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.

SHOWTIME

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!

Mike PetersTHANKS BRUHTUH F.O.A.M.

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

PERESTROIKA

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


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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!