1. Dark Island

From the recording Dark Island

I first heard this sung by my friend, L.A. based Irish fiddler Melanie Nolley. Allison Solberg brought it to the Sunday Drivers, we play it on our cd "Eire Mail." Bob Keating heard it on our disc and asked me to work up a solo guitar arrangement of it. I'm glad he heard it that way! Thanks Bob! I'm playing the guitar that's on the right in the cd's inside photo, a multi-scale baritone guitar made by Dublin, CA luthier Tony Yamamoto. The multi-scale concept was brought out by my friend Ralph Novak in the early 1990's. The idea is to use two scale lengths on the guitar, one for the treble and one for the bass. You pick which fret is vertical (it's the 5th on my guitar) then you pick a scale length for the top string (26.5" on this guitar), a scale length for the bottom one (28" here) then spread out the two scales on the fretboard and connect the frets so that they fan out. The longer bass strings give the guitar a more resonant low end. I'm tuned to DADGAD a whole step lower, in C, for this track.