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Quick update! Bob, Gary and Mark are teaming up again next month to record various tunes which shall be used to promote The Predator Big Bite, more on this in my next post. Al is busy working on the pre-production build and I am working on our “And This Is Us” promotion video. Oh, I almost forgot, we're going to see The Stones too! See you at Twickenham (no filter with this post)!

Until next time, many thanks for your time and continued support. SR

Photograph, illustration an...d graphic design by #JamTomorrow.

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Those who read my little anecdotes will have discovered that fellow desperado, Bob Angell, has a guitar collection worthy of any guitarist. I touched on Bob's collection briefly in my last post where I tipped my hat to his gorgeous early '60s Kay Truetone Speed Demon. Kay are currently in our thoughts or rather their pickups are! More on this soon. Back to Bob's collection. He has the obligatory Stratocaster, Telecaster, ES-355 and Les Paul. Good as these guitars are, that's ...

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I came across Bob Angell on Facebook seven years ago when I started posting the odd concept or two! His comments were always encouraging and subjective. He must have spotted something in my early work because he's been with us ever since! In the intervening years, Bob and I have become good friends and soul mates. We chat regularly swapping stories and anecdotes. We even share the odd bottle of beer or two!

Over the years, Bob has played with many a fine musician - John Maya...ll, Hubert Sumlin and Mick Taylor to name but three. Some of Bob's stories have been so good I've written them down! My piece on his friendship with “Uncle Hubert” was recently published by Blues in Britain magazine. Later this year, I shall pick up my pen again and relay the story when a very young Bob Angell saw The New Yardbirds at The Boston Tea Party in 1968. Nothing out of the ordinary there you may think? If I told you the members of the band that evening were John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the story takes on a whole new meaning! Stay tuned, my article will be published in September to coincide with Zeppelin's 50th anniversary.

Bob is immensely knowledgable on guitar design. Over the years he has amassed quite a collection. One of his favourites is an early '60s Kay Guitars Truetone Speed Demon he bought in the early '90s from a guitar shop in Boston. They wanted $500. Bob got it for $350! It was a good investment because these guitars are now going for around $1,000 on today's market.

Bob doesn't buy guitars as investments. He buys them to play. He bought his Truetone because it has three Speedbump pickups, consequently, the tonal range is astonishing. Kay, back in the day, designed and made incredible pickups - American electronic engineering at its best. When discussing pickup configurations for The Predator range of guitars, Bob casually mentioned his beloved Truetone suggesting we create a variant with Kay specification pickups. Great idea said Al, do we know anyone who can build Kay specification pupsies? You are ahead of me now I'm sure! Step forward our friends at Mojo Pickups to solve our dilemma! Stay tuned, more info coming soon.

Until next time, many thanks for your time and continued support. SR

Many thanks to our sisters at #JamTomorrow for creating the artwork. Photograph by Jo Jackson-Raw.

#RawDesignStudios #ModularDesign #ProductDesign

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Indeed we are! Love the photograph! Many thanks to our talented photographer, Shello Sheldon, for spelling out our name and sister company, #JamTomorrow, for creating the illustration.

We're cranking up the volume with our Predator modular pre-production models. Last year, saw the development of the single, centrally mounted Gold Foil variant we unveiled down at Eli's! This year, it's The Big Bite and The Special Kay. The Big Bite is our twin departure and her punch is provid...ed by Mojo Pickups. You can choose DeArmond specification Gold Foils, PAF Humbuckers or both. We're currently building the DeArmond/Humbucker model for promotion purposes. We've nicknamed this model The Beano. Those who follow our progress on social media know where we're coming from!

Working with modularity has many benefits. Besides reducing manufacturing costs, it combines the advantages of standardisation with customisation. With a little imagination and design acumen the possibilities are endless, especially pickup configurations. As was the case with The Special Kay. Al, Bob and I have always loved the infamous Kleenex Box single coil pickup. Tonefully seductive, they have a look like no other pickup on the market. We have known from the beginning that a Kleenex Box Predator variant would be the ultimate guitar in the range. Bob Angell is very happy! Find out why in my next post.

Until next time, many thanks for your time and continued support. SR

#RawDesignStudios #ModularDesign #ProductDesign

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I owe Triumph Motorcycles a huge debt of gratitude. They inspired me to create The Raw Guitar Co. More importantly, they provided the “blueprint” for #ThePredator range of guitars we are currently developing. If I may be so bold!

My formative years, after graduating in the early '90s as a product design engineer, were spent working with various power tool companies on noise and vibration attenuation. To learn more about these subjects, I went back to university and studied er...gonomics or human factors engineering as Uncle Sam often refers to it. I enjoyed my year at Loughborough. It opened a lot of doors. Consequently, I became a consultant helping and advising a vast array of clients with their noise and vibration problems. One such client was Triumph Motorcycles.

I was fortunate to work with Triumph for eight years. Most of my time was spent on the production line. Occasionally I would get the opportunity to talk to the research and development team. Modular design was a topic which often came up in conversation. I greatly admired how they could take a particular model and with minor design alterations create numerous alternative variations. The Bonneville is a very good example of modular design. When it's fused with creative marketing, the possibilities are endless.

Each time I visited Triumph's factory at Hinckley, the more I wanted to design again. Perhaps it was the motorcycles or simply being around designers and builders! If you are, by nature, a creative person, the desire to be creative never diminishes. When I put The Raw Guitar Co. together, it was inevitable that Triumph Motorcycles would impact my creative thinking. It should come as no surprise to those who follow our work where our inspiration comes from!

When Al, Bob and I sat down to detail #ThePredator model, modular design was at the forefront of our thoughts. Working with Mojo Pickups is essential if we want to create a range where the pickup configurations are not only aesthetically in tune with each other but with the guitars too. The work that Marc has done to date is exemplary and I shall elaborate further in my next post.

Over the past few years I have been blessed to work with many talented people who share my vision of creating a brand that can be produced and marketed accordingly. We are almost there now. If I hadn't worked with Triumph Motorcycles, I would not be writing this piece today. More importantly, our Predatory intentions would not have the bite we envisioned! This is where I came in and where I shall depart!

Until next time, many thanks for your time and continued support. SR

Original photograph by Giles Mitrovic, graphic design and illustration by #JamTomorrow.

#RawDesignStudios #ModularDesign #ProductDesign

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It's that time of year again when we get to choose our favourite photograph from 2017. It's a Shello Sheldon and #JamTomorrow masterpiece taken in August when we went down to Eli's! It captures Bob Angell and #ThePredator in perfect Harmony!

#RawDesignStudios #ModularDesign #ProductDesign

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Everyone involved in our little adventure have been chatting how to move the Raw brand forward. We're really happy how #ThePredator, our crazy, Harmony inspired solid body, has progressed. She's made a big impression since we went down to Eli's! This curvaceous creature was inspired by #TheProwler, our retrospective take on the infamous Harmony H-44 Stratotone. Without this guitar, I wouldn't be writing this piece today. We're going to bring The Prowler name back; however, al...l is not what it seems. More on this later!

We're ready to build the next Predator pre-production model. This variant will be a twin pickup guitar with added bite courtesy of Marc Rawnsley and Mojo Pickups! To compliment Marc's DeArmond specification Gold Foil, we've chosen a Seth Lover, late '50s Gibson PAF with matching Gold Foil cover. Aesthetically, they complement each other perfectly. Harry and Seth - a marriage made in heaven! Marc has created something rather special but don't take my word for it, judge for yourself - visit his Instagram post and read the comments; I've posted the link below.

This guitar is going to make or (blues) break us! To showcase this venomous creature (you're ahead of me I'm sure) we're going to record “All Your Love”, the opening track on John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton “Beano” album. This was the record that exalted Clapton to godlike status! It was also the album that stimulated interest in the Gibson Les Paul and double coil humbucker. Simultaneously, it provided the launch pad that subsequently put Jim Marshall and his Amplification on the world stage.

When we sat down to discuss this project, Bob Angell, our illustrious test pilot and colleague, suggested, tongue-in-cheek, we should build a Marshall Model 1962 Bluesbreaker amplifier to accompany the “Big Bite” in the recording studio. Bob's suggestion may have been tongue-in-cheek at its conception, but what subsequently followed was the birth of a new adventure that has us all excited. I shall elaborate further shortly. Suffice to say, we've teamed up with a number of very talented cabinet makers and electrical engineers with the aim of producing an amplifier we're going to call The Prowler! This is where I came in and where I shall depart!

Until next time, many thanks for your time and continued support. SR

#RawDesignStudios #ModularDesign #ProductDesign

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcrBV9cHWv0/…

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We still love this little lady! Without #TheProwler, we wouldn't have designed #ThePredator! These names have a certain ring (or bite) to them don't you think? We're going to resurrect the Prowler name and create something rather cool. However, all is not what it seems! Bob Angell can't wait! We've dropped the odd hint on our individual Facebook pages! Stay tuned, more info in our next post.

Hat's off to #JamTomorrow, our #marketing and #promotion gurus, for putting new ligh...t through old windows! SR

#RawDesignStudios #ModularDesign

Original pic by Paul Knight. Thanks to the amazing Mitch Laddie Band for all your development work these past five years. Mitch, catch up soon.

