The CD, Neil’s Guitar, was recorded with the assistance of two major sponsors: Musos Corner / 90Degree Studio and the Newcastle and Hunter Valley Folk Club, Inc.

The CD features a sampling of some of Neil’s favourite guitarists,  all friends to Neil. The list is by no means a comprehensive coverage of Neil’s favourite musicians – there would be too many to fit on one CD. This recording features players who represent a variety of playing styles and who were available within the tight studio time frames made available to us for the project. They include: Bruce Mathiske, Kent Daniel, Chris Cady, Peter Allsop, Ian Milroy, Peter Smith and Steve Cowley.

Our thanks go to these contributors and sponsors. – JM


1. CARAVAN – Bruce Mathiske

J. Tizol, D. Ellington. Arr. by B. Mathiske
“This tune was absolutely compulsory back in the early days of my solo performing when Neil and the gang would be regulars.”
-Bruce Mathiske

2. ANTON’S SONG – Kent Daniel

K. Daniel
“This is an original, written in the aftermath of fellow band member Gary Robert’s wife, Michelle, passing from breast cancer. It’s called Anton’s Song. It was a favourite of Neil’s.”
-Kent Daniel

3. KILGOUR RAG – Chris Cady

C. Cady
“Chris, along with others, played guitar to keep Neil company through the many hours by his side in his final weeks. Neil enjoyed a particular riff Chris was noodling on so much it became this piece.”
-Jeff Mallia

4. LAINEY’S TUNE – Peter Allsop

P. Allsop
“A piece inspired by Bach and John Renbourn, called Lainey’s tune, performed in standard tuning. I was playing it on a friend’s baritone
guitar at the St. Albans Folk Festival. His partner, Lainey – a fine whistle player – loved the tune so much I named it for her.”
-Peter Allsop

5. SOMETIMES – Ian Milroy

I. Milroy
“Flippantly, it’s a dirty blues, but the longer it’s around the more I realise it’s a love song. I chose this song because I love it and it’s in a style I love.”
-Ian Milroy

6. FUGGI – Peter Smith

16th Century Italian Song by Giuseppi Cenci, Arr. P. Smith
“In 1980 while playing in a Medieval jazz folk band called, Anonandon, we unearthed this tune I think from some old Con’ manuscripts. We soon dropped the lyrics and orchestrated it with synths and wind and guitars. It was a ’big’ production which Neil heard on many an occasion at the Purple Parrot Club. After an hiatus of 25 years or so, and returning to Newcastle, I rediscovered it and played it as a stripped back guitar piece at Neil’s Tuesday sessions. He alone recognised it from performances so long ago. So Neil, here it is again.”
-Peter Smith

7. A MINOR SUITE, MOVEMENT 3 – Bruce Mathiske & Steve Cowley

B. Mathiske
“This duet was often performed by Bruce and Steve. In this particular instance, both musicians are using Neil’s guitar through overdubbing. Allon arranged the microphones so that in the final mixing, the stereo image implies two guitarists as they would play together.”
-Jeff Mallia

“I chose this to showcase the one guitar with two completely different players, in a style completely different to the other players featured in this collection.”
-Bruce Mathiske


Traditional. Arr. K. Daniel
“This is a traditional song written during the Napoleonic Wars. Something I was still arranging at the time Neil passed.”
-Kent Daniel

9. FAREWELL – Peter Allsop

P. Allsop
“A melancholic piece that was written for Neil and the other losses I have experienced in the last little while – so quite poignant. Everyone I play this to seems to get it.”
-Peter Allsop

10. DAVIS RAG – Chris Cady

Chris Cady. Arrangement inspired by Roy Bookbinder
“A rag using the reverend Gary Davis riffs inspired by Roy Bookbinder. Neil was a big fan of Chris Cady’s Piedmont finger style of playing.”
-Jeff Mallia

11. KILGOUR’S LAMENT – Ian Milroy

I. Milroy
“This song was inspired by my memory of Neil, written especially for this recording.”
-Ian Milroy 

12. SKETCH IN D – Steve Cowley

S. Cowley
“When Neil’s guitar was completed it was quickly taken to 90 Degree Studios to show Steve and Allon, the engineer. Steve proceeded to test the guitar and Allon recorded a snippet which he emailed to me. I immediately called Steve to let him know how much I loved the piece. “Piece?”, he replied, “That was just noodling.” When Steve came to record for this CD he thought he would expand on this ’sketch’. Steve is an understated talent and true gentleman – it’s easy to see why Neil thought Highly of him.”
-Jeff Mallia