Show Reviews

Christchurch Folk Music Club

'True story' the room was captivated with the brilliance of guitar, twelve-string and witty repartee. Sandwiched together were great classics like Deep River Blues, Hallelujah and Somewhere Over the Rainbow spread liberally with the talented tuneful writing of Richard himself, Wazzamataz, Russian Dragon and in honour of his performance at the Penguin Club in Oamaru 'Have you ever seen a Rainbow at Night?' In which the strings illustrated the waddle of the blue penguins returning to their roosts at night. Richard's playing was fluid and dexterous, offering the variety a solo performance needs, through both the interchanges of the guitar and the twelve-string as well as the tonal differences offered by slide, fingerpicking, tapping, playing on the neck, and using the resonance of the body for percussion. Such multiplicity kept the listeners engaged and very appreciative of the talents Richard so generously shared. Richard has been visiting New Zealand for over a decade and plans to return. His wealth of experience was reflected in a large display of CD's and educational books of which the latest is a German language ukulele handbook. Richard has written an article about his visits to New Zealand and encouraging other artists to do so as well.  Another realm to the talented Richard to savour.

 Judi Smitheram Secretary/Christchurch Folk Music Club May 2017



The Luther Haus

Osnabrück. For the first time in the Luther House: The American guitarist Richard Gilewitz entertained the audience with virtuoso performance and amusing stories. "This is the happiest tune, I've ever written," the guitarist says on stage the Luther House, accesses a six string guitar and plays a cheerful melody. The he dedicates the famous "Blue Penguins", a little blue penguin who he met in New Zealand. The crafty critters have apparently done to him as "moon arcs" that are rainbows at night, and bagpipes: "These instruments, which look like giant octopuses which one inflates, I've never understood," says Richard Gilewitz. Quickly realizes the audience that this American musician of Schalk sits in the neck. For each song he plays, he has a funny story on stock, which expresses the concert to make entertaining affair. Terrific fingerpicker Those who believe, then, the guitarist joints with his anecdotes and sarcastic remarks from them that he has instrumental not so much to offer, mistaken. Gilewitz is a terrific fingerpicker: Whether he plays on the six- or on the twelve string guitar, whether he plucks a melancholy ballad, a classic motif of Bach interpreted if he picks up the bottleneck and a hearty blues with typical "blue notes "enriches or whether he" operates tapping ", the vertical tapping the strings on the guitar neck, always his game virtuoso permeability and especially of Groove is marked. It tears with a formally when his thumb in the bass range ensures a rhythmic foundation, while the fingers pluck hardworking and flitting left hand nimbly over the frets of the guitar neck. And despite a handicap because his dog bit him in the top thumb area not long ago and he got transplanted a piece of his toe. long aftertaste Song by the Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel and his friends and colleagues Leo Kottke and John Fahey interpreted Gilewitz unless he intones self-written tunes. These include "Dirt To Dust", his "greatest hit", and decays with a "tapping" sequence, in which his guitar sounds like a mixture of zither and dulcimer. Fascinating. Anzeige Anzeige display display One half of the concert playing the American way on a house Mr. Peter Finger-built, six-string guitar, in which he has apparently love: "A great instrument they hear it," he says, is true to some Harmonics and revels in the very long aftertaste of the strings.

Richard Gilewitz the Luther House. Photo: Thomas Osterfeld

Article by Tom Bullmann April 2016/Translated to English



Entertaining Guitar Acrobatics with Richard Gilewitz in the Magazin4 (German Version)

