2014 was a great year for me personally and generally speaking a very productive year for the weissenborn scene. This year promised us a couple of real highlights to look forward too but sadly there was no Knut Hem solo album this year which would have featured heavily in this years awards I'm sure. Knut has recorded all his parts and is well into the mix and edit stages ready for a 2015 release. I Cant stress enough how I'm looking to this release as Knut is a close acquaintance and a musical peer whom i look upto greatly. He did however treat all to a an early Xmas present when he recorded and uploaded his Weissenborn version of the traditional and seasonal Norweigan Xmas tune "Det Hev Ei Rose Sprunge". For this I am presenting him with "Best Weissenborn Cover"
This year also promised the debut release from Irishman John Wilde. This album is massive in the world of weissenborns, its a big big deal! its been what seems an age to get ready and to be honest i didn't think we'd see it this side of 2014 but in early December there it is was "AFTER 8". Well there isn't enough superlatives to describe this collection of weissenborn instrumentals. its lush, sleek, technical, melodic, etc etc, just check out my in depth review I posted on here to see my personal thoughts. Needless to say it's essential listening to any Weissenborn fan. And so John receives the second TWiE award for 2014 for "Best Weissenborn Album" it was never in question really was it?
Touching on a personal high for me in 2014 was Thomas Oliver's first UK gig and the emergence of his new musical direction. The Aston Road Sessions on YouTube were a real highlight and showcases Thomas's superb songwriting skills which had for sometime been sidelined in favour of his instrumental ambitions which were magnificently achieved with last years opus "Beneath The Weissenborn". I had the enormous pleasure of meeting the man himself at his London gig and that's a memory that will live on for many many years to come. Although Thomas hadn't released any official Weissenborn based music this year he had featured heavily in the Aston Road Sessions on YouTube and one song in particular is most certainly worthy of the award for "Best YouTube Video" and I am of course talking about the song "Boy". This song written by Thomas is fabulous and showcases his new musical direction splendidly.
TWiE this year has grown to over 600+ members and i am seeing a lot of beginners joining which is nice to see and also i see quite a marked increase in weissenborn YouTube action. A lot of new faces have been cropping up regularly as well as the old favourites. Its also nice to see how many different countries around the world have produced active weissenborn recording artists in 2014. The old guard have been well represented again this like, Bert Bouwhuis (Holland), Jesse Wolfe (USA), Adam Bay (Vancouver, BC), Flo'n'co (France), Kawamura Seiji (Japan), Fred Kinbom, Knut Hem (Norway), John Wilde (Ireland), Jérôme Sélèque (France). But it the new faces that have been a delight to see getting in on the action, players like....
...........Robert Palm (Germany), Luis Ferreira (Argentina), Barney Kenny (England), Matteo E Basta (Italy), Yair Yona (Israel), Graham Stewart (Australia), Xuemin Zhang (China), Johnny Merrill (USA), Joe MC, Jerry Hionis, Takatsugu Shioya (Japan), Dan Spitz (USA), Bad Temper Joe (Germany), Kalvin Seaman, Mat Ango, Rob Badger, Antonin Leviaux. (i apologise now for leaving anyone out but there are so many of you lol). The list just seems to grow each month, 2015 looks like it's going to be a very prosperous Weissenborn year.
Worthy Of Mentions; Canadian Adam Bay forging ahead with his musical career and promising us a weissenborn filled instrumental album in 2015. Check out Adam's brilliant live demo on youtube for the tune "Liquid" to get a taster for what we are in store for. Melboroune (now London Based) weissenborn player Chris Rainier released a electronica weissenborn album called "Man And The Echo" which was a triumph in technical recording skills and "out of the box" imagineering.
"Best Weissenborn Single" of the year goes to Italian Marco Bartoccioni for his weissenborn instrumental "Emotional" which is available on iTunes. This instrumental is a beautiful, tender weissenborn serenade and i dearly hope Marco follows this up in the coming year.
Outstanding Achievement Award - TJ Owusu for his extraordinary and spellbinding recital of Beethoven's - Sonata No. 8, 2nd Movt. "Pathétique", a world first no less! I also hope to be able to download this recital sometime in 2015 😉
Outstanding Achievement Award - Bert Bouwhuis for his dedication to a New Years resolution he made way back in Jan 2014. He stated he would write and record an original Weissenborn composition for every month of the year. And true to his word he delivered us 12 (13 if you count the bonus track he uploaded too) original tunes in a myriad of tunings and styles. Well done Bert make sure you let us know when you've released them as a collection as I'm sure you'll have lots of interest from all TWiE's member 😄
Outstanding Achievement Award - Johnny Merrill for his awesome collection of top quality Weissenborn instrumental videos on YouTube. A cross section of covers and originals made this Weissenborn video channel the must see youtube channel of 2014, over 23 videos encompassing top class playing, top class audio and extremely professional filming. Thank you Johnny for taking the time to share with us all 😊
Outstanding Achievement Award - DII the worlds first heavy rock EP with lead weissenborn "God Fuel" was released from Anthrax's guitarist Dan Spitz. As a former hard rock journalist i was really bowled over by this project as it fused two of my favourite musical genres together and offered us all a new angle on what this wonderful instrument is capable of. It also brought it to the attention of a more mainstream crowd which in turn might inspire some other established artists to explore the instrument.
Thanks for all your support in 2014 :-)
A summary of this years awards;
Best Weissenborn Album - John Wilde "After 8"
Best Weissenborn Cover - Knut Hem "Det Hev Ei Rose Sprunge"
Best Weissenborn Single - Marco Bartoccioni "Emotional"
Best Weissenborn YouTube Video - Thomas Oliver "Boy" (The Aston Road Sessions)
Outstanding Achievement Award For 2014 - TJ OWusu (For his recital of Beethoven's - Sonata No. 8, 2nd Movt. "Pathétique")
Outstanding Achievement Award For 2014 - Bert Bouwhuis (For releasing 12 original compositions as per his NY's resolution)
Outstanding Achievement Award For 2014 - Johnny Merrill ( For "The must see YouTube channel" of 2014)
Outstanding Achievement Award For 2014 - Dan Spitz & DII (Hard rock weissenborn project from Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz)
2014 - "A Year In Review" By Aron Radford
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