‚Äč2013 - "A Year In Review" By Aron Radford

"The Weissenborn Information Exchanges" inaugural year, and wow what a first year. Already 400+ (and growing weekly) members is testament to the fact that the weissenborn is slowly creeping back into the musical continuousness. More and more people are turning to this wonderful instrument and that may just be the nature of things that come and go out of fashion but for me one thing above all others that has made a massive impact in the world of Weissenborn's this year and it has to be without a shadow of a doubt, Thomas Oliver! 2013 was the year we saw the first ever 'all weissenborn' instrumental album. "Beneath The Weissenborn" is a legacy that will still be talked about as a turning point in the instruments revival in many many years to come. Thomas delivered a stunning collection of tunes that pushed the instruments sonic capabilities to new heights never really seen before. It is without any surprise then that "Beneath The Weissenborn" receives the TWIE award for "BEST ALBUM OF 2013" as we'll as Thomas picking up the "BEST SINGLE OF 2013" for the epic composition "Jurassic Park Theme". If that wasn't enough he also won the "BEST VOCAL & PLAYING COVER OF 2013" with his heartfelt and passion filled version of Tony Sly's 'International You Day'. 2013 was most definitely Thomas's year and on behalf of TWIE I thank you sir for giving us such wonderful weissenborn music.

So who else took the spot light in 2013. Aussie Pat Tierney made a quite an impact on me personally with his instrumental release "Misty Morning Part 1" a tune that was quite exquisite in its structure and execution and was worthy winner of "BEST ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL OF 2013" well done Pat can't wait for "Part 2, 3 & 4 and also your gigs over in the UK in 2014.

Another name that needs to be mentioned is that of Alex Roberts who picks up the award for "BEST VOCAL & PLAYING ALBUM OF 2013" with marvellous "WAITING ON THE SUN AGAIN" which was the worlds first all weissenborn playing/vocal album! To quote from my album review "For when you listen to Alex for the first time it's like meeting an old friend. He tells you intriguing stories and sentimentally reminisces in such a captivating way that familiarity is almost instantaneous. His honed song craft simply draws you in and holds your attention to the very last note. The warmth of his voice and the finger style acoustic approach are perfectly balanced. You can't help to be willingly immersed into his musical landscape that he diligently and seemingly effortlessly creates before your ears".Well done Alex you deserve all the plaudits and more besides.

I turn the spot light now deservedly to a man who's meteoric rise up the weissenborn players world ladder has been nothing short of amazing. Only playing for less than two years he already holds the respect and admiration of any well informed weissenborn player. I am of course talking about Ireland's very own John Wilde. John has simply become one the best Weissenorn players in the world this year, and I for one can't sing his praises highly enough. His beautifully honed technique and innovative playing styles have made him a massive YouTube hit only second to Thomas himself in popularity this year. 2014 holds the promise of a debut weissenborn album from John and if he realizes this it will undoubtedly be the highlight of 2014, here's hoping! 

2013 has been a great year for YouTube weissenborn action. Top of the class of 2013 goes to Bert Bouwhuis for his sublime instrumental cover of Don McLeans "Vincent" and is the worthy winner of TWIE's "BEST INSTRUMENTAL YOUTUBE COVER OF 2013". Winner of the "BEST ORIGINAL YOUTUBE INSTRUMENTAL OF 2013" goes out to Norwegian artist Knut Hem for his beautiful composition "Bris". Special mention goes out to YouTube stalwarts such Olivier Gotti (his cover of "Billy Jean" was simply inspired) and Seiji Kawamura still producing world class performances for our entertainment. Other note worthy weissenborn offering and performances come from the likes, Jesse Wolf, Bruce Hilton (from Hilton Park), Ozan Alptekin and a fantastic cover of "Dark Was The Night" (renamed Light Was The Night, a truly moving version of "Amazing Grace" by Tony Burt and a fantastic original composition from Adam Bay entitled "Coast".there are many many more i haven't mentioned but they were all featured at some point in TWIE this year. Keep up the great work gentlemen here's to a fruitful 2014 :-)

Special mention has to go out to Anderwood Guitars who have entertained us all with their innovative "Anderwood Session" series on YouTube. Showcasing some brilliant British homegrown talent such as Alex Roberts, John Wilde, Pasco Tom, Echo Town, Grizzly And The Grasshoppers, Sam Green, Hip Route, Rackhouse Pilfer, and Wille And The Bandits. This is a great legacy that credit where credit is due, Anderwood Guitars have created a healthy and stable weissenborn based media scene for new and upcoming bands that will be enriching and nurturing a new wave of budding weissenborn artists well beyond 2014 nice job Ed i applaud your creative branding and marketing, you reap what you sow and you have sown much in 2013, lets hope 2014's harvest in bountiful :-)

Sad news of 2013 was the passing of Bob Brozman who at the young age of 59 left a musical,legacy that will extended well into the remainder of the century as an ambassador of traditional Hawaiian based weissenborn playing as well as all aspects of acoustic slide guitar, R.I.P

So looking forward to 2014. Well as already mentioned we could have our second 'all Weissenborn' album release from John Wilde as well as a possible new release from Norwegian weissenborn artist Knut Hem (hope you're feeling better Knut and are back to full health in 2014). And who knows 2014 may just be the year Ed Gerhard restores our faith in the his weissenborn majesty and records a new weissenborn tune. I'm hoping to see more of YouTube artist Malvadoficial who in the later part of 2013 released some top quality instrumentals, as well as ambient instrumentalist Bill Walker giving us some more extended chilled out 'Bear Creek' opuses. I would very much like to see youngster Owen Lister release some more weissenborn playing videos as this guy is very talented and has bags of potential to make a great impact on the British homegrown Weissenborn community.

On a personal level i have been overwhelmed by people's response and kind words to the launch of TWIE and it has given me renewed impetus to keep bringing you all the very best from the wonderful world of Weissenborns in 2014. I appreciate every single member because this page is NON commercial, i have no sponsor, no advertising, no promotion budget so every new member is valued. In case you didn't know facebook restricts how many of my members get any particular post without me paying through the nose for it. So thats why its very important you do the following; go to the TWIE page hoover over the "liked" button and choose the option "add to interests" this will guarantee you get ALL TWIE posts and not a selected few that facebook randomly let you see. This year also saw me purchase my first custom made koa weissenborn from Herrmann Guitars in Italy and was the inspiration behind the release of my debut EP "Elemental Weissenborn". The great feedback that i received from it too will be a springboard to future releases from yours truly. It just leaves me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year and many many thanks for your continued support :-)