Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cannington Guitar Weekend 2009 Don Ross & Thomas Leeb

This is a close-up of Thomas Leeb's Lowden guitar. He has a custom "scratch pad" stuck on to the front of the lower bout with double-sided tape that allows him to get some interesting scratch sounds and not dig massive furrowed grooves into his topwood (which seems to happen anyway).

He was the reason I went to this year's edition of the weekend, and to see why exactly, check this vid out!

We were actually talking about him at the last weekend workshop I attended and I was thrilled to hear that Don had gotten him for this one. He's yet another amazing acoustic fingerstyle guitarist doing the body percussion thing and taking it in a whole new direction by hitting the guitar body with the heel of his hand or single fingers while playing intricate fingerstyle patterns. His concert portion of the weekend with Don was one of the most amazing I'd ever seen and he even surprised us with a vocal tune at the end.

On the first day of seminars we locked ourselves out of the hall we were using (Don had left to go rent a spot light) so we set up on his front lawn and learned a fingerstyle version of "JUMP" by "Van Halen" in DADGAD tuning. I may work out a fingerstyle solo one day!

As usual there were some great players in attendance and we jammed till the wee hours both nights although I turned in a bit earlier than previous years, being like, older and all. I stayed at the wonderful "Winds of Erin" B&B again, it's comfort and quiet and shower being a big plus! The food was great. I don't have any food pictures this time around, too busy eating I guess.

Thomas is an Austrian living in California, and this was his first visit to Canada so it was great to talk about the differences between the three countries. Public nudity, guns and politics like you've never heard. I also now know several German swear words, for which I am thankful.

As I mentioned before the concert portion was a gas. Don was experimenting with his Boss floorboard effects units. He's getting into ending some of his songs with a triplet delay thingie so it goes "Gadank, gadank gadank...." He's also coming up with many great guitar faces whenever he used the wha or distortion pedal which is kinda new as well.

I had a great time but appeared to have caught some kind of bug on the last day, which made me feel a bit like death warmed over (as you can see in this photo), it got worse the next day but these things are such a hoot that it's easy to forget about being a bit under the weather. I hope I didn't infect anyone.

Unfortunately, this will probably be my last time in good old Cannington, as Don and Brooke are moving to Nova Scotia this year, which is kind of cool in and of itself. I love that province. It just means when the guitar weekends get going again, I'll have a hell of a bigger drive.

When I got back home I checked my facebook stuff and noticed that Don's wife Brooke was updating her status during the weekend. At this time I'd like to apologize for leading the jams on "Blackbird" and participating on the demolition of Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah which may have caused her to be sick to her stomach. We just didn't know! Thank god for Facebook!

P.S. I'll learn Danny Boy for next time.


No comments: