Brook Guitars News March 2021

March 2021

Rick Camp wrote to let us know that the Clyst model we originally made for him back in 2001 was now 20 years old, it’s been gigged extensively, here are a couple of photos of Rick and the Clyst in action!

First Brook Clyst

Regular visitors will be aware that this is our new website. We’re still tweaking it, let us know what you think. We’re really pleased with the way it’s turned out – we’ve nodded our heads to the style of the old site and improved the information on the different models and their relative sizes.

New Brook Home Page

We made this 12 string Tavy for Andrew in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. It has a Sitka top

Brook 12 string Tavy

And English walnut back and sides, Andrew was after one similar to the one we made for Ant Phillips.

Brook 12 string walnut back

Since the first lockdown and the ending of any live musical activity, our old friend, musician Richard James has taken to writing! His latest book is about the rock band UFO and, like buses, he has three more coming along shortly, celebrating Tom Petty, Status Quo and Joe Jackson. We promised Richard we’d give him a special author’s discount when his sales catch up with previous Brook owner, author Kazuo Ishiguro.

Richard and UFO

We had some stormy weather the other morning,

Stormy Morning

Andy discovered the lane blocked by a fallen tree and had to take a detour to the workshop.

Andy's Bike

Spring is in the air and Jez took the opportunity to take this little un to the park! He wrote “Thanks so much for your hand in my present! We’re setting a pattern here with the Lyn for my 40th, Holly for 50th….”

Jez and Brook Holly

Jack started making up some mahogany linings

Brook Linings

So Andy thought it may be time to overhaul the jig he made up to slot them on the bandsaw!

Andy mending the lining jig

I started roughing out the padauk neck for James in Michigan, as always with padauk there’s a lot of bright orange sawdust!

I thinned out the neck and narrowed it a little on this classical guitar for Matt from Exeter,

reshaping a classical guitar neck

Here we have the first coats of lacquer on James’ Tamar and Matt’s classical.

Two in the spray room

Megan and Brian from the duo Red, Green and Blue came down for set-ups on their guitars and treated us to an impromptu concert!

Brian and Megan outside the workshop

We’ve just reset the neck on this twenty one year old Taw

Taw neck reset

And this Gibson LG-0, we also replaced the cheap plastic bridge with an ebony one.

Stay safe as we start to come out of lockdown.

Brook Guitars News Febuary 2021

February 2021

Steve Tilston latest album ‘Such Times’ has just been released on Riverboat Records, it’s a generous helping of fifteen fine songs and tunes and we heartily recommend it.

 

Steve Tilston Such Times

Steve used his Calder on all but one of the tracks!

 

Such Times back cover

We’ve just completed this rosewood Taw for our shop,

 

Brook Taw Shop February
Here’s a close up of the Sitka spruce top.

Brook Taw Close Up February

Two here for Mak in Rathbone Place –

 

Mak's Two Brooks

An English walnut and cedar Torridge and a bubinga and Engelmann spruce Taw.

 

Brook Taw and Torridge

Every year we post a photo of the snowdrops in the orchard so here’s this year’s array,

 

Brook Workshop Snowdrops

Along with a scattering of snow on the pond.

 

Snow on Pond

Woody Mann emailed recently – “I’m just getting in touch to let you know that the guitar you made for me way back is sounding great and is so comfortable to play.  A different voice from my other instruments…I’ve been playing it a lot lately. Reminds me of my visit to your shop years ago.” Thanks Woody!

 

Woody

Here’s Andy grafting a strengthener across a tricky break on an Atkin headstock.

 

Andy Grafting

Anyone for a nice set of cocobolo?

 

Cocobolo

And finally – a quick shot of some of the guitars we’ll be putting together and stringing up shortly.

 

Brook Spray Shop

Brook Guitars News January 2021

January 2021
This beautiful all koa Lyn went off to Coda,Koa Brook Lyn
Here’s a close up of the back, the wood came directly from our supplier in Hawaii.Brook Lyn Koa Back
The headstock is fitted with Schaller Grand Tune tuners with snakewood buttons.Grand Tune Tuners
A Lyn and a Lamorna went up to Mak at Mak’s Guitars in Rathbone Place.Brook Lyn and Lamorna for Mak
The Lyn‘s walnut and Engelmann, the Lamorna‘s rosewood and Sitka.

Walnut Brook Lyn and Rosewood Lamorna
Two more Taws for Project:

Two Brook Taws for Project
One rosewood and Sitka and the other walnut and Engelmann.

Rosewood and walnut Brook Taws
Andrew has a Lyn he bought some years ago, he couldn’t resist the Lamorna in our shop. He wrote  “the guitar sounds wonderful, it’s a superb instrument. As requested here’s the Brook siblings, about 20 years separating them I think!”.

Andrew and Two Brooks
Andy did a fine job again getting John’s damaged Torridge back in working order.

Broken Torridge
He’s been preparing some custom necks out of maple, walnut and paduak along with some standard ones out of our old stock mahogany

Brook Workshop Making Necks
Meanwhile I’m carving necks for this batch, then preparing the guitars for lacquering.

Pre Spraying
Mark Robinson sent us this photo of the Tamar we made for him nearly twenty years ago. He’s running a songwriting workshop on Zoom on February 17th.

Mark R Tamar

We’re still busy redesigning the website, we’ve been looking through the archives and thought we’d add some models we’d initially made as one-offs to our range,

we hope to have the new site up and running to coincide with the February news update.

New Model Brook Plans
Coincidentally while all the plans were around a little Holly came in for a set-up. This one’s the guitar model on the uke body.

Brook Holly Travel Guitar

Stay safe.

Brook Guitars News December 2020

December 2020

It’s the winter solstice, the shortest day today, there have been some spectacular skies on the drive to and from the workshop every day. Here are two morning photos,

Morning Drive 1

Morning Drive 2

And an evening shot.

Evening Drive
John picked up his nylon strung Taw to join the other Brooks in his collection

John and his Nylon strung Brook Taw
And Stewart bought the Abbey to join his Lyn.

Stewart and his Brook Abbey
Bernie Baines sent us these photos, he snapped up the figured mahogany Lyn we’d made for our shop.

Bernie Baines and his Brook Lyn
We’ve drawn up a plan for another small parlour guitar for a customer in the States, this one’s sized between the Abbey and the Creedy.

Another Brook Parlour Plan

TV’s latest album contains a series of songs written and recorded at home in the period after the first lockdown when he discovered he’d contracted Covid-19 whilst supporting Stiff Little Fingers in the weeks before the country closed down.

Lockdown Holiday

We received these five rather battered boxes of rosewood, walnut, maple, spruce and ebony from Spain this week to add to our substantial stock of wood.

Wood for Brook Guitars

Talking of woods – I discovered an old memory card for the camera with some photos of Chris at National Bee Supplies in Okehampton cutting up some bubinga and walnut for us.

Exeter Bee Supplies

Andy and I were sent a massive box of delicious Indian snacks and teas – thanks Dev!

Indian Snacks

Andy had to make up a special tool to adjust the truss rod on this Walden baritone.

Walden Baritone
Two interesting guitars came in for a neck reset and other work: A nice old Weissenborn and a Stella.

Two Vintage Guitars

This Gibson came in for a neck reset and the plastic bridge lifting from the front, we’ll replace it with an identically shaped ebony one, the bridge resting on the top is one we took off a previous Gibson with a similar problem.

Gibson Plastic Bridge

Season’s Greetings to you all, stay safe.

Seasons Greetings

Let’s hope that we have a better year in 2021!

Brook Guitars News November 2020

November 2020

One of the problems of the lockdown is that our customers can’t come down and pick up their guitars. This nylon strung 12 fret cutaway Taw is for John from Somerset who has several other Brooks.

Brook Nylon Taw The top is Sitka spruce,

Nylon Strung Brook Taw Top
The back and sides are Crelicam ebony with bubinga binding,

Crelicam Ebony Taw Along with Schaller GrandTune machines with ebony buttons and black barrels. Hope to get a photo of John with the guitar for next month’s news.

Nylon Brook Taw Headstock
Dev has now got his Lamorna and send us these stunning photos taken in the beautiful Ambapur stepwell!

Dev And Brook Lamorna 1

Dev And Brook Lamorna 2

Dev and Brook Lamorna 3

This ovangkol and European spruce Little Silver and is about to be sent to Keith in London,

Brook Little Silver
It has a 595 mm scale, it’s strung as a Terz and is tuned G to G.

Brook Little Silver Terz
This mahogany Lyn and rosewood Taw have just gone up to Coda

Two Brooks For Coda
And these two, a rosewood Torridge and Lamorna, are off to Project this week.

Two Brooks For Project
This fine piece of English walnut has just been chosen by a customer for a Taw.

Waltut Brook Taw Soon
You may remember – this red gum Taw had been left outside in its case on a Middle Eastern airfield by airline staff for a considerable amount of time. The Hiscox case took the brunt of the excessive heat and we managed to get away with just re-topping the guitar.

Red Gum Brook Taw Re Top
This month brought in a couple of headstock repairs: This Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith
And a rather nice Heritage.

Heritage Repair
This Torridge has had a rather nasty knock, we’ll see what we can do to get it back on the road again.

Broken Brook Torridge
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in Cornwall or the Isle of Wight you’re going to still be under a fairly strict form of lockdown like us. Let’s all be patient, stay safe, then hopefully next year things will return to a form of normality!

Brook Guitars News October 2020

October 2020

Dev was featured in a previous issue of our occasional magazine Babbling Brook.

Dev and his Brook Torridge

He was hoping to come over to pick up his second Brook, this Lamorna, but because of Covid that’s obviously not on for a while so we’ve just sent it over to him by courier.

Dev's New Brook Lamorna
This time Dev went for rosewood with an Adirondack top.

Dev's Lamorna Close Up
We’d made this little Abbey for our shop,

Brook Abbey For Sale
It’s has a 595 mm  scale, European spruce top, a pyramid bridge

Brook Abbey close up
And rosewood back and sides. If you’re interested in this guitar just get in touch.

Rosewood Brook Abbey
Jack’s been busy converting some old mahogany boards brought in by customers into guitar sets.

Jack Resawing Matt’s was stored for years in his father’s carpentry workshop and is going to be a Lamorna. Owain’s, rescued from old school benches, will be shortly be used to make a Weaver!

Mahogany Guitar Sets
I’ve been making up a new set of bending forms, we’ve been using the old ones for twenty five years and were getting a little worse for wear!

Brook Bending Forms

We were rather pleased to come across an honorary mention in Andrew Cartmel’s book ‘The Vinyl Detective – The Run-Out Groove’!
“Look at that.” He nodded at the guitar.
“Very nice,” said Nevada.
“Hand made,” said Erik, “by Brook in Devon. Beautiful guitar. Much too nice for that silly sod. He’s got ten thumbs. He should be playing a plastic banjo.

The Vinyl Detective

Norman came down to collect his Taw back in 2007, he came back recently because he wanted our pearl logo instead of the original transfer. You’d be wrong in thinking there’s only one Brook in the photo, here’s the story:

“When I originally collected my guitar from Andy’s house,  I was with Greg my partner and Nelson my Jack Russell, sadly neither are with me now but on instructions from Greg in his will I have now a wonderful 18 month old Jack born only hours before Greg passed away and born only a mile from where he was born…..her name is BROOK”

Norman Brook and Brook

Andy took this Taw and Torridge up to Project Music,

Two Brooks For Project

The back and sides on the Taw is English walnut and the Torridge is ovangkol.

Taw and Torridge for Project

We’re starting work on a new design for our website, we thought we might use this screenshot of the workshop from Google Earth!

Brook Guitars Easterbrook

This Strat had a relic finish and the owner asked for us to get rid of all the artificially created dinks and scratches and refinish it in Fiesta Red nitro.

Strat Respray
Here’s Rob from Bristol’s vintage Gibson ETG-150, we gave the neck a sympathetic refinish recently.

Gibson ETG 150
Two Martins in for neck resets: the first is a new 000-15, it’s disappointing that a company with such a reputation lets guitars with fairly major faults like this get through quality control, then shows no interest in remedying the problem.

Martin Neck Reset The second is a three year old D18 with the same problem.

Neck Reset 2 This fine mandola made by Kai Tönjes came in for some work on the frets and to lower the action.

Mandola

Take care during these difficult times.

Brook Guitars News September 2020

September 2020

We’d like to advise our customers that workshop visits are by appointment only now.
If there’s a  sure sign that Autumn’s almost upon us it’s the dew on the cobwebs in the morning in the orchard.

Brook Guitars Orchard

We forgot to photograph the rosewood and Sitka Torridge before Andy took it up to Project Music earlier in the month.
So they sent us these two of the guitar in the Exeter shop,

Torridge Project 1

Thanks for the photos guys!

