I knew I had claimed January as part of the Holiday break; I did not quite expect to take it like this. But to be back firing up the shop on Feb. 1st like I had my eye on doing, I cut my trip short and headed back to face whatever this was going to prove to be, and gave myself January to “deal and heal”… or just deal. I might need a week or two past that to ease into it, but I’m on it. I’m walking a bit, and now that I know I’m not doing permanent damage I’ll be on it a bit more. I appreciate your patience and believe me, that shop door is rolling up on the first and you WILL see basses coming together… but I have to pace myself and work smart, not just hard. Because if my “new normal” is where I was the beginning of January, this whole thing is over. And I have a long way to go, more basses to build, some fancy guitars to make, and a bunch more creative stuff to finish. So bear with me – I’m doing the best work of my life, I’m just not taking it in 2017-sized bites or 2018-sized promises. That brings up the future, plan Bs, getting a little more help, all kinds of things to be talked about another time. I’ll fill you in and we’ll talk more about those come the summer.
For now it’s back to building tools of creation, and getting on with getting on. SPEAKING OF such talismans-as-tools, I came home to a very cool gift from a woodworker friend, a pen crafted from some very special local wood! Let’s back up a little… I came back out to this little Texas town once more and went all-in “back to the land” in 2000. I planted myself in the earth to re-germinate and renamed my guitars after the sounds of the morning. The bar in town was attached to the Cypress Creek Café, and I showed up at an open mic night there to see what was happening. There I met a woodworking mentor who upped my craft game, taught me to build buildings, and more – I refined my guitar ideas from the builds of the past few years and built the first Birdsong branded instruments (pre-company) in his workshop, we made music and ended up with a music shop I then handed off to him when Birdsong got busy around 2005. After he passed I took his workshop apart, brought it to the land… and that’s where Birdsongs come to life.
I met Eliza Gilkyson at that bar, introducing my now-wife and Birdsong co-founder Jamie as my “girlfriend” for the first time to her, right there in front of the stage. I met and played with many folks and had many moments in and related to that bar, have some wild stories for another time… and this pen is from the wood of the dance floor in front of that stage. It was there for all of it, and its pieces were saved during a remodel a couple of years before it burned down. Like any tool with meaning this pen is as much a talisman, and I’m using it on writings and songs looking forward that will be part of chapters to come. Brother James, thank you so much. www.dancerdesigns.us email: firstname.lastname@example.org