Nick Beggs

The Maverick Helmsman 2004 CD $12.
Released by Stick Enterprises

Nick Beggs takes a dramatic turn away from his usual "rocking" Stick fireworks and into an intimate and warm solo album. "Helmsman" comprises ten original instrumentals, all complete live Stick conceptions, with wonderfully recorded straight string sounds. Only the "sweeteners" are overdubbed - bits of processed and transposed Stick melody added here and there to heighten lush moods and textures.

His melody lines take The Stick up into a sweet high register with expressive swells and tight little parcels of 32nd note flurries. His harmonic movement is gentle but always interesting, especially on "So Far Away" and "Your Letter". The rhythms are unhurried with pendulum like precision.

The outstanding cut for me is "Willow" with its strange but familiar melodic theme expressed canon style from every register and sector of the fretboard. Other songs have a Celtic influence and remind me of Bob Culbertson's multi-fingered Stick styles.

I do believe an open fire under the hearth would heighten the loving mood of this unique solo Stick album.

Best, Emmett.



Stick Insect 2002 CD $12.
Released by Stick Enterprises

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I'm proud to announce our debut release of "Stick Insect", a multifaceted new CD by Nick Beggs that from a Stick player's standpoint really captures it all. The 15 tracks are packed with novelty and variety at every twist and turn. This amazing album transcends all categories except for the consistent style of the artist himself and his approach to the instrument he plays.

This is a dedicated Stick album, written, arranged, engineered, performed and produced by Nick, and with a polished final mastering by Greg Howard. It is also an elaborate production, with at least three prominent elements of special interest to Stick players.

SAMPLE MP3s

"Celtic Yardies", ©by Nick Beggs



"For All That's Lost", ©by Nick Beggs



The first element is ethereal in nature, the intimate Stick strings themselves, filling every kind of recorded sonic space, sometimes in live solo, sometimes overdubbed within creative "windows", often backed by The Stick's MIDI triggered voices, including piano, orchestral strings, looped tabla, arpeggiated harp, and rolling surf "Soundscapes". Often his melody lines drift high into the sweet bluesy territory evocative of Stanley Jordan's art and style. Nick uses The Block module with EMG "Front Tele" pickups and standard Stick tuning with heavy gauge strings.

The second element is huge rock and roll orchestration via synth and electronic percussion, The Stick's MIDI'd melody side triggering all manner of totally original moods and inventive rhythms with humor, passion and general gusto. Then Nick will cut through with a distorted lead line as he did in his recent tours with John Paul Jones of "Led Zep" fame.

Add to this a third element of Nick's personal and biographical inspirations as he describes them in the liner notes for each song, and you have the integral entity of an artist's album, which I feel is the best way to describe this work.

All the Best, Emmett