Brook Headstock

On the subject of Project  Music – Alan and Hugh came down to the shop and they each bought a Taw.

They popped into the workshop a few weeks ago to have a look around and check out where their guitars were made!

Alan and Hugh at Brook Guitars

Two new stock guitars this month:  This figured mahogany and Sitka Torridge

Figured Mahogany Brook Torridge

And this  rosewood and Sitka Taw.

Rosewood Brook Taw

Michelle sent us a copy of her very fine collection of songs chosen from her wide repertoire:  from traditional material to a Lowell George classic – all skilfully accompanied by Bonz.  We thoroughly recommend it.  Michelle has a cherry Torridge.

Michellle CD

Here’s a photo of Tulley with his new Lynher by the Yellowstone river and another taken at Albertsons Market with a few pals. He wrote “Can’t thank you enough for the beautiful work you do!”.

Tulley with his Brook Lynher

Tom Schultz from Colorado is using the guitar we made for him in 2015 for the video and recording of this well known Shakespeare sonnet.

Tom Schultz

And appropriately here he is in front of Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Tom Shultz in Stratford Upon Avon

We’ve started drawing out the plans for 12 fret options for the Tamar and Lamorna to help James Filkins from Michigan choose his new Brook.

Lamorna and Tamar Plans

Sam and George had a musical get-together, pooling the four Brooks they have between them.

Sam George and 4 Brooks

John sent this holiday snap, good to see John taking his Teign out for an airing!

John on Hols

Gareth sent his twenty year old yew Bovey down to us after it had taken a rather severe knock. Not an entirely invisible repair but everything’s back in place, the broken braces have been repaired and it’s playing perfectly again.

Broken Bovey

Stay safe.

Brook Guitars News August 2020

August 2020

We’ll start off this month with a new model, the Lynher, which we developed for Tulley in Montana.

Brook Lynher model

As you can see – it’s a parlour size, left-handed, fourteen fret, nylon strung instrument.

Brook Lynher close up

The back and sides were constructed from solid mahogany, the back’s carved into an arch making back braces and linings unnecessary. The top’s braced as we would a classical guitar. The instrument is surprisingly loud and we’re really pleased with the way it’s turned out. We can offer this thinline option on any of our models.

Brook Lynher thinline

Jack inlaid this snowdrop design on the fingerboard. The guitar is off to the States next week and hopefully we’ll have a photo of Tulley with his third Brook to add to the September news.

Snowdrop Inlay

Another left hander and another going to the States, this one’s off to Massachusetts. The Abbey is a 595 mm scale small parlour model.

Brook Abbey

Our customer is a Jethro Tull fan and asked for a replica of the one we made for Ian Andrson.

Brook Abbey close up

As you can see by this mountain of cases, the repairs have been coming in thick and fast:

Repairs

It seems to have been Martin month:
Brian McDonald of the duo Red, Green and Blue called in for a proper set up on his Martin, due to Covid their tour has been postponed and, along with most musicians, performances have come to a standstill for the time being.

Brian

This one came in for a refret with Evo Gold fretwire,

Martin Refret

This Martin came in with the common fault – the plastic bindings were coming away from the body, Andy re-glued them and refinished the problem areas.

Martin Bindings Problem

This twenty year old Teign came in after a severe knock to its tail block, Andy glued it back together, re-sprayed the back and sides and it’s as good as new!

Vintage Brook Teign

We re-fretted this Watkins Rapier, in the early 1960’s American guitars were hard to get your hands on so lots of musicians over here went  for this, the English equivalent of the Strat! Anyone of ‘a certain age’ will remember these from the Bell’s mail order catalogue way back in the 1960s.

Watkins Rapier

Matt brought in another ’60s classic for some TLC- this Gibson J-160E, the John Lennon model. The originals were sunburst but like Lennon’s, this one has had the top stripped at some time in its life, the serial number is forty two away from its famous counterpart!

Gibson J-160E

Andy reset the neck on this Taylor, which, we have to admit, is a much simpler job with their unique neck joint.

Taylor Neck Re-set

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. The makers of these Chinese guitars spuriously claim they are Brook’s ‘New Series’. I don’t think we have to worry too much about the competition, take a look – if you can see any similarities between these and the real thing apart from the fact they are vaguely guitar shaped let us know.

Fake News

Julian Bream
15 July 1933 – 14 August 2020

J.B.

