Clive Carroll - Acoustic Guitarist - Concert Bookings Only

(Concert & Festival bookings only)

When the music press describes someone as an ‘Incredible acoustic talent’ and ‘Peerless – no other word for it...’ and when people like Jean-Christophe Novelli and Madonna are booking that same someone for their private parties then you know that something pretty special is going on. Welcome to the world of UK acoustic guitar phenomenon Clive Carroll...

As you can see from the above quotes, the press tend to go wild about Clive Carroll’s acoustic guitar playing – and the central storehouse of superlatives is about to be drained dry once again with the release of ‘Life In Colour’, his latest CD from The Guitar Label – but let’s start at the beginning…

Born into a musical family at the height of the 1970s, Clive’s musical career really began at the age of two, when his father presented him with a homemade banjo. Apart from a tendency to topple over occasionally under the weight of his new prize, something must have stirred inside young master Carroll, because it wasn’t very long before he was playing regularly with the family band. True, his repertoire in those days was limited to playing the odd nursery rhyme dressed in a cowboy outfit but things were about to change when, at the age of nine, Clive switched to playing guitar.

Even at this early stage Clive was exposed to a variety of music – everything from traditional Irish to rock, pop and soul and it wasn’t long before he branched out on his own, playing in bands and even with the occasional orchestra. By the time he reached his teens, it was obvious that music was going to feature in Clive’s life in a very significant way, which led him to enrol in London’s prestigious Trinity College to study composition and guitar, graduating in 1998 with a first class honours degree. However, all the time he was playing the works of Bach, Dowland and Albeniz clutching a nylon string classical guitar, the lure of the steel string instrument was working its charm.

Soon after graduation, Clive was given the opportunity to play at a gig with UK guitar maestro John Renbourn, who, on hearing him play, immediately suggested that Clive record an album. So one year later, Clive was working away in the studio, recording his first album ‘Sixth Sense’, which was greeted by press and audiences alike as something of a breath of fresh air in acoustic guitar circles. The album’s 2000 release didn’t go unnoticed by mentor and friend John Renbourn, either, because the pair spent the next two years on tour together in Europe and the United States.

In the meantime, Clive would occasionally return to playing classical repertoire, recording the ever popular ‘Canon’ by Pachelbel for BMG/RCA Victor in 2002. His next solo album, ‘The Red Guitar’ appeared in 2004 and this time it was guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel’s turn to invite Clive to tour with him. After a jaunt across Australia together, the pair continued to perform all over the world. The collaborations with John Renbourn continued, meanwhile, and 2005 saw them work together on the Sony Picture Classics film ‘Driving Lessons’ which starred Julie Waters and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint.

After years of travelling with guitar giants Renbourn and Emmanuel, it was time to go solo and so in 2006 Clive embarked on a series of tours under his own name, accepting an invitation to appear at the highly regarded International Guitar Night of America along the way. All the time, the buzz concerning this young virtuoso began to grow ever louder...

So, with barely time to draw breath in between working on side projects like tutoring at the Irish World Music Centre in Limerick, playing at events organised by the likes of film director Guy Ritchie and Michelin award-winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli and travelling to the Middle East to play at the Strings Of Freedom concert for the Sultanate of Oman, work began on Clive’s third solo album, ‘Life In Colour’:

“I didn’t sit down and think, ‘Right, it’s time to write a guitar album - quite the opposite...This collection took three years to compile and each piece is associated with a particular person or major event in my life. A few tracks are connected with the joys of being a father, some were written after experiences playing alongside pop stars whilst ‘The Gentle Man’, for example, was written for my late father who is very sadly missed…”

For such an important and intensely personal project like ‘Life In Colour’ nothing was left to chance – right down to the choice of studios. In the end, it was Highbarn Studios in Great Bardfield, Essex that was chosen to host the sessions:

“The studio was ridiculous! Just think of the most amazing hardware available on the planet coupled with a whizz engineer [Simon Allen] who specialises in acoustic music…”

The result is a roller-coaster ride of six string virtuosity that takes the listener from the dusty roads of ‘Mississippi Blues’ one minute to the wide epic open space of ‘Oregon’ the next.

“My primary aim was to communicate with the listener through the intensity that can be created an acoustic guitar. Though some songs with vocals were recorded for ‘Life in Colour’ the album turned out to be much more cohesive without them.”

Of course, it goes without saying that ‘Life In Colour’ will attract the attentions of the guitar fraternity on its release, eager to know just where it is that Clive has raised the bar to this time! (Biog by David Mead)


  • ‘Sixth Sense’ (2000)
  • ‘The Red Guitar’ (2004)
  • ‘Life In Colour’ (2009)
  • Live In Concert DVD (2004)
  • Guitar Maestros DVD (2006)


  • The John Halford Prize for Composition (1994)
  • Gladys Puttick Memorial Prize for Extemporisation (1994 & 1998)
  • Ivor Mairants Guitar Award (1997)
  • First Class Honours Degree in Composition and Guitar (1998 Trinity College)
  • Montagu Cleeve Prize for Guitar (1998)
  • Essex Young Musician of the Year (1999)
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