiful recordings of Carolan tunes, give them a listen here!
Over the last month we’ve been gathering a collection of Brook YouTube
clips for our own channel. We hope the customers featured won’t mind.
Please get in touch if you’d rather not be included and
let us know if you’d like us to add a clip featuring your Brook.
July News 2014
First of the mark in July is Shaun from Cheltenham who picked up
the Tavy featured in last month's news.
Melvyn, from South London, came down and couldn't resist
the cherry Torridge we had in stock.
John Stearn, another avid Brook collector and regular visitor, picked up his second rosewood Bovey. Here he is, making himself comfortable, in front of the workshop!
This Ian Anderson model has just gone off to James in Odessa, Florida.
These three Brooks are ready to go up to Intersound in Dursley,
From the left: an ovangkol Tamar, a bubinga Taw and a Yew Weaver.
Here's the latest Teign and Lyn for Promenade Music in Morecombe.
We made this Tamar as a bouzouki five years ago, the customer asked us recently to convert it to a guitar, here it is with the old neck!
We carried out some repair work on this fine Sobell cittern and a Harmony Sovereign for Jiggerypipery's Tony Bayliss.
That's it for the July news, for all of you preparing for a summer break, enjoy the sun!
June News 2014
We hope you’re enjoying the new website; we’re still working on it, please
let us know if there are any problems and we'll try to sort them out as
soon as possible.
So far we’ve had lots of positive feedback from our customers.
We had a feature on Brook collectors in the latest Babbling Brook.
Tony here is vying for pole position amongst them and is heading for double figures.
His latest is thisTaw
He asked Jack to design a kingfisher inlay for the headstock
Diving for a stickleback on the twelfth fret.
The back was a stunning set of English cherry along with Brazilian chestnut
using the same woods to laminate the neck.
We used this subtle red and black inlay for the rosette and purfling.
Talking of collections here’s a photo of David Hornsby’s family of Brooks up in Lincolnshire with his latest rosewood Lyn second from the left.
Shaun ordered a Tavy with this pearl inlay based on a pendant of his.
Here the inlay in situ showing the sitka top
And here’s the red gum back.
John, a friend of ours, snapped up this second-hand Okement when it came up for sale,
he wanted a sunburst finish so we re-topped it and made up a new bridge.
Along with all the other custom work this month Jack also inlaid another
oak twig out of yew on a rosewood Tavy for Michael from Redruth.
OK - here we have two photos of two thirds of the ‘Shady Grove’ team.
Freddie and Colin have set up a small arts cooperative in Hampshire combining artwork, recording, photography as well as planning to sell some high end guitars, including a few of ours. Freddie and Colin don’t quite know if they should be
serious musicians (left) or hedonistic rock stars (right) Any votes?
For those of you who have seen the interview in the latest Babbling Brook,
Rosa Rebecka has a special concert coming up at the Phoenix in Exeter on 13th July.
She’ll be introducing the Levin we rebuilt that belonged to her grandmother, she’ll be supported by The Resonance, a talented band of young local singers.
We completed this Tele style electric using superb Bare Knuckle pickups and parts, very cool!
Amongst the repairs this month we re-fretted this Les Paul copy and a Strat
And glued the bridge back on this highly decorated Tanglewood,
then gave it a good set up.
See you next month!