Brook Guitars News July 2020

July 2020

Kev Aram asked us to make a tribute to the cowboy guitars of the 1930’s and ’40’s,

Kev's Brook Lyn

Back then they were cheaply made and often stencilled displaying the cowboy legends from the films of the period.

Brook Lyn Cowboy Guitar

Our Lyn certainly isn’t cheaply made and maybe not to everyone’s taste but we absolutely love it!

Brook Cowboy Guitar full length

Adam came all the way down from Scotland to pick up his Blackwater 12 string.

Adam and his Brook Blackwater

We showed you the headstock inlay last month, here’s the rest of the guitar,

Brook Blackwater

Adam provided the Huon pine top

Huon Pine

And the cocobolo back and sides.

Cocobolo Back

George didn’t have far to travel from Bridgwater to collect his nylon strung Cary,

George and his Brook Cary

Here’s the full length photo

Brook Cary lefty

And close-ups of the Sitka top and Crelicam ebony back.

Brook Cary Top and Back

George in Battersea ordered his second Brook, this time a cedar and walnut Tavy cutaway, it’s off with the courier to him this week.

George's Cedar and Walnut Tavy

Bob came over from Dorset to pick up his new rosewood Tamar, also his second Brook! he wrote “The guitar sings, it’s wonderful, many thanks”.

Bob's Brook Tamar

Michael sent this photo from the mountains of Colorado. “I don’t think I’ve ever owned an instrument with an Engelmann top – it sounds fantastic and I love it already”.

Michael and Brook Torridge

Last month we mentioned Phil Beer, this month it’s Steve Knightley’s turn! On the wall behind him in his recent videos there’s one of our more unusual instruments – the Ash.

Steve Knightley Video

It’s a reproduction of the instrument we made for Billy Connolly for his 60th birthday nearly twenty years ago!

Billy Connolly Brook Ash

Matt from South Devon brought up some outer cuts of a tree that had had been stored for years in his dad’s workshop with the hope we could use them to build a Lamorna.

Timber1

To be honest they didn’t look too promising but a few hours work removing the bark and re-sawing revealed some beautifully figured dark mahogany!

Timber 2

Dawn, our post-lady, makes model buildings in her spare time so we gave her a bag of our workshop off-cuts, she showed us this photo of her latest project – the local church made from guitar remnants!

Dawn's Model Church

Please mask up, maintain social distancing and stay safe over the summer.

Brook Guitars News June 2020

June 2020

Here are the latest two guitars for Coda Music – a rosewood Lamorna and another figured mahogany Lyn.

Brook Lamorna and Brook Lyn
Our thanks to Phil Beer for mentioning us in the first of his YouTube lockdown gigs on 30th May. Our friend David Oddy made his very last guitar for Phil, we lacquered it after David died and Chris Billings completed it.

Phil Beer Lockdown Gig

Here’s  a photo of Adam’s newly strung Blackwater 12 string headstock, Adam supplied the original shadow photo of his family as the basis for the design of the inlay.

Adam's 12 string Brook Blackwater

Tony Skinner is a welcome addition to the Brook fold, amongst other things he’s written over 100 guitar education books, contributed to 250 issues of Total Guitar and had three quarters of a million hits on his YouTube channel!

Tony Skinner and his Brook Lyn

Wendy’s Lyn has been repaired and is ready to collect.

Wendy's Brook Lyn

We’ve just completed two new guitars for our shop: This rosewood and European spruce Lamorna

Stock Brook Lamorna

And a mahogany and Sitka spruce Lyn.

Stock Brook Lyn

We’ll be getting in touch with Bob from Weymouth shortly to let him know his new Tamar‘s ready.

Bob's Brook Tamar

Richard narrowly missed entering his lockdown photo in the April and May competition but we thought it deserved a spot this month!

Richard's Bovey
Two almost opposite causes of guitar damage here: firstly this Taw, much to its owners annoyance, was left in the searing heat on an airport runway in the Middle East for a long period – we’ve at last been given the go-ahead to re-top it.

Taw Damage
Whereas this Martin has suffered from over-humidifying and the back has sprung off in places – hopefully not quite such a major repair job needed for this one.

Martin Damage
John, an old friend and Brook collector from Somerset, came down to order a nylon strung Taw, to help fund it he’s put up for sale this rosewood and Sitka 2013 Lamorna. This one’s still labelled an OM as it was the first of this model we made, it comes equipped with a Fishman Infinity pickup system and is in ‘as new’ condition. If anyone wishes to try it get in touch, it’s here at the workshop, John’s asking £2,100 for the guitar.

