A Boy Like That — Susan Z w/ Brian Gore


Susan Z singing Brian Gore’s “One Hand Clapping”

One Hand Clapping — Written By Brian Gore (GEMA, Copyright)

I’ve amplified life’s minor irritations

Blinking at a light that’s red too long

Magnified into fake limitations

Forced left then right when I when I want straight along

Time pulls me sideways

Instead of a leg up I’m knocked around

That’s ok with me

That’s the place to be

When I’m guided by the sound

The drive for monetary satiation

Kept me on the outside hanging on

But being with the people happy shiny

Didn’t bring me happiness for long

I am proud I “did it my way”

But those aren’t the words

I’m singing in this song

The periphery

Is ok with me when I’m guided by the sound

There’s light at the end of Lincoln’s tunnel

Disguising dew from rising morning’s sun

Ushered by the quiet squirrel’s rustling

Against the urban backdrop of the throng

It was the life that passed right by me

While I was waiting that I’ve missed so far along

It’s a seagull’s cry

It’s a baby’s sigh

Now I’m guided by the sound


Overdrive turned me crazy

Now temptation of the moment keeps me sane

I live inside out

I am turned about

I have turned my life around

That’s ok with me

That’s the place to be

I am guided by the sound

International Guitar Night, 10th Edition Tour — Live Recording

10th Annual IGN Tour Live Recording in Victoria, BC

Looking back over the past decade of work with International Guitar Night, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic about the different tours and shows, especially with our 10th touring season coming up this fall. IGN players include giants like my friend Pierre Bensusan, the awesome Ralph Towner and Indian slide guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

What’s cool, and I think exceptional, about the show is that we’ve also included artists who were completely new to the performance scene in North America, such as players like YouTube whizz-kid Antoine DuFour or flamenco player Gerardo Nunez. Players are accorded the same billing regardless of their “headliner” status in IGN shows.

From a promotional point of view, pulling off IGN has not been an easy feat. It’s been a process of slow, steady, at times anguishing, growth. And I am thankful for loyal friends like Herschel Freeman, our North American agent, Dr. John Barrow of Stoneyport Associates in the UK, Pacific Music’s Mike Peters, and Jane and April at Harbury Publicity for their loyalty and devotion to the cause.


IGN10E On Stage

The 2009-2010 season includes, Lulo Reinhardt, Harp Guitarist Stephen Bennett and Israel’s Itamar Erez. Stylistically, this is a classic IGN line up– a couple of outstanding fingerstyle players and two awesome, eclectic nylon stringers. And, as usual there are a couple of interesting “never before in IGN” twists:

Harp Guitarist Stephen Bennet

Until now, we’ve never had a harp guitarist; there’s certainly none finer than the pre-eminent Stephen Bennett, who’s as respected by his contemporaries like Tommy Emmanuel as he is with younger players like Andy Mckee.

The Amazing Lulo Reinhardt

We’ve never had a gypsy-jazz player in the show before, and this time we’ve got a great one; Django’s great grand nephew, Lulo Reinhardt, who, to the great benefit of IGN has a penchant for rumba and flamenco as well.

Itamar Erez

Fans of the band Oregon and Vicente Amigo will welcome the composer and guitarist Itamar Erez, who is our first ever Israeli player. This guy is an uncompromisingly meticulous player with a sophisticated sense of harmony and an absolutely awesome tone and stage sound.

Oh Yeah, and, YOURS TRULY!

Anatomy of a Live Recording

Ater the IGN 2009 US tour was completed in Mid-February, I headed to Victoria BC to meet this new line up of players. Here’s a video diary of the first day, meeting Mike Peters and the other guys, then getting right to rehearsing…..

Milke Peters, the dude who makes it possible to record live albums in Victoria!


It’s a pretty intense thing, throwing together four people who don’t know each other, with distinct cultures and styles, then asking them to record a live album with a full program of all original collaborative material in 4 days! As you can see, things came together pretty quickly with the program; quite a risk, actually.

Thankfully, we all *really* enjoyed each other’s company. For me, it’s a bit easier than with the other guys. Mike Peters, the producer, and I are old friends. I’ve been working with the Cowichan Theatre, where we’ve been recording our live album, since 1999! A very good group of people there, who’ve been very devoted to IGN for many years.  I can’t believe I’ve known the stage crew there so long. It’s like we’re growing old together….

