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On a Summer's Night

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Album Review

If John Martyn had stuck to solo guitar performances but kept his growing interest in expanding the parameters of British folk music, or if Mike Oldfield had channeled the playfulness, experimental explorations, and virtuosity of Tubular Bells into a one-man-band live record, the results would possibly sound a bit like Gordon Giltrap. Recorded live in the summer of 1999, On a Summer's Night captures the acoustic guitarist at his best. A strictly instrumental showcase for Giltrap's wide-ranging technique, the album shows the guitarist playing strictly solo and accompanying himself with a digital delay device (similar to Robert Fripp's Frippertronics) that at one point he says, with typical self-effacement, "is great until you cock it up and you hear that cock-up repeated at you over and over and over." Playing both six- and 12-string acoustic, Giltrap cocks it up very little; each of these 13 songs is rich with both flawless technique and warm-hearted good humor. A true disciple of Bert Jansch, Gordon Giltrap has a refreshingly wide-ranging and non-hierarchical musical world view that encompasses both the traditional "Christmas Carol" and the jazzy snap of the percussive "Roots/The Poacher." A delight for anyone interested in the progressive side of British folk music, On a Summer's Night is Gordon Giltrap at his best.


Born: 06 April 1948 in East Peckham, Tonbridge, Kent, En

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Gordon Giltrap was born in 1948 in the U.K. and began playing guitar in the '60s, his career beginning to happen before the end of that decade. He released two albums in that era -- 1968's self-titled and 1969's Portrait. In the early '70s he kept busy by releasing Accolade in 1970 and A Testament of Time the following year. In 1973, he hooked up in a duo called Giltrap Philips, releasing an album of the same name. His next solo album came in the instrumental work Visionary, released in 1976. By...
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On a Summer's Night, Gordon Giltrap
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