Brook Lamorna For Sale
Lastly, a preview of our tribute to the cowboy guitars of the 1930s and ’40s, we’re making this for Kevin Aram.

Brook Lyn Cowboy Guitar

We’re still taking the Covid threat very seriously so if you’re thinking of visiting please be prepared to wear a mask, sanitise and maintain social distancing.

Brook Guitars News May 2020

May 2020

We’re back at work at last. Initially just the three of us, Andy, Jack and myself because of the difficulties in social distancing in our fairly compact workshop. We hope Yasmin and Jake will be able to join us again later in the year. We’ve only been back a week so there’s not that much to show you in the way of finished guitars but we’ll walk you through what’s going on:
Jack’s putting together the next batch of bodies

Jack Putting Together Guitars

Including this left handed Abbey for a customer in Massachusetts

Brook Abbey

And this thin-line nylon-strung new and, as yet, un-named model for Tulley in Montana. This one’s also a lefty.

Nylon Strung Brook

Andy’s in the machine shop preparing necks for these guitars.

Andy Preparing Brook Necks

I’m upstairs fretting and preparing the bridges for the next batch to be completed including this figured mahogany Clyst for Coda

Si Putting Bridges On Brooks

And this twelve string Blackwater for Adam in Deanston, Scotland.

Adam's Brook Twelve String

Now for the latest customers’ lockdown photos: Roel sent us this photo from his home in Ghent, Belgium.

Roel In Ghent

Pat, from Las Vegas, sent us his second contribution, this time featuring the twin six and twelve strings we made for him back in 2007.

Pat With His Twins

Dave Smith’s mahogany Torridge seems perfectly happy in hog heaven!

Brook Torridge In Hog Heaven

Mike sent us sent us this one on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of picking up his Taw, he says “The tone has only got better as the guitar has aged. It still looks like new, Thanks again for producing such a wonderful instrument “. Good to hear, thanks Mike!

Andy, Mike And Si

Tony sent us this ‘Darby and Joan’ photo of his pair of cutaway Tamars – a steel string on the left and nylon strung on the right.

Darby And Joan Brook

Here’s a first – Su sent us this ode to her Taw between a series of photos she’d taken during the lockdown.

Su's Poem

Wendy’s Lyn came in for a neck refinish after someone hadn’t thought to remove their thumb ring before some rigorous playing!

Wendy's Butterflys

This was an interesting coincidence – these two Boveys arrived at the workshop separately the same week and according to the records they were the first two of this model we made twenty five years ago!

First Two Boveys

Even older – this Manson Dove from 1990 came in for repair.

Manson Dove

A few days in, a few slips of a blade and my hands are back in the same state as before their enforced healing period.

Bad Hands

Ah well – it’s good to be back, all the same!

Brook Guitars News April 2020

April 2020

We’re still on lockdown and unable to use the workshop for the time being unfortunately. Luckily music-wise there plenty to keep us amused in the way of living room sessions and live content on YouTube and Facebook: Interesting videos from Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Steve Earle, Howe Gelb, Mark Mulcahy, Jack Hayter, Jorma Kaukonen, Neil Young, Laura Marling, Joan Baez, UOGB, Toyah and Robert Fripp amongst many hundreds of others!

Back to the news – Andy managed to get these two guitars, a Taw and a Blackwater, packed up and sent off to Coda in Stevenage.

Two Brooks For Coda

And now for the competition:

We asked for some photos of our customers with their Brooks while unable to leave their respective houses, so….. here’s Jez with his Lyn, he’s using his time to start work on a koa 00 sized guitar,

Jez and his Brook Lyn While Steve’s in lockdown in the attractive surroundings of downtown Mystic, C.T. with his custom Creedy he’s starting to put together a custom Tele.

Steve and his Brook Creedy in Mystic

Howard’s been busy up in Norfolk putting together this fine photo.

Howard Brook Logo

Pat’s masked up in the isolation of his drum studio in Las Vegas, must be a welcome break from all those drums!

Pat's Drum Studio

Chris is playing in his back garden, fine shirt there Chris!

Chris F

Tulley’s in seclusion in Montana with his Cary and his Ash.

Tulley's Two Brooks

Andrew Blackburn’s relaxing on his balcony with his Tamar.

