The Sing Strings: Scheherazade Stone and Brian Gore

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Quote from a YouTube Fan:

“Unreal !!! The second your feature vid Flame Flower started playing I instantly felt a Nina Simone feel – nothing to do with your appearance which is lovely, perfect for being in the public eye but your voice – love it- your expression, emotion, the way you slide those notes – very, very good – I’ll look forward to listening to all your singing – fantastic guitar and lyrics are deep – keep going no matter what – you both have something really special – Gabrielle”

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Next Shows:

July 7th – Bruce Latimer Show Pacifica Public Television

July 15th- KPFA, The Bonnie Simmons Show


July 24th: KALW’S Patchwork Quilt

July 25th: KPIG

July 26th Yoshi’s OAKLAND Debut and live CD Recording

August 5th: 10:15 AM: KZFR CHICO

August 7th – 1078 Chico


September 10th: 4pm- Live on KKUP (fund drive)

September 12, Gaslighter Theatre, Gilroy

October 21, Kulak’s Woodshed, North Hollywood

October 23 SLO FOLKS (Coalesce Books, Morro Bay)

October 24th at SOHOS in Santa Barbara

December 16th: Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley

January 8th: Sutter Creek Theatre in Sutter Creek

April 8th: Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro, OR

download our “Haight Ashbury Victorian” live concert FREE by clicking the buttons below:

Click Here Scheherazade Stone’s website

“Scheherazade Stone is a superb musician and a stunning singer with a magnetic stage presence” – (Robert Hurwitt, SF Examiner)

Scheherazade (pronounced Shuh-herr-uh-zahhd) Stone got her first name from her parents who raised her in a musical way. Her contributions to the music scene have been appropriately eclectic, reflecting the rich diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was born and bred.

She’s collaborated with players ranging from Don Cherry, Chico Freeman and Omar Sosa to Jai Uttal and Cheb I Sabbah. She even appeared on a Grammy nominated tune from the Hieroglyphics Ensemble. Additionally, she’s received BAMMIE (Bay Area Music Award) nominations for her vocal talents as well as for her work with Hueman Flavor.
“I love Scheherazade Stone and it’s always interesting to hear her sing,” proclaims JH Tompkins of the SF Guardian. Regardless of the project, she’s always met with considerable critical acclaim.  Julia Chase of the SF Weekly says, “Vocalist Scheherazade Stone is the scene stealer, a vision of Josephine Baker in vintage gowns, she drifts effortlessly between her character Paulette and her place in the band.”

Click here for the website of BRIAN GORE

Known as a “poet of the guitar,” Brian Gore’s emotive, expressive style combines influences from folk, jazz and classical music. Ron Forbes-Roberts of Acoustic Guitar Magazine says, “Gore’s finely crafted poetic ‘songs without words’ take the listener on a spellbinding, emotional ride.

He has great facility as a player, but it’s the depth and range of moods his pieces evoke that makes his music such a pleasure.”
A musical romantic, who draws inspiration from literature and philosophy, he employs his virtuosity in the service of the heart. He is a self-taught guitarist who’s developed “one of the most unique new acoustic guitar styles on the scene today” (News and Review). He has “emerged in the past decade as a leading figure in the new acoustic music movement pioneered by the late Michael Hedges.” (Contra Costa Times).
Gore performs as the founder of International Guitar Night (IGN/USA). He can also be found touring solo, as well as in double bills, in concert halls and festivals around the world. He’s been featured on NPR’s nationally syndicated Echoes Radio and performed live on many NPR affiliate stations in the US.


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:

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D’Gary–International Guitar Night

As we approach the 10th touring season of International Guitar Night, I find myself getting a bit nostalgic about all the great artists I’ve had the chance to work with as part of the show.  I’ll be using this blog to reminisce a bit about them, as well as our adventures together….

He’s a real trooper, for sure. Imagine, flying from Antananarivo to Victoria BC for one day of rest, then a show. Then, the *next day*, we fly together from Victoria, to Vancouver, to the YUKON, meet an artistic liaison at the airport, then hop in a van for a 6 hour ride to our show…. Oh, but did I mention, we needed to make a pit stop along the way to buy D’Gary some clothes? That’s right… it turns out that D’Gary made it, and his guitar made it…. BUT, his clothes didn’t. And you know, it’s very, very, cold in the Yukon in November…

D'Gary, Freezing in the Yukon!

D'Gary, Freezing in the Yukon!

I first found out about D’Gary from a Shanachie compilation of guitarists from Madagascar that was produced by Henry Kaiser and David Lindley.  For years, I’d dreamed about having him in the show, and finally had the chance to feature him in the International Guitar Night II tour and live CD two years back. Here are a couple of D’Gary’s solo cuts from that album:

D’Gary: “Ligniso Zaho, Please Wait for Me”

D’Gary: “Kelikely Fa Nama; Girlfriend”

I’m not very haiku about much of anything. I sometimes need to hear myself talking to recognize what I’m trying to say. I often obfuscate to the point of headaches with long, dense, convoluted sentences. That’s what you get for studying Philosophy in Germany, I guess.  D’Gary, on the other hand, is much like his music; non-verbal, quiet, yet powerfully emotive.

We Had Elk Meat Stew for Hospitality at this Gig, and This was Our View

We Had Elk Meat Stew for Hospitality at this Gig, and This was Our View

It was a welcome culture shock to keep my mouth shut and just let myself enjoy the silence with him.   Enroute to this show, we paused together on a rest-stop veranda, contemplating the snowy plains. We were quiet like that for a long time. Then, D’Gary finally said, “I want…to move… to the Yukon!” And we both began to laugh. When you’re from perpetually hot and humid Madagascar, the snow and cold in Montana looks pretty appealing. And, if you’re from the Yukon, stuck in the dead of winter, the thought of sunny Madagascar might offer solace on a dreary night.

Despite divergent cultures it seems we all at times want what we *don’t* have… This is something to laugh about, or, cry about, when you for a moment contemplate what people in Madagascar, for example, and other places around the world, *don’t* have. And it was more than once I looked in D’Gary’s eyes to see an anguish I could not wish away, which I surmised stemmed from exactly that.

You can feel a melancholic and even at times angry tinge in both D’Gary and his music. This is a natural reflection of coming up in impoverished circumstances–he apparently spent much of his life playing on borrowed guitars! But he also intimated to me that his songs are a reflection of, and a coming to terms with, the injustices in his country and the pain he’s experienced from that in his life. Like a lot of guitarists I’ve met, music is an outlet that brings meaning to wordless experience and helps with release.  I can empathize with D’Gary because I’ve  also transmuted some of my own pain through music, thankfully.

There’s no way you can make up for the kinds of challenges others may have faced in their life. I’ve learned this the hard way. I spent a lot of my life yearning for someone to do that for me, when all the while I was perfectly capable of doing it for myself!  All you can do, and what I try to do in IGN, is treat the people who are in the show with the reverence they deserve.  From a musical point of view, D’Gary is certainly deserving of  *a lot* of reverence.

D'Gary Endured Losing His Luggage in the Yukon and Returning Home to a Broken Guitar

D'Gary endured losing his luggage in the Yukon and returning home to a broken guitar.. Not sure about what the hippo is doing on top of a luggage carrousel in a Canadian airport, by the way!

D’Gary is a real master; a cultured, sophisticated man. Someone who makes you feel proud to share company with. His tone is EXQUISITE, and it is very hard to tell exactly HOW he gets it, which makes him even more intriguing. His compositions are very sophisticated, even esoteric. His songs hearken to his culture and folk music; rustic, in a way. Yet, his polyphony is quite modern in the way each voice in the solo piece is layered; referencing different instrument types from his homeland in the way he plucks his strings.

On the Way Home, D'Gary's Stonebridge Broke in the Turbulence: Fortunately, It was Eventually Fixed!

On the Way Home, D'Gary's Stonebridge Broke in the Turbulence: Fortunately, It was Eventually Fixed!

I was really proud to be able to help him get a Stonebridge Guitar, which he used on his tour of Canada and the US with us. However, he was laid up by some severe weather on the way home; first in Montana, because of a snow storm, then in Atlanta, because of hurricane season in Madagascar. This whole experience was incredibly exasperating, not just for him, but for our venerable road manager, Richard Rice as well.

After more than a year, D'Gary was able to deposit the broken Stonebridge with Clive Carroll during a layover in London, when it was finally fixed!

After more than a year, D'Gary was able to deposit the broken Stonebridge with Clive Carroll during a layover in London, when it was finally fixed!

D’Gary was finally able to make it back a few days later than planned. But the turbulence snapped his guitar neck! It took more than a year before D’Gary was able to get the neck fixed, with the help of Clive Carroll from London!!

D’Gary and Clive in Duet! We filmed this from the green room at the wonderful Harmon Hall in San Louis Opisbo… Check it out:

D’Gary didn’t have as hard a time making it to rehearsal in New Orleans during our US tour…. But the other guy in this video below, Miguel de la Bastide, DID… that’s a story for another time, though…..

International Guitar Night Live Album Series

Last week, my new friend and producer Wynn Gogol sent the next to final rounds of mixes for our “INTERNATIONAL GUITAR NIGHT LIVE” series recording.  I’m going to give a listen to the material this weekend and will probably provide some audio highlights as a preview here at this blog early next week. Stay tuned if you’re interested. This year, we also have a high quality DVD for the tour that’s being produced by Warmland Studios.

It’s a very cool group we have this year; Django Reinhardt’s great grand nephew Lulo Reinhardt, legendary harp guitarist Stephen Bennett, and a very cool pianist/guitarist from Israel, Itamar Erez....

Check it out:

Hard to believe it, but this is our 10th season as a touring act. We started out as a Bay Area thing more than 15 years ago, working in small venues like Strings and the Freight and Salvage, and California World Music Festival. With the help of the Herschel Freeman Agency, Bert Jansch’s booking agent in the UK, John Barrows, and select sponsors like Stonebridge Guitars and Acoustic Guitar Magazine, we’ve grown into a global thing with up 60 shows each season in very classy venues.

After going round and round for years on what kind of releases to produce with IGN, Herschel and I decided that a one of a kind live album series would be best. But, how to do this? We got the live album concept going with the help of Steve Vai and Favored Nations Records. Peppino D’Agostino, whose solo projects are on Steve’s label, put in a good word for IGN with him. Then, friend and Guitar Night alum Pierre Bensusan put together the opportunity for us to record the first album with them. We recorded each show nightly, with the help of our manager Rich Rice, of the California Brazil Camp, We then selected the best pieces for inclusion on the album It featured Pierre and me along with the Brazilian composer-genius Guinga, and three time Grammy winner Andrew York. It was a great album and a dream come true to play with these guys. Check out these cuts from the Favored Nations release, An Evening with International Guitar Night, Live”:

Pierre Bensusan, Andrew York, Guinga, Brian Gore: “How Should I Know?”

Andrew York: “Moontan”

Pierre Bensusan and Guinga: “Without You”

Andrew York and Brian Gore: “Loom of Desire”

A few years after this album, I called an old friend who worked with Warner, Canada, Mike Peters. Mike and I had known each other for years as friends, but it had never occurred to me to ask him to help with our album series. We had a 25 city tour coming up, and we wanted the album out *before* the tour, so people could buy it at the shows. The line up featured Peppino D’Agostino and Andrew White, and also was the national debut of Antoine DuFour. Antoine was a relatively unknown player at the time who gave me his first CD after a show in Quebec:

We got together in Victoria, rehearsed for two days, and recorded a show which was then released on the second IGN LIVE album. And that process really laid the groundwork for the series. It’s a bit of a trial by fire thing, but never let it be said that solo guitarists aren’t up for a good challenge, right?  So far I’d say we’ve all done a pretty good job with it, too. Since then we’ve released two others. IGN LIVE II with Madagascar guitar legend, D’Gary, Miguel de la Bastide, and Clive Carroll;

And also, IGN LIVE III with Cecilia Zabala, Dale Kavanagh and Andy Sheppard.

Paranoid Android (not on the album!)

I get to accompany on all these albums, which is a pretty good gig indeed. Stage right has been my front row seat to some of the best guitar music on the planet, which is a consistently humbling and inspiring thing!