We also have YOWtv star Suzanne Teresa, model/photographer, and her lovely husband Alec, working on photos. This year we have a couple of new players: Warmland Studios, a young group of guys and gals who shot a DVD of the show for us, and Wynn Gogol, the audio producer, who’s worked with BC slide guitar legend Harry Manx. You can see a montage of some of our various friends here….

Here’s a picture of some of the friends backstage:

IGN Backstage

Brian and Doug Wong, our new friend from CanDisc

Brian and Doug

Seriously, Doug’s one of the nicest guys on the planet!

A sample of the final product


I’ll be posting some songs from the upcoming CD along with bios, our tour schedule and more info soon….

Andrew York in Quebec – Loom of Desire – International Guitar Night

I’ve had the great fortune over the years of being friends and associates with the very talented Grammy winning guitarist Andrew York, who’s been part of International Guitar Night three times and will join us for our 11th season as well. Andrew’s got an knack for channelling technique into a musical sensibility that can impresses the novice while remaining authentically sublime. His groundbreaking compositions range from epic classics like “Sunburst/Jubilation” to profoundly emotive pieces like “By Candelight” and “Letting Go.”

Andrew and I first met at a double bill series I co-produced in 1994 at the New Conservatory Theatre. We hit it off well and a few years after that I called Andrew to ask if he’d record “Loom of Desire” with me for my solo album, Legacy.  We went down to LA and set up shop to record the piece in his living room. I remember his dog Miles lounging there with us, and also remember having to stop recording a few times because a feral parrot in the palm tree across the street was squawking loudly.  Here’s a version being performed in one of my favorite places, Quebec:

This was a pretty inspiring time in my life. Music, and especially this piece, was playing a transformative role. The duet had come about by following the musical advice of my friend Pierre Bensusan, to sing the line and have the melody rendered reflect the voice. Employing this process really changes perspective on many aspects of guitar composing– how you finger the melody, for example, is quite different when it’s been touched by a voice.

In the case of this piece, and many pieces thereafter, I took the process a step further, and wrote lyrics as well. I gave these lyrics to Andrew in advance, so he had an idea of what was brewing in my mind along with the melody. The end result has had a lasting impression which results in us never tiring of playing the piece together. Here are the lyrics:

Loom of Desire by Brian Gore

(Vs 1)

Who are we to try and walk before we could crawl from the sea

Only human not immortal but cannot see how the presumption sometimes cripples

You and me who must stand before we fall

(Chorus 1)

Though my father breathes inside me he’s salt inside my skin

He’s never been beside me though I love him to the end

And I want so much to hold you but can barely s at all

Through to the strange solace love can heal it all love can heal at all

(Vs 2)

I’m ready feel the love I have inside me stand steady though I tremble at your call

Can’t believe what you feel is not confusion not deceived the same things shape us all

(Chorus 2)

Though my mother breathes inside me it’s like salt on broken skin

Like a loom of pain that binds me to the source where tears begin

And I want so much to hold you But can barely s at all

Through to the strange solace love can heal it all

(Instrumental interlude— Bridge)

We all come from the water hear echoes of the sea

The salt inside our eyes confounds the view

Freedom looms the shoreline it ebbs and lets us fall

It’s the comfort when we falter not the pain that blinds us all

(Vs. 1- End)

It’s very satisfying to have singers performing this with me in double bill shows. Susan Z is performing it here:

Rehearsing with Chiara Angelicoa

ChiaraYesterday, the singer-songwriter Chiara Angelicoa came by to rehearse for our July 25 show in Noe Valley (info will be posted soon at this link, drop me a line at brian@guitarpoet.com if you want info in the meantime).  I have to say I was really impressed both with Chiara’s artistry and her on the fly studiousness.  She’s got a very unique voice with a peaty ambiance that reminds me of a rare single malt; something with a maturity that belies her age.

I discovered Chiara by happenstance while looking for guest vocalists to be part of my “guitar and voice” double bill series. We pulled up her Myspace site and the piece “Come On” took over the auditory backdrop while we were eating breakfast. My wife Maria and I loved her sound right away.

Chiara makes a good first impression. Her diminutive and understated countenance is at odds with her forlorn, stylized voice. But as you spend more time with her, you begin to understand this gal is accomplished musically and very determined to make a go of things. We have some things in common, including an interest in Psychology, and the same alma matar, UCSC. We also have that all important “eclectic musical tastes thing” in common that make for good chemistry on a collaborative level.

When she came over for practice, I was very surprised at how quickly things came together. I felt it might be good particularly for this piece:

Flame Flower, by Brian Gore

Do you want someone to hold you

Even when you cry?