Andrew and his Brook Tamar

Here’s Ronak with his Taw in Ahmedabad, India, working his way through the pieces in Dev’s ‘Fingerstyle Etudes’ book.

Ronak with his Brook in India Quite a few of our customers have found the time to record videos: Jon London wrote and recorded ‘The Brighton Rag’ on his Teign!

Jon London with his Brook Teign

Amit has been recording in his kitchen with his new Bovey.

Amit and his Brook Bovey

Robbie sent this Brook social distancing photo and has been very busy composing and recording,

Robbie's Photo

And Nigel recorded his Lyn in his garden! Check our YouTube channel for these videos.

Nigel Recording in his Garden

Now – a fine effort, as we would expect, from Richard James, who sent the message ” luckily I was able to jet off to my private island for the photo of my Bovey in lockdown”

Richard's Tropical Island

And fabulous as the panorama of Richard’s tropical island is – this month’s winner has to be Howard – after all that effort with a tiny coping saw and a huge stack of plywood! If you keep on sending the photos we’ll repeat the competition next month!

One advantage from all this time away from work – for about the first time in my working life my hands are relatively grime and split free after the years of in-ground ebony dust, plus cuts and splits have taken their toll…… still not particularly well manicured admittedly but their current condition certainly benefits the guitar playing!

Rough Hands

We lost one of our greatest songwriters this month.

John Prine

RIP

John Prine

October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020

Brook Guitars News March 2020

March 2020

Well……things have developed rapidly since last month’s admonitions

to wash our hands thoroughly. We started with notices asking people not to

visit if they showed any symptoms of the virus to ‘Strictly No Visitors’ –

then the government’s total lockdown for non-essential businesses. It goes

without saying that the workshop is closed during the current crisis. We’d

like to apologise to all of our customers, in particular those who’ve

ordered and are going to have to wait a little longer for their new

guitars: Louise, Adam, George, Bill, Tulley, Kev, Dev, Jack and also of

course Coda, Project and Intersound.

No Visitors

Andy’s taking care of the Facebook page and I’ve set up office at home

to keep on top of the email and the website.

Si

Brook Home Office

So – not much to show you this month but Andy managed to deliver a

rosewood Torridge and Taw to Project Music in Exeter.

Project Music Taw and Torridge

We set up this Les Paul, re-glued the bridge and repaired the finish on

the Santa Cruz and did a neck re-set on this eighteen year old Torridge that had been exposed to some

humidity issues sometime in its life.

Les Paul Santa Cruz Brook Torridge

Caspar was evidentially pleased with Andy’s set-up on his vintage

Hofner bass.

Caspar and Hofner Bass

Chris bought his Lyn from Coda

Music, he sent us this photo taken in his hometown of Rye, he said

“The Lyn’s great, it just falls under my fingers, I love the feel of

the 12 fret set-up and the action is really good!”.

Chris and his Brook Lyn in Rye

I took the opportunity before our

enforced break to take a few photos of the empty workshop.

Empty

Brook Workshop

I’m afraid next month, for the first time in the twenty years we’ve

been keeping you up to date with our latest news, we’re going to be rather

short of news items so – all you self-isolators out there – how about some

photos of yourselves with your Brooks

to fill out the April news? The wackiest photo wins a set of Elixirs!

Competition

We realise that a large proportion of our customers, like us, are

likely to fall into the high risk category so we wish everyone well,

Stay in, stay safe and keep in touch.

Brook Guitars News Febuary 2020

February 2020

We’ll start off the February news with a couple of little ‘uns and a

proud dad! Here’s young Jay, Amit and his new Bovey.

Two Jays

Amit’s a fine player, he came down from Birmingham to collect his Bovey, one of our range of travel

guitars.

Brook

Bovey

He asked Jack to inlay a Jay on the headstock (for obvious reasons!)

Check out Amit’s album on Bandcamp, we’ll hopefully get some video

featuring the new guitar soon.

Brook Bovey with Jay Inlay

Charlie McKeon borrowed my Lamorna

for a recording session with renowned producer John Wood whose credits

include John Martyn, Nick Drake and Sandy Denny. Charlie’s a talented young

artist from Liverpool, he’s going back to complete the album with John next

year.