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Bob Angell and yours truly recently got in touch with Gordon Quinn, the sound recording engineer, who worked with the late Mike Shea when they captured Robert Nighthawk live on Maxwell Street in '64. The recording, subsequently, appeared on Shea's observational movie, "And This Is Free". He loves our take on "Cheating And Lying Blues" we recorded at the Bay Horse Masham. A little tear came into my eye when I read his e-mail. Thank you Mr Quinn, we're not worthy!

Gordon take...s care of Mike Shea's intellectual property, consequently, he has granted us permission to use the Nighthawk footage on our promotional movie, "And This Is Us". When we're happy with the final edit, it will highlight how the Nighthawk performance inspired us to design #ThePredator and everything that came after (and before)!

Working on our little movie is imensley rewarding. Working with Allan Smyth, our audio visual guru, is a joy. We've captured the original Nighthawk footage and separated it into individual audio and visual files. We've come up with a way to incorporate the original footage with our own and created all the graphical images that accompany the movie. We have a little more filming to do. When completed, it will tie everything together. It's all looking good! Stay tuned, we're going back to Maxwell Street with Predatory intentions!

As always, thank you for your time and support. SR

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Shello Sheldon, our talented #photographer, has captured the heart of #ThePredator! Armed only with his Magic Picture Machine, he seduced her to submission! Love those curves!

This Harmony inspired guitar is our introductory-production model. We're currently creating a promotional movie called “And This Is Us". It relays the time we went down to Eli's! It's taking shape and looking good, more info in our next post.

As always, thank you for your time and support. SR

...

Bigsby Beautifully focused don't you think?

Mojo Pickups Ditto!

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Shello Sheldon, our talented #photographer, has been busy with his Magic Picture Machine! He has been shooting #ThePredator, a guitar that will mark our introduction into small-scale production. The results are stunning, hats off to you Sir! This particular shot is my personal favourite because I was there when he took it! SR

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Working on #ThePredator project has been, and still is, enormously rewarding. I have learned so much about Chicago's past, especially life in and around Maxwell Street, the spiritual home of Chicago blues. Maxwell Street became popular for blues musicians in the 1950s and '60s when store owners encouraged them to set up their amplifiers and equipment outside their premises, so shoppers, lured by the chance to hear great blues music, could be enticed inside to buy their goods....

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The day we went down to Eli's with Predatory intentions! We're currently hard at work creating a promotional video to advertise #ThePredator, a guitar that will mark our introduction into small-scale production. This sassy broad has her roots deeply embedded in 1960's Chicago where electric blues discovered its bite! We recently took the guitar down to “Maxwell Street” and recorded over three hours of observational and performance video where Bob Angell, Mark Cole and Gary Grainger recreated a scene from Mike Shea's '64 film, “And This Is Free”, see previous post. Having looked at all the footage, this was, without doubt, the best take and the one that will make the edit. In fact, it's so good, we've made it the trailer!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goXbyZbUEag

Played live at the Bay Horse Masham on Raw Guitars, courtesy of Simon Raw.
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We went down to Eli's and captured the moment! We recently recreated a little Chicago Maxwell Street history by recording a scene from Mike Shea's '64 observational film, “And This Is Free”. We have our first production guitar, #ThePredator, to promote and what better way to illustrate her Chicago credentials than recording “Cheating And Lying Blues” where Robert Nighthawk and John Lee Granderson got low, down and dirty! Bob Angell and Gary Grainger were outstanding filling i...n for Nighthawk and Granderson. Mark Cole came on board and blew everyone away adding a little colour into the mix! We recorded over three hours of observational and performance video. We now have the highly enjoyable task of looking through the files, pulling out the very best content and creating, what we trust, will be an amazing promotional video.

Apart from having her roots deeply embedded in 1960s South Side Chicago, #ThePredator is very Harmonious too, she had to be! In the late '50s and early '60s, Harmony, who were owned by Sears, Roebuck and Company, were leading the way in guitar design producing instruments that were radical in thought and aesthetically beautiful. What made them special were the DeArmond Gold Foil pickups. Manufactured by Rowe Industries, they are considered by many enthusiasts to be among the finest pickups ever designed and produced. Mojo Pickups have invested time and resources recreating Harry's masterpiece. Consequently, we chose their P-90 dimension, Gold Foil specification single coil to drive this sassy broad. The pickup is perfect in every way. Marc, we salute you. Stay tuned, we're heading back down to Eli's!

Photograph by Shello Sheldon

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You never know where Andy, our paint guru, will leave his work to harden! When not painting our bodies, he restores classic cars. Andy's knowledge on paint and preparation is exemplary and it's always a pleasure working with him.

Many thanks to sister company, #JamTomorrow, for coming up with the goods (again), they love painting pictures! SR

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Absolutely! For those of an inquisitive nature, see previous post! SR

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