~ Latest News ~
Celebrating 35 Years Teaching Guitar in the Blue Mountains! (posted 2nd December 2017)
Nigel began teaching guitar in the Blue Mountains in 1983 – thirty-five years ago and has not missed a year during that time (including the last 22 years without a months break). Now that's dedication!
Blue Mountains Guitar School (posted 2nd December 2017)
We are are currently accepting students for 2018 at Blue Mountains Guitar School. We are almost fully booked, but we have room for about ten more students.
William Corlett records 'Alice's Restaurant/Fishing Blues medley (posted 15th November 2017)
William Corlett recorded 'Alice's Restaurant/Fishing Blues medley for the Katoomba High School CD recording project recently – a great school inititive and an invaluable experience for William.
Early Bird Guitar Lesson Time (posted 15th September 2017)
Nigel has one 'Early-bird' guitar lesson time available – 7am on Saturday mornings (an hour lesson).
Farewell and Congratulations to Bella Stiene (5th September 2017)
It's always hard to say farewell to a long-term student. Bella Stiene has been coming for guitar lessons for the last seven years (since July 2010), but Bella has completed Year 12 and is off and away on new adventures. Bella performed my guitar instrumental 'Southerly Buster' as part of her Year 12 Music Performance exam for which she received high marks. Dawn and I and the boys would like to wish her well for her future and look forward to when our paths cross again. Best wishes Belle!
Lisa scores 9.5/10 (posted 19th October 2015)
Lisa Suzuki did extremely well in her Year 11 music assessment, scoring 9.5/10 for her performance of a medley of the Beatles tunes, Day Tripper and Lady Madonna. Lisa has been studying with Martin since May this year.
Abi scores 10/10 (posted 12th October 2015)
Congratulations to Abi Peralta who scored 10/10 in her Year 11 Music Assessment for her performance of "Classical Gas". Abi has worked hard on the Tommy Emmanuel version of Mason William's iconic guitar instrumental, under Martin Foote's expert eye. Abi studied guitar with Nigel for five years from 2009 and then took a year's break in 2014. It's great to see her back, studying the guitar with Martin.
Martin wins 2015 Winter Magic Busking Competition (posted 20th June 2015)
Martin capped off a successful gig at the Family Hotel at Winter Magic by being announced as the winner of the Winter Magic Busking Competition! Martin won a day's recording and mastering with Elliott Reynolds at the Song Cave Studios in Lawson. Can't wait to hear the results!
Blue Mountains Guitar School (posted 2nd April 2015)
We have just formed Blue Mountains Guitar School – rebranding Nigel's guitar teaching business for the future! Nigel has taught guitar in the Blue Mountains since 1983 and has now formed Blue Mountains Guitar School with his son, Martin.
'The Refugee Song' (posted 9th March 2015)
Nigel has recorded the first takes of 'The Refugee Song' at Sound Heaven Studios at Wentworth Falls. John Stuart got a great vocal/guitar sound and Nigel is looking forward to James Church adding some magical dobro!
Martin debuts at Tamworth (posted 27th January 2014)
Martin was asked by Shaylee Wilde to open all her shows at the 2015 Tamworth Country Music Festival. Martin also performed a few tunes on the famed Longyard stage during one of Pat Drummond's concerts.
Martin performs 'Classical Gas' with Tommy Emmanuel (posted 12th October 2014)
Having played Classical Gas privately to Tommy Emmanuel at the 2013 Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp in Sydney, Martin went one better a year later – he performed the iconic guitar instrumental WITH Tommy on stage at the 2014 guitar camp... as Martin said, "A dream come true".
Farewell Pete Seeger (posted 30th January 2014)
There are 'legends' and there are true legends... Pete Seeger was one of the rare latter variety and a cornerstone of the 'Folk Revival' – the most socially influencial music decade in history (1955-1965). Folk music changed the way people thought – about the 'bomb', freedom, race and colour – and through it's family of 'protest' singers, changed the course of history. Pete Seeger (Johnny Appleseed) will always remain a shining example of what a man can be, through belief, hard work and love for his fellow man.
Nigel plays at 'Macca's Christmas Concert' (posted 24th December 2013)
Nigel was invited by Ian McNamara to be one of two 'special guests' at Macca's Christmas Concert held in the beautiful Richmond School of Arts on 23rd December 2013. The warm, balmy evening saw a sell-out crowd in attendance for what was a great night of music, poetry and Christmas Carols. Nigel sang Tom Paxton's 'The Last Thing on My Mind', then dedicated his performance of 'Home By Dark' to his mother, Carol, who passed away recently, before finishing his short set with 'The Water Smoothes the Stones', the song chosen for 'Macca's Top 100' CD – a collection of favorite songs from Ian's long-running ABC radio programme, 'Australia All Over'.
Martin attends the 'Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp' in Sydney (posted 25th November 2013)
Martin spent an inspiring few days with Tommy Emmanuel, Michael Fix and Steve Henderson at the Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp held at The Collaroy Centre, Collaroy Beach, Sydney. The workshops and time spent with these masters of guitar will be something Martin will never forget – new friendships were made as guitars were played long into the night. The highlight of the event for Martin was his private performance of Classical Gas to Tommy, who told Martin that apart from two tiny details, he had mastered the tune... what a moment!
Festival debut for 'No Real Job' (Posted 18th March 2013)
'No Real Job' had a great festival debut! We played to a full house at the Clarendon and it was a very special moment for me sharing the stage with Martin and James. I taught the boys to play when they were children, and it's wonderful to see how they've developed as musicians since I gave them their early finger-picking foundation over a decade ago.
