Monthly Archives: February 2016

Cort Frank Gambale Signature Model


Australian jazz guitarist Frank Gambale has teamed up with Cort Guitars to produce the world’s first artist signature model acoustic guitar featuring Australian blackwood.

Unveiled at the Winter NAMM Show in January 2016 the Frank Gambale Signature Model is a concert body shaped acoustic guitar. This model features a solid Adirondack spruce top, a flamed blackwood back and sides, a mahogany neck, an ebony fingerboard featuring a custom inlay, an ebony bridge, gold tuners, and a 43mm nut. Each Frank Gambale Signature Model is equipped with LR Baggs EAS-VTC EQ onboard electronics.

Developed in conjunction with legendary guitarist Frank Gambale, this is a true signature model in that the artist had a great deal of input on each detail of the guitar. Ideal for high-speed soloing, this innovative acoustic-electric guitar also features custom wooden rosette and custom fingerboard inlay designed by Frank Gambale himself. This is a truly unique acoustic guitar as envisioned by a true guitar legend.

Frank Gambale has spent nearly four decades playing, writing, recording, performing, and teaching. His sweep-picking technique revolutionized guitar playing and continues to inspire generations of musicians in all genres.

Here’s a video review:

The Cort distributor in Australia has advised “it will be a little while before we can get our hands on it here in Australia”. I’ll keep readers informed.

Cort Guitars has been steadily increasing its use of Australian blackwood on a range of models including acoustic guitars and basses, and ukuleles. This signature model guitar throws Australian blackwood well and truly onto centre stage.

Two significant forest industry reports that went nowhere


Both of these reports were published in 2005.

Both of these reports have (had??) significant potential impact upon the future of the Tasmanian blackwood industry.

Both of these reports contain important information and recommendations about reforms to the forest industry.

From what I have seen nothing from either of these reports has ever been implemented!!!

Ten years after these reports were published both are still available on Government websites as if they form the basis of current Government policy, but from what I can see neither of them are currently active.

The information and recommendations in these two reports has not been taken up and included in any forest industry policy documents (eg. FIAT), political party policies, nor in any farm lobby group policies (eg. the TFGA). Why not??

Tasmanian Government forest policy does not include any of the recommendations from these reports.

If only half of the recommendations from these two reports had been implemented the forest industry would be in a much better position today, and investment in the future of the blackwood industry would be a whole lot easier.

Here are the links to these two reports:

(the link to the pdf report is at the bottom of the page)

Personally I think the future of long rotation plantations is looking more uncertain except in markets where high value appearance-grade timber is needed. Construction-grade timber is increasingly made from engineered wood products rather than solid wood; engineered from short-rotation plantation-grown wood.

But the market for long rotation appearance-grade timber is relatively small, especially if we are just talking about the domestic Australian market. The international market for quality appearance-grade timber is significant but is still dominated by the illegal trade in rainforest timbers.

The opportunity for supplying profitable, quality, farm-grown plantation grown Tasmanian blackwood into the export market is significant.

And this is where the Farm Forestry National (In)Action Statement (NAS) becomes important.

To achieve the vision, the Australian, State and Territory governments and the forest and wood products industry need to progress 16 actions, grouped under four action imperatives:

  1. Develop appropriate, integrated and consistent Australian, State, Territory and local government policies for farm forestry;
  2. Coordinate actions and build relationships to support farm forestry;
  3. Recognise and, where possible, quantify farm forestry’s economic, environmental and social benefits and costs;
  4. Promote the development of markets for farm forestry products and services.

The 16 actions are broken down into 33 measurable outcomes, listing deadlines and who is responsible for implementing the outcomes.

None of it has been implemented!!

The Federal and all State Governments and the forest industry all signed up to do this.

So much for commitment!

So much for leadership!

Perhaps the Tasmanian Government and the Tasmanian forest industry should revisit the NAS and recommit to implementing its recommendations.