"It's not as easy as it looks"- or even "it's harder than you think" said the magician Richard Gilewitz acoustic guitar at his gig, gave a completely different impression -, but namely the if also inimitable lightness. Humming along, laugh and relax were visitors in the Magazin4 with the famous music entertainers from the United States. There is the studied computer scientist and mathematician who has obviously also a university degree in music and passes on his knowledge in seminars, very popular, called teachers like David Walbert his own and is a fan of John Fahey (1939-2001). With his music and his anecdotes, he was already in 48 U.S. States on tour. Bavaria with his gig in the Magazin4 for the first time, he gave the honor - and came, played, and conquered. Laughing his sometimes cryptic anecdotes recorded in his mother tongue, at the famous tunes has been dreaming with buzzing around, and found almost lurid selling his CDs and DVDs. In accordance with his trademark, he fascinated the Bavarian audience now with his fingerstyle. How did he do that? He presented a mixture of originals and well-known pieces from different style directions and attacked not only the chords with your left hand, but played the melody at the same time, while he plucked mostly accompanied with the right and sometimes imitated a drum set. This was - especially with triplets - with an amazing rhythmic precision. You closed your eyes, you could have guessed two guitars. This he had also, namely a 6 and a 12-string guitar, which he repeatedly agreed to. This time he how casually flavored with more or less true stories from his life and wove a sometimes absurd network of Seemannsgarn, where for example "puking penguins" came out. In his facial expression, he showed his "Skype-face", which he always puts up if he wants to believe his wife comically viewers, had been disconnected. His dog had to be used - whether he probably has one, where he is on tour but so often? Very spontaneously he took advantage of every opportunity to involve the visitor: "I'm following your foot." Don't mess it up,"he said to a lady in the front row, who with bobbed to the beat (on german:"I judge me after your foot.) Make no mistake, Yes."). He engaged as a clownish Foley by imitated a head scratch noise on the guitar, or imaginary strings to the soundboard, which he gave to the front, agreed. The deception is surprised. This evening, everyone came anyway, because Gilewitz took his inspiration from many styles. "Probably me, I have Jesus" by Johann Sebastian Bach was one of its highlights, such as "When I'm 64" by the Beatles, "Imagine" by John Lennon, "Here comes the Sun" by George Harrison, "Eleanor Rigby" by Paul McCartney, "Scarborough Fair" by Simon and Garfunkel and "freight train" by Elizabeth Lotten, as well as the "Saint Louis Blues". He moved from classical to blues, ragtime pop and sometimes somewhere in between. While he showed all of the techniques that exist, and which he of course dominated all the finest: techniques of sound production or sound design, accompanied by banjo style or classical arpeggios - and "Do you know what is slide guitar ?" he asked suddenly, and showed it in the same breath: with a metal tube on the little finger with much transformed vibrato and instrument in a ukulele be Glissandi , whose neck he still with a smile up and down moving to the strings to vibrate. Even his humor did well, although since the night of terror in Paris everyone in a stock rigid felt moved. With his wry sense of humor, did he even funny about itself and wowed with his performance the well attended Magazin4 in which all have the pleasant Saturday evening with relaxing entertainment with quality were grateful.

Brigitte Janoschka – November 2015

The Bunker

What an awesomely pleasant surprise! I haven't seen this level of expert musicianship in New Zealand since Tommy Emmanuel played at Sky City over a year ago. To be able to enjoy it in an intimate setting like The Bunker is one of those rare transcendant treats. I can't recommend Richard's show to you enough. If he is going to be anywhere near where you could possibly see him I guarantee you won't regret spending whatever effort it takes you to get there. Not only is his music extraordinary but his personable style and laid back sense of humor provide an intimate and personal context in which to appreciate it. Several of us didn't get our fill on Sunday and went to Richard's workshop at Tabac on Monday. It 'twas a guitar players dream. DON'T MISS this opportunity to see a world class musician in the intimate setting of your club.

 © T. Micheal Young, 2001-2002




Digital City - Nashville

Nationally acclaimed acoustic guitarist Richard Gilewitz defies easy categorization: one minute he'll be picking sophisticated Bach-like melodies, and the next minute he'll be getting down in a raw Delta blues song. His repertoire covers everything from the afore-mentioned classical and blues to folk, jazz and rock. He even stretches out and delves into near-avant-garde territory, recalling initial inspirations like John Fahey and Leo Kottke.

Besides aweing listeners with his technical virtuosity, Gilewitz's lyrical tales prove quite literary and moving, indeed. On his debut album, Voluntary Solitary, he immediately revealed himself as a wholly idiosyncratic voice, one that took each and every influence and created something singular. Gilewitz's social observations rank high amongst contemporary folkies.

His newest release, Synapse Collapse, shows Gilewitz expanding his palette into fresh territory. Similar to like-minded souls Jorma Kaukonen, John Fahey and Sandy Bull, Gilewitz's acoustic magic works best in a live setting.