Do you want someone to guide you

When your passion blurs your sight

The love that can transpire

Even when we cry

Transfigures all desire

So its flames blot out the light

The memory of what we had

Appears still quite ideal

The smoke upon the hills have cast

A shadow on what’s real (chorus)

We shared a smoldering flower

Whose flames light up the night

The pattern in the cinders

The memory of your eyes

Combustible power

Re-meet and reignight

How can we catch a fire

If you can’t love your own light (chorus)

I was very excited to hear how she would bring a gritty, bluesy sense to this piece; for sure, she didn’t disappoint. I was also surprised at how quickly that came together. We also came up with renditions of her piece Masquerade and Momentum.

There’s an edginess  in our rendition of these pieces which I have been yearning for; they are psycho-surrealistic in tonality, if you will.  The pieces are rendered in a style close to Nick Drake and Bert Jansch guitar wise, but with a bit of the modern troubadour tinge you might find in acts like Jose Gonzales or Iron and Wine.

It looks to be a pretty intense collaborative set all the way around, and I am thankful for that. I’m often pigeon holed as a pristine player; and that’s only partially true, especially where songwriting and lyrics are concerned. Working with Chiara gives me the chance to play pieces that you wouldn’t hear in International Guitar Night. To add a little levity to the program, we are also working up a very funny piece I wrote with my friend Curt Haworth called Instant Love.

I’ll be posting video clips from some of our collaborative pieces in my next dispatch about Chiara!

Acoustic Vortex

Part 2: The Acoustic Vortex Gig

Now, onto the Acoustic Vortex gig itself. I’d heard of this gig through an old friend, guitarist Teja Gerken. I saw he’d played there with Vicki Genfan.  I had some pretty nice emails from the Head “Vortician,” as he’s called, Bruce Victor. Bruce came across immediately as a bit of a gentlemanly angel. It turned out he’d seen me once with Pierre Bensusan at an International Guitar Night. His son is a very artistic guy, who’d been “raised on Renbourn and Hedges,” he explained. And they were both die hard fans of Bensusan of course.

So anyway, I came early, and I’m glad I did. I was able to talk a bit with him and see his son play a bit. And also, my publishing client Michael Krasny came by to chat a bit, but didn’t stay for the show. This guy’s house is absolutely awesome. It’s on an inlet with a fantastic view of the inlet waters and also Mount Tam.  I was sitting stage right and got to listen to Susan sing while I watched the sunset over the mountains! Pretty damm cool! Bruce has a pretty cool and dedicated scene he’s creating. One of the volunteers, Nusi, keeps a blog about the shows she attends on Myspace. 

The show went well, and thanks to Nusi for the vids. We also got to hang out a bit after the show. It turned out I had stupidly forgotten to include two songs– they just happened to be Susan’s– in the program. So we played those over a bit of wine with the guys and– one very cool friend of Susan’s– after the show. Susan’s friend is named Sally Steele. She’s a wedding planner, apparently, but with a name like that she should definitely consider writing harlequin novels! She’s extremely funny and dramatic, so I imagine she’d be quite good at that…. Thanks for the photos…

 Vortex show 2vortex show1

Published in: on 06/11/2009 at 12:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Brian Gore and Susan Z


Brian Gore here, instrumental guitarist, lyricist, and producer of International Guitar Night. I’ve got a number of projects I’m working on I’ll post tidbits about here:

(1) Guitar and Poetry: Last year I did a couple of shows Jenna Mammina. It went over pretty well. So this year, I’ve sought out a range of vocalists to work with in intimate shows and house concert settings. I’ve been doing a short set of solo guitar in these concerts followed with an interactive program that features my lyric pieces along with the works of my guest vocalist. These shows are intended to be one of a kind and are by nature unique experiences. Every vocal style is different, and there will also naturally be a different range of pieces we’ll be featuring in the program as well. So it’s a very exciting and challenging prospect.

I’ve just completed a show with SUSAN Z


and have one coming up with Chiara Angelicoa

And, I just now got off the phone with a really outstanding vocalist I hope to do some shows with as well, 

Vanessa Schilling

(2) I am writing an surrealist/absurdist novella, The Blooming in Plastique Land: A Tapestography of Herman Neudig.  From time to time, I may write about that experience here.

(3) International Guitar Night tour preparations. I’ll be writing a bit about the preparations involved in IGN

Published in: on 06/10/2009 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment