A week in which a guitar is delivered

My notes from this last week are short but decidedly sweet: The Clydesdale guitar finally shipped to its owner, Stewart Matheson of the band Layaway.

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You can see Stewart having a little play on the guitar on his instagram account here.

The week before I had done the first pass of the setup on the guitar, getting it to play well with strings that I was familiar with, and then this week I did a second pass at it with the heavier gauge strings Stewart wanted. Moving up from 10s to beefy 11s required the nut to be filed a bit more, and in the end I’m quite pleased with how the setup went, mostly thanks to the new nut files I’ve got. At some point I’ll have to go revisit some of the older guitars and check how they’re setup. 


The final setup done, I had a wee session on the guitar myself to hear it rock out through my amp and pedals, and then I headed up to Glasgow with it to hand it over to Stewart in person. Driving the better part of 400 miles is a slightly excessive way to deliver a guitar, but in part I wanted to hand this one over personally given how delayed it had been, and I do have friends and family in the Glasgow area, so it was a good excuse to visit them too.

Stewart has a pretty sweet rig at home for testing with: he plugged The Clydesdale into his Victory V30 amp plugged into a mix of Strymon and Walrus Audio pedals, and the combination of all these things sounded sublime in his hands. You can head some in the video Ilnked above, but in the room it sounded just perfect - I just closed my eyes for a bit and listened to him explore what The Clydesdale can do. It’s this that makes all the effort worthwhile, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to go see Layaway gig later this year and see The Clydesdale in real action.

A huge thanks to Stewart from me: he’s been very forgiving of the delays that we’ve been through in getting this guitar finished, understanding why things were slow, and having belief that it’ll make good in the end. For anyone else struggling with a project I can only encourage you to be as communicative about things as you can and keep your client in the loop. Things don’t always go right, so just be upfront and honest with these things.

I spent half a day trying to make a video for the Prototype Offset guitar I want to sell, similar to the videos I’ve made before, but I really struggled this time. I managed to get something, but it was a lot more mentally like getting blood from a stone than I’d expected from previous experience. Still, it’s forced me to kick the tyres on Adobe Premier Pro for pulling together the video, as it required a lot more editing to get the video than I’d thought.

I managed to see another gig last week, with amusing and frinetic bluegrass sounds of Whiskey Shivers coming to Cambridge. We saw them last year at Wilderness festival, and it was nice to see them in a more intimate venue. 


They were supported by Dana Immanuel & The Stolen Band, who were equally as amazing as the main act, and their album “Come With Me” has been on repeat most of this last week. 


The DI&TSB album is great, but if you get to see them live then I can really recommend it: much more energy coming across from the band (not that the album lacks energy, just they turn it up to 11 on stage). As a guitarist I was particular impressed with sounds that their guitarist Feadora Morris made live, going from gentle fingerpicking one minute wailing grungy messed up sounds the next - the sort of things I wish I could play, executed much better than I ever could. I couldn’t make out the make of guitar she was using, but it looked a lot of fun: an ES style guitar with a P90 in the neck, a humbucker in the bridge, and a bigsby wiggle stick.

As a final nice touch to the gig, Whiskey Shiver’s encore had both bands come together in the middle of the audience to play a couple of acoustic numbers. Such a great thing to do when you have a smaller audience, and it’s not often you get to high five the band at the end of the gig :)