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Craig Ogden with special guest Tom Doughty@The Bridgewater Hall.

posted 28 Oct 2011, 07:35 by Jane Carter   [ updated 28 Oct 2011, 07:44 ]
Weaver Delta Blues player Tom Doughty was the extra-special guest of Australian classical guitarist Craig Ogden. Craig is based at the Royal Northern College of Music. Craig played pieces such as 'Memories of the Alhambra' by Albeniz, and, 'Ashokan Farewell' by Ungar.His unusual choice of songs illustrated the broad range of this fantastic guitarist.Classical spanish guitar is not mic-up of tea, but I could appreciate the sheer skill, beauty, and historical references of Craigs guitar playing. He showed me a refined and disciplined approach to this type of music.The gentle and emotive melodies, and incredible tremelo finger plucking gave me another insight into the guitar which I've not appreciated previously.
I really enjoyed his chats during the 'intervals' between pieces, including fascinating nail care tips on how to repair split and broken nails if you are a classical Spanish guitarist! these are based around the use of superglue/and wet and dry sandpaper and bits of ping pong balls!
Our lovely local Blues Maestro Tom Doughty took the stage with a selection of three guitars, and a fine line in gentle banter! He was playing to a crowd of 400 plus people, in the most beautiful setting with world class acoustics. He sounded the best I'd heard him so far. Tom opened with 'Running Free' his own composition, written for a friend about ten years ago. I watched the audience with this one, and there was a lot of appreciative foot-tapping going on!  Tom was using his beautiful steel and glass slide for his songs, which added to the melodic and gutsy sound. He played a folksy-blues mix, and what I really appreciate about Toms voice is that he doesn't sing in 'American'! He played a beautiful version of 'Every time we say goodbye' on a single string, never played before. I love this song, and I found it a very moving, thought provoking piece.Sometimes we all need a lesson in simplicity like this-just the pure sound reaching out whilst we all sang along in our heads.Beautiful! Tom also played an instrumental improvisation of The Beatles 'Eleanor Rigby'. I think if they'd have heard it, The Beatles would have loved it! He played it on a Hawaiian guitar-Aloha Liverpool!. This guitar in Toms hands gave the tune a very plaintive quality and a rich sound. Tom finished his solo slot using a vintage steel guitar from the 1920's. He played another of his own compositions 'Zimbabwe'. Tom wrote this in response to his emotional reaction to newsreel footage. The story and the feelings became clear as the song progressed its story. I loved the melody and the stregth of feelings expressed, but especially the gutsy big belly sound of this guitar.
Tom and Craig playing together at the end of the show was a sight to behold. This was the 'experimental' portion of the programme, where musically they admitted to coming from opposite ends of the musical spectrum. A fusion of Spanish guitar and blues slide guitar was really interesting, but I found it challenging! My ear kept flitting between one and the other, it seemd disciplined and unruly all at the same time! Its a hugely interesting mix, I wouldn't know where to place it-perhaps it just is what it is and doesn't need to be 'placed' into any context or genre. Perhaps that is going to be the strength of their musical mixings. It will be harmonising and challenging and interesting, and one of a kind! I will watch their progression with this with interest.
So, all in all, a fantastic night, breaking new musical ground, by a Northwich based musician. What could be better than that!
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