I'm looking forward to demonstrating the wonderful work of Chris and Jeremy Jenkins of Lame Horse Guitars (Texas USA) at this year's Holy Grail Guitar Show (Berlin Germany) on Saturday 5th of May at 15:30
My close relationship with Lame Horse Guitars goes back all the way to 2009 when I played for them at the (sadly defunct) Montreal Guitar show. Jeremy Jenkins of Lame Horse Guitars introduced himself after I played at the launch of Ervin Somogyi's Books and asked me to demonstrate his guitars in a mini concert the following day. In fact they were the first guitar company that I played for in North America and will always have a special place in my heart. Here's picture of that first concert.
I've had the privilege of playing these wonderful instruments at shows all over the world now and it's always a huge amount of fun. The last time was actually in Berlin at the Holy Grail Show 2016 where I played a double mini concert with the Italian Singer Songwriter Camila Conti. These beautiful instruments are great tools for the singer/songwriter as well as the solo guitarist. They're very responsive and never get in the way of the vocals.
One of the highlights of any guitar show where Jenkins and son will be present is seeing what sartorial direction Jeremy Jenkins has taken that particular year, his sense of style is as exuberantly individualistic as the guitars he makes. It's beautiful thing.
But I digress...
I had asked Chris Jenkins for a some information to share with you about the guitars I would be playing and he sent through this beautiful piece of writing which illustrates the passion and thought that goes into each and every Lame Horse instrument. I'll now hand you over to the legend himself, Mr Chris Jenkins.
Chris Jenkins (Photography Isaac Jang)
"We are bringing two guitars to Berlin - an all Texas wood, non-cutaway, Saddle Pal which is the first of Jeremy’s rosette designs we have produced. We found the Leonardo Project very interesting (More information on that right here). We had always felt the sound of the guitar was 80-90% the top, and that experiment just re-enforced our suspicions. It also confirmed the wisdom of Bryan Galloup when he said to me, “If you care what your acoustic guitar sounds like, it’s time to stop chasing the fool’s gold of back and side wood.” (Massively controversial! I love it! - MDW)
So, when we saw how much excitement there was around the last Local Wood Challenge at the Holy Grail Show, we resolved to build an all Texas wood guitar to enter into the fray, if we were lucky enough to be invited back to Berlin. Luckily, the invitation came, and Emily was born to carry the voice of Texas over the Atlantic. Emily is name of historic significance in Texas. Since the guitar is all Texas wood, we decided to build in some symbolism associated with Texas history also.
The blue and red of the rosette are symbolic of the courage and blood spilled by the freedom fighters of the Texas Revolution. 185 men at the Alamo held off 3500 well trained and well equipped Mexican soldiers under the command of the ruthless Mexican dictator, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, for 13 days and 2 all out assaults on the Alamo. A third assault on March 6, 1836 finally over ran the Alamo, and all of the Texas were filled, including Davey Crockett, and Jim Bowie (inventor of the Bowie knife). On Palm Sunday 1836, Santa Ana marched out 400 Texas prisoners of war taken at the Battle of Goliad, and executed them all by firing squad. So, there was plenty of bravery, plenty of blood spilled.
However, on April 21,1836, the Texans rose like the Phoenix on the back of this guitar at San Jacinto. While screaming “Remember the Alamo,” and “Remember Goliad,” and while the Yellow Rose of Texas, Emily Morgan, distracted Santa Ana in his headquarters tent, the Texans over ran the Mexican army in a slaughter that lasted only 18 minutes. Texas became an independent nation.
That story is, of course, mostly only of interest to Texans, but of the 185 defenders of the Alamo, 20 or so were of Mexican extraction, over 50 were very recent immigrants from England, Wales, Ireland, Denmark, Scotland, and Germany, and all the rest were of European extraction. One of the heroes at San Jacinto was a recent Italian immigrant.
The second guitar we are bringing is an Elko model with an Engelmann spruce top, and highly figured sapelle back and sides.
The rosette is a 2 part, 3D affair, much like the one we took to the 2018 NAMM show. Instead of turquoise, like the NAMM guitar, the stone in this one is red jasper with gold veins running through it. The flat part of the rosette inlaid in the top is awabi abalone, which gives a good contrast to the domed portion of the rosette as it shines through the cutouts." (The pic below of is of the NAMM guitar, so just imagine the turquoise bits as red and gold and you get the idea! - MDW)
So once again Lame Horse Guitars will be bringing beautiful workmanship, character and serious tone to the Holy grail Guitar Show and as always I can't wait to see what they've come up with. For more information about this amazing show go to the Holy Grail guitar Show's website and stalk them on social media until they issue a restraining order. In the meantime put a note in your diary - Saturday 5th of May 15:30. I have.