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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Music and its tools - John Renbourn's Scarth "S" acoustic guitar




I've been a scholar and follower and player of John Renbourn's music since my youth and, forty+ years later, I always find sooo nice playing his tunes...

John has been an inspiration for cohorts of acoustic guitar players, known and unknown, around the world, from Japan to South Africa.

My first records I bought in 1972 was Pentangle's Reflection, with the FANTASTIC cover and Brian Shuel's pixes... I loose my mind looking at Bert Jansch and John  Renbourn's guitars... fabled guitars, expensive, sought after.

I was playing a nylon strings Suzuki classical guitar... shortly after I was mounting Pyramid metal strings, because nylon meant Sr and Giuliani's studies and I was completely gone with acoustic guitars!

"Omie Wise" duet on Reflection captured my musical attention... Bert's guitar was OK, but John's solos  were so... so... weird!



Later, I bought everything they made, solo and with Pentangle... and always, on John's Sampler 1 and 2, with Dorris Henderson or Bert Jansch, I was looking at a strange guitar...

John's first on Transatlantic... again this clear finish guitar...




Only a few years ago I learned it was a Scarth, an English made acoustic, a tail piece guitar, John bought in very early '60s for 5 Pounds...

The sound was punchy, responsive, unique and nasal and throaty and powerful... only Guild D55 and the Franklin OM and Ralph Bown's played more John Renbourn's:-)


Anyway... a Scarth was made in the '30s and used for jazz bands as a rhythm guitar... all English made and woods...

For me, it remains eponymous to John...























Apparently, this was John's "road/outdoor guitar"...



From "Reflection" cover...







3 comments:

doktorgigi said...

Stefan, have you read John's own page regarding guitars?

http://www.johnrenbourn.co.uk/guitars/

doktorgigi said...

http://www.johnrenbourn.co.uk/guitars/

John's own guitar page

twogoodears said...

Sure, a goldmine and where I learned about the Scarth... I owned for years a Guild D 55 which I had shaved on top and French polished... played John's Bown before a show... wow... light strings she had...