19-Jan-10 Anthony John Clarke songbook ‘An Acquaintance’ 50 Songs

In October 2009 when Anthony John Clarke was the guest at Cramlington Folk Club he came to stay with us for a couple of days and we were surprised, but delighted and thrilled, when he asked if we could design a songbook for him… oh, and he’d like it done by the end of 2009 if possible! We said yes, no problem, we’d love to!


Anthony John worked through the songs providing lyric sheets, chord shapes and photographs. We got all the photos (some paper and some electronic) onto our computer system, painstakingly drew every chord box and formatted the lyrics into a consistent format. Then we assembled the songs into alphabetical order and inserted the chord shapes for each song.
As the initial drafts were emailed and edited it became obvious that we needed to spend a day or two together to confirm and finalise the chords, choose from the assembled gallery of photographs and add that personal touch from Anthony John himself. So towards the end of November Anthony John came up north again and we all worked very hard to ensure that we got as much done as humanly possible… The book was now starting to take shape and the excitement and anticipation was starting to grow.
During the following week we managed to fit in listening to every one of the songs on CD, ensuring that the lyrics were word-for-word in the book. Then it was back to the chords, and trying out the final lyrics with the tunings and chords and confirming capo positions. Additionally, there were new photos needed, some old photos to be improved/doctored, and cover design to be finalised… All this while we were preparing for our Netherton guest spot and CD launch followed 3 days later by our Croxdale Folk Club Guest spot!
Then the draft was hand-delivered to the printer for a proof print – nothing more to be done except wait… the proof version came out with some concerns over greyscale picture quality and so we frantically re-examined all our work to date, went over every possible setting with a fine-tooth comb, braved the snow to drive to a couple of print shops to try a few things out, came back home, checked, re-checked, got some higher resolution photos, and still found no difference from the original on our own equipment.
After a tormented and exhausting week-end we got in touch with the printers and were somewhat exasperated but very relieved to find that the problem had been at their end, and that our submitted work was fine! Ah well, the time had also been usefully spent in going through the printed proof very thoroughly and we and Anthony John came up with a few tweaks before submitting the final version for the production run.
So, with a lot of hard work by all concerned, we had everything drafted, proofed, tweaked and with the printers before their Christmas break – everything that we could do was ‘done’… but the printers wouldn’t be able to complete the order until some time in January.
We’re pleased to report that the book is now published and about to hit the streets!
148 pages, 50 songs with chords and ‘twiddly bits’, photographs, quotes etc., it’s a great book and A5 wiro bound so you can open it up and lay it flat while learning to play his songs.
A must buy for any Anthony John Clarke fan.

Oh yes, we are thrilled to bits that Anthony John has included our very own ‘One More Song’ in the songbook… he now includes it in his live set too! Wowee!!

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