Nigel performs on 'Australia All Over' (posted 22nd January 2013)
I had a great time as Ian McNamara's guest on Australia All Over on Sunday, 20th January. Macca played The Bushfire Song – my tribute to the firefighters – followed by a chat about the ongoing fire threat. After that, I sang The Water Smoothes the Stones, which was included on Macca's Top 100 – a compilation CD of music from the show. Then Macca and I sang Ian Tyson's classic, Four Strong Winds. I have always loved Australia All Over – it's a very 'real' programme in an often too-polished world – no wonder 2 million people tune in every Sunday!
Nigel celebrating 30 years teaching guitar in the Mountains (posted 16th January 2013)
Nigel began giving guitar lessons in the Blue Mountains way back in 1983 - when the level crossing bells still clanged in the mist at the top of Katoomba Street and the highway came through town. There wasn't a traffic light between Parramatta and Perth, no computers or mobile phones (unless you were a millionaire) and the internet was a decade away. Nigel has taught singer-songwriters, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, and is currently teaching a young girl whose mother he taught in the 90s, and grandmother he taught in the 80s – three generations of the same family.
'No Real Job' (posted 18th July 2012)
Nigel Foote, Martin Foote and James Church have formed a guitar trio – 'No Real Job'. Nigel and Martin play guitar and James plays Dobro – traditional and contemporary finger-picking!
Nigel's song chosen for 'Macca's Top 100 CD' (posted 24th November 2011)
Nigel's song, The Water Smoothes the Stones, has been released on Macca's Top 100 CD – songs selected from Ian McNamara's long-running ABC radio programme, Australia All Over. The Water Smoothes the Stones is from Nigel's album, Home By Dark – available through the Folksinger Shop.
Martin now teaches Tommy Emmanuel's guitar style (posted 1st September 2011)
Martin Foote has joined the Folksinger teaching team, offering guitar students the opportunity to learn some of Tommy Emmanuel's advanced arrangements including: Classical Gas (Mason Williams), Day Tripper and Lady Madonna (Lennon/McCartney), Windy & Warm (John D. Loudermilk) and Tommy's own tune, Countrywide.
Phone Martin or Nigel on 02 4782 6392 for more information (or click Guitar Lessons).
Mike McClellan Live at the Clarendon (posted 1st August 2011)
Mike McClellan, fresh from a sell-out concert at The Basement in Sydney, will be performing solo at the Clarendon, Saturday 6th August. Don't miss the return of the "Song and Dance Man". (Mike taught Nigel to play the guitar in 1971).
Martin's YouTube Debut (posted 7th May 2011)
Martin Foote, was initially inspired to get serious about the guitar by seeing 'Australia's Got Talent' winner, Joe Robinson, perform in the Mountains in 2009. Off went the TV, and out came the guitar! Then Michael Fix came through town and fanned the flames some more.
Both Joe and Michael were inspired by Tommy Emmanuel, whose work ethic and love of the guitar is legendary. Originally taught to finger-pick by his father, Nigel, Martin has gone on to study Tommy's style using his tuition DVDs, books and YouTube clips.
Meeting Tommy Emmanuel and attending his guitar workshop in Newcastle, sealed the commitment – off went the computer games! As Tommy says, "There are no short-cuts".
To see Martin play Classical Gas, click on this link: Martin Foote – Classical Gas
Blue Mountains Music Festival DVD (posted 8th March 2011)
The Blue Mountains Music Festival DVD is now available through the Folksinger Shop. The DVD captures some brilliant performances by some of the world's finest folk/blues/roots artists including: Eric Bibb, Jake Shimabukuro, Eleanor McEvoy, Hayes & Cahill, Rory McLeod, Ralph McTell, Ruthie Foster, Chase The Sun, Shane Howard, Doug Ashdown, Elana James, Nano Stern and Paul Kelly. Filmed and edited by Nigel Foote – all profits go to the Festival.
Dawn on new ABC release (posted 24th April, 2010)
Dawn's rendition of The Connacht Mother's Slumber Song has been included on an atmospheric ABC Classics release, From The Emerald Isle. The 2 CD set is available at all ABC Shops and includes contributions from Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, Christy Moore, Paul Jarman, Arty McGlynn, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and many others.
"The haunting sounds of Irish folk music speak to the human soul with a directness that is shared by no other national music. The very timbre of uilleann pipes and tin whistles can create a sense of longing and wistfulness that is born out of a nation that has endured more than its share of tragedy and suffering, but whose music appeals to people of all nationalities and ethnicities" – ABC Music
Farewell to Kate McGarrigle (posted 23rd January, 2010)
It is was with a keen sadness that I read the news of Kate McGarrigle's death. The Canadian folksinger passed away on Monday, January 18th, 2010 aged 63.
Kate and her sister Anna – The McGarrigle Sisters, were a folk duo of the highest standing. They sang beautifully together with a simple, unaffected honesty that captivated an international audience of admirers who were spellbound by their delicate harmonies.
Kate and Anna wrote and recorded many wonderful songs including, Heart Like A Wheel – a big hit for Linda Ronstadt – and Talk To Me Of Mendocino – a stunning example of Kate's songwriting, and one that will always be a reminder of the beauty that her spirit brought to this world – may she also bless the next.
Home By Dark CD (posted 1st September, 2009)
Nigel's Album, Home By Dark, is now available internationally on iTunes!