Charlie McKeon and Brook Lamorna

Trevor didn’t have far to come

from Sidmouth to pick up his 015 cutaway Lyn,

Trevor and Brook Lyn

It has an Engelmann spruce top, rosewood back and sides, lacewood

binding with the custom 015 abalone purfling,

Brook Lyn close up

Bound headstock and gold tuners.

Brook Lyn Headstock

John bought his Lamorna from Coda in Stevenage and came all

the way down from Lincolnshire to have a K&K pickup fitted and to see

where his guitar was made! John’s in the folk band Between The Lines.

John

and his Brook Lamorna

Andy picked up the Madagascan rosewood and Adirondack Lamorna we featured last month, it looks like

it was worth the wait!

Andy

and his Brook Lamorna

We fitted the second K&K this month on this Weaver and made up a koa pickguard for this

partscaster for our old friend Richard James.

Brook Weaver and Partscaster

Last week we had a couple of visitors

down from London: Sam for a set up on his Taw and George to check out the progress of

his second Brook, an English walnut Tavy.src= Sam and George

Down here we’ve managed  to avoid the worst of the floods that

ravaged the rest of the country so here’s the annual photo of the snowdrops

in the orchard with the workshop in the background.

Brook Guitars Workshop and Snowdrops

Here are the latest two for Project, top to bottom – a rosewood and

Sitka Lamorna and and rosewood and

Engelmann Tavy.

Brook Lamorna and Tavy for Project Guitars

Andy hand-made the brass tailpiece for this Fylde bouzouki for Norman,

another of our regular customers.

Brook Tailpiece for Fylde

If you’re travelling to the Middle East don’t leave your guitar for

hours on the runway in the searing heat – this is what it did to the Hiscox

case, the guitar fared slightly better but will need a new top!

Too Hot Hiscox

We’ll show you the results in future news updates.

Brook Guitars News January 2020

January 2020

This is the forthcoming album by the excellent Pete Berryman, it’s a

fine mix of Pete’s songs and exquisite guitar playing. We’ll be

interviewing Pete in the next issue of Babbling Brook.

Pete

Berryman Distant Shore

Tony picked up this crossover nylon strung Tamar as a sister to the steel string one we

made for him last year.

Brook

Tavy Nylon Strung

Classical style headstock and bridge,

Nylon String Brook Tamar

European spruce top with rosewood back and sides.

Nylon

Brook Tamar

Talking of nylon strung guitars here’s Paul Esslement busking in the

Tottenham Court Road underground with his nylon strung Weaver!

P.E.with his nylon Weaver

This custom Lamorna is awaiting

collection, it has an Adirondack spruce top, three ring rosette, an abalone

border,

Adirondack Brook Lamorna

Madagascan rosewood back and sides

Madagascar Brook Lamorna

And headstock with an abalone border and Waverly tuners.

Brook Lamorna

Headstock

In case you haven’t seen it yet Steve Tilston has just posted a fine

new song ‘Crying Shame’, check it out on our YouTube channel.

Steve Tilston Crying Shame

Tom was quick off the mark when he heard

his Taw was ready to collect, he came

over from Minehead the following day and picked it up!

Tom and

his Brook Taw

Here’s our latest model in the ever expanding selection, it’s loosely

based on the early Gibson 180 body shape with a shallower body depth and a

640 mm scale length. We’re making a highly customised one of these for

Louise Loft. Louise has named it the Blackwater, a tributary of the river Axe!

Brook Blackwater

This has an Engelmann spruce top and rosewood back and sides. If anyone

is interested in this particular one just get in touch.

Brook Blackwater close up

Anthony from Surrey bought this Tamar we’d recently converted  as a

left-hander and he’s very happy with the result!  It’s become his main

instrument in his work as a musician in care homes and for people with

learning disabilities!

Brook Tamar lefty

We reset the neck on this 1926 vintage Martin for Andy from Modern

Music in Truro, it now has a nice low action now and plays beautifully and

still has the original bridge and saddle.

Vintage Martin neck reset

We’ve just repaired the broken headstock and sorted out some damage to

the top of this Taylor belonging to Chris Hallsworth.

Taylor Neck Break

Luckily he still has his two Brooks

handy when he gigs with folk band Celtic Heartbeat,

Celtic Heartbeat

Here he is at Evolution Recording Studios with his Taw.

Chris

at Evolution Studios

We’ll be delivering this mahogany and Sitka spruce Lamorna to Project music next week.

Lamorna for Project

That’s about all for January!