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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

guild guitar

Feeblest Fret Fakery

Worse guitar strum simulation in recent memory has to be the also cringe-inducing movie, Uncorked, aka the even drippier titled "At Sachem Farm", inexplicably featuring such competent thespians as Minnie Driver and Nigel Hawthorne and others.

So ... we have the tousle-haired distinctly daft Ross (played by Rufus Sewell) who stopped plunking his gorgeous Guild acoustic years ago, consigning it to gather mould and cobwebs in the stately cellars.

Persuaded to play it in public one time more, he brings out the regal instrument and tiens! it's gleaming and spotless, strings glinting in the sunlight, the tuning a mere ¼-tone awry. And off the lad goes, fingers dancing to a sprightly Windham Hilly mish-mash melody à la Renbourn-meets-Willy Porter-meets-Al Stewart-meets Uncle Bert Cobley 'n' all. Er ... not, actually.

You know how non-guitarists make a little effort to work the old digits in some sort gauche ripply way over the frets? Maybe moving up and down a few frets, albeit not usually in the same direction as the actual music? Sewell has no truck with any of that: his bunched left fist stays resolutely around the 2nd fret as the 'i' and 'm' of his pima-challenged right hand peck at the strings.

It's a lively composition that even goes into a manly rasgueado but the visual totally lets it down.


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