-- Scott Verrastro

Blues On Stage

Live Review
The BamBoo Room - Lake Worth, FL
by Dave "Doc" Piltz

Opening for John Hammond on Saturday night at The BamBoo Room in Lake Worth, Florida was Richard Gilewitz, an exceptional guitarist who demonstrated some incredible skills playing 6- and 12-string finger style guitar. Gilewitz 60+ minute set featured some of the finest live guitar that I have heard in a long time. Gilewitz performed a combination of original and cover material including songs by Jorma Kaukonen ("Embryonic Journey"), Duane Allman ("Little Martha"), John Fahey, Leo Kottke ("Sailor's Grave On The Prairie") and Michael Hedges ("Layover").

After Gilewitz groomed the gathering crowd with his remarkable set, it was time for the "Big Man," John Hammond, to take the stage. 

© 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz,© 1999-2000 Ray M. Stile/Blues On Stage®

Gable End Theater

The Orcadian/Gable End Theatre/Hoy
October 3, 2003

Unassuming guitarist provides a night to remember at Gable End. . . I have to confess at the outset of writing this of a profound feeling of sorrow for those people on Hoy, in fact in Orkney per se, who sat beside their warm hearths dozing away the rigours of the week instead of being treated to one of the finest guitar performances to grace this county, well, forever. Richard Gilewitz is a gentle unassuming man posessing and using the magical symbiotic relationship forged by well honed talents between hand and strings -- it was almost as one would have been utterly redundant without the other.

Here sounds flourished into blends of colours, there he plucked harmonics and impelled them on a course that gently struggled to unfold a fulsome blossom of musical images. This man walked us through the musical canon of conventions without a sign of brazen egoism. He did it comfortably and with the kind of panache that denotes artistry of a high order. He is as much a magician as he is a musician. You can understand why he has played alongside such guitar luminaries as Mose Allison, John Renbourne and Bert Jansch.Richard played a medley of his own compositions, one piece seamlessly blending into another yet retaining its essential clarity and form.

"Morning is the Long Way Home" and "Have You Ever Seen a Rainbow at Night?", another slow walk through rich notes and the ever present echoing nuances of texture and colour. Yet he embraces the musical joys of traditions.The formality and classical architecture of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" delivered with all the dignity its pedigree deserves sparkled from his arrangement. In days of yore I can remember seeing Andres Segovia and feeling the great man's gaze on his audience as though, sitting at his feet, we were contracted to recognizing his ultimate authority over us. If one of us had sneezed or coughed I'm sure he would have had us all back in detention after the concert.But unlike Segovia our maestro was so full of cool and love for his art that his audience was made comfortable in the presence of his talent.

In a week when the Hindustani film The Warrior, a beautiful morality tale of conflict both temporal and spiritual, was shown at the Gable End Theatre through their splendid new DVD projector, it was followed the very next day by Richard Gilewitz. The warmth of the hearth has taken a poor second place to entertainment many large town couldn't provide.

Aren't we the lucky ones!

Stephen J. Seymour Clancy
Eastbilter, Longhope.

The Penguin Club

I looked at the stage with its spare furnishings consisting of a chair and a couple of microphone stands, and wondered where this concert would lead me. I soon discovered Richard was sending us on a journey that was full of his life experiences. Each composition he played he introduced with a story that connected the music to himself and his adventures. These tales were delivered in a deep Alabama drawl that laconically reduced the audience to fits of laughter. We were introduced to his Father, teachers, friends, heroes and pet hermit crabs. And all these tales prepared us for music that had a flavour that tasted of the southern states of the USA.

Richard played the six and twelve string guitar with a skill that made it all look so easy. As he sat there, not really looking at anything, his fingers flew across the strings picking notes clean and sharp. It was a joy to watch the complicated dance his digits wove as he brought life to his Tacoma guitars. Richard composed about a third of the twelve pieces he played with the rest having been written by such musicians as Leo Kottle, John Fahey and Andres Segovia among others. This was a thoroughly enjoyable concert full of good humour and great musicianship. In one word "Sweet". And as we were closing up there was a Penguin standing in the alley for Richard to see and this rounded off his visit to Oamaru very nicely.

Reviewed by Rick Barry.