Paul Brett is rated as one of the best 12 string acoustic guitarists in the world. He has played or recorded with The Strawbs, The Overlanders, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera, The Velvet Opera, Tintern Abbey, Fire, Roy Harper, Al Stewart, Lonnie Donegan, Paul Brett Sage and in his own right as Paul Brett. He was a top session guitarist in the 1960’s & 70’s, having been in demand for many top sessions with a wide variety of Artistes. His first 12 string guitar suite “ Earth Birth “ was critically acclaimed. It was released on Paul’s own label Phoenix Future and produced by world famous artist Ralph Steadman of “Fear & Loathing“ fame. This led to Paul being signed on a four album deal to RCA. He later achieved album Chart success and Gold & Silver LP sales via his K-Tel “Romantic Guitar “ album. As a journalist, wrote for Melody Maker, NME, Sound International and International Musician in the same time frame he produces shows for Capital Radio, was a Marketing Consultant for Aria Guitars under whose brand he released two “Paul Brett” signature guitars. One six string and one 12 string model which have now become collectors items. In the early 1980’s, Paul decided to move to the “other side” and became Managing Director for Pan Polychord . Wrote TV Themes for Thames Television, credits include CP Taylor’s ” Rainbow Coloured Disco Dancer “, The first Aids series of nightly programmes and The M25 Travel Series. He was then co- head of Production with Michele Breeze for the Rank Holiday Division for eight consecutive years till the mid 90’s and also Production Director for Majesty Cruise lines in the States. Currently concentrating on writing and recording. CD releases include “Acoustic Power” with John Joyce, “Boudicca”, a stage musical co-written with Evita Star Michele Breeze. DVD releases ”Collecting Vintage Acoustic Guitars” ( DVD ) , “12 string guitar & Beyond” ( DVD ). Just released is a brand new book ” Music & Tablature for 12 string Acoustic Guitar” with accompanying CD.
Paul is the resident expert on Vintage Acoustic Guitars for UK National Magazine ‘Acoustic’. He is also, currently the Associate Editor for Music Maker and Live in London magazines. His new collaboration with EVITA Star Michele Breeze on her second one woman musical drama ‘The Queen’s Chambers’, based upon the life of Elizabeth 1, is now in it’s final stages before recording.
He has recently guested on Internationally broadcast television shows “The Antiques Roadshow” and “Flog It”. Both mainstream programmes made by the BBC.
Paul has a new CD due out on Fretdancer in May 09. He has set to music and song many of the much heralded poems from Izaak Walton’s Classic book “The Compleat Angler.”
For the very first time, world renown guitarist Paul Brett sets to music and song the classic poems from Izaak Walton’s legendary book The Compleat Angler.
Charting a four day fishing trip by two friends, The Compleat Angler: Or The Contemplative Man’s Recreation was published in 1653 and has become a classic, not just as the seminal fisherman’s reference book, but as a portrait of rural England’s virtues in a century of upheaval. For the first time in History, Pwllheli based,world renown guitarist Paul Brett, has set to song and music on a full CD , many of the timeless, classic poems that feature in Izaak Walton’s magnificent book “The Compleat Angler”. Not only is this book regarded as the Angler’s Bible, it also deals in conservation, food, the countryside, friendship and a whole host of other subjects.
Walton first published his book in 1653, it has only ever been out of print once in over 400 years. It is the third most re-published book in British History with only The Bible and The Common Prayer book published more. Paul Brett has brought to life this classic piece of post Jacobean pastoral narrative and forged an album of exquisite beauty. He plays his 18 string guitar throughout and sings these timeless works with accompaniment by String Quartet and Wind section, intuitively arranged by Carla Zappala.
The CD opens with a sprightly reading of John Chalkhill’s “O, the Gallant Fisher’s Life” and includes George Herbert’s “Virtue” (driven on a throbbing bassline pulse), Henry Wotton’s hymn to “Spring”, a darkly swirling setting of Michael Drayton’s watery journey “Of Rivers” and an elegantly airy arrangement of Francis Davison’s “In Praise of a Beggar’s Life” that embraces the poem’s pastoral naiveté without any note of modern day irony. Drayton’s masterpiece “The Salmon Leap” also is beautifully presented with the proud salmon’s yearly struggle to ascend the River Teifi.
There are two instrumentals. Titled from the book’s final words, “Study To Be Quiet” is a superb nimble interplay between strings and guitar that makes you wonder why Brett doesn’t enjoy the same high profile as John Williams while “The Compleat Angler” itself is another remarkable display of double neck – guitar virtuosity.
Courtly folk ballads “Corridon’s Song”, “The Angler’s Wish” and jaunty folk dance closer “The Angler’s Song” both draw on Walton’s own writings. In his interpretation of Christopher Marlowe’s world famous poem “The Passionate Shepherd To His Love” (better known perhaps by opening line ‘Come live with me and be my love’. Brett’s has invested a twinkling lust, far removed from the usual images of chaste swains and virginal nymphs. It’s a tremendous piece of work that will appeal to listeners across a wide spectrum of musical genres.
Mike Davies – NetRythms
For more information visit : www.thecompleatanglersongsandmusic.com