Tend The Garden, Not The Pricks

On the Facebook page I post some sort of inspirational sentence on Monday mornings – I find if I can kick Monday’s butt the rest of the week knows I’m serious and falls in line. But what I’ve found more than anything is the world always needs another ray of sunshine telling you the truth – that you’re valid, you’re stronger than you think you are, and you’ve got this. Some folks take umbrage at any attempt to spread anything like that, but generally those insufferable bastards are the same ones who want to tell you it’s all hopeless and there’s nothing to believe in and you’re just doomed to struggle until something cruel takes you out. You know what? F those people.

Yeah yeah yeah it’s a walk and sometimes we’re wobbly. The feet are going to hurt and sometimes the incline gets a little steep. Sometimes you’ll need a shoulder, sometimes you’ll need a rest. There are things that come and you have to figure out how to get around. The night always comes and the winter does too… BUT ALWAYS followed by the sunrise – every day – and the spring – every single time. So it’s your choice which to focus on and what to obsess over. I know which side I’m on. The world has its share of horrors and time brings its measure of surprises. On a grand scale we live in a time of unintended consequences with no simple answers. We’re way down that road. But we’re here – we made it this far and we either have the will to live and the drive to keep going or we’re food. From there you have a garden that grows what you plant and you are spent in the process… it can be a glorious exchange despite the occasional pricks. If you’re reading this you wake up every day with blessings or luck and opportunity many will never know, in spite of your troubles. Lead with those. Plant your dreams and help them grow. Feed them with gratitude. Share your good seed with others. Never give up hope or be unwilling to make the changes you need to be happy and fulfilled, or at least walking yourself towards happiness and fulfillment, and don’t ever let anyone piss away your rainbow or steal your dream. Fixing those people is above your stripes – you fix you, daily, and let them talk while you go build your life.

Here’s a poem for you. I wrote it in response to the folks who’ll line up to tear down anyone who tries to better themselves, to be positive, to chase a dream, to rise above something… you know, you’ve felt it. We all have. Anyone who has ever accomplished anything has gone through it in their own way. “Why are you doing that?” “Why even try?” “Why do you think you can be better than…?” Don’t you know about the statistics? Don’t you know about the failures? Don’t you know about society? Sorry, don’t have time to roll around in all of that… there’s too much to do and I’m busy doing. That’s been by response for the past 25 years. If I put my foot here and then the other there, I’m that much closer to my goal. If there are a hundred steps between me and my goal, all I have to take is the next one. If I die on the way, hey – I went facing my dream. These are what I fill my head with. Next steps and reasons why – not why NOT. That’s the choice we do have, regardless of what the day has brought. Whatever path of life you’re on from the office in the city to the shack in the woods, from the big family to the lone monk, be there and put your heart in and never listen to those who minimize your worth or preach of decisions that have no risk. Life is risk. Living is a quest. And to quote John Wayne, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”


One For The Whys

I don't live by that kind of logic
That leaves a man's head full
But his soul empty
Having never seen over the mountain

I do not wonder "What if" from here
I have tasted the wind
I have felt the rain
Not just gotten wet

This I know...
The turning point is far, far
Far beyond the point of no return

If sense holds you back
That is fine
If you don't understand the quest
That is OK
Go back and be sensible
In your safe decisions
Where your future awaits

But don't for a minute pretend
That going around the mountain
Will give you the view
Or turning back from it
Will leave you wiser
Merely because you avoided failure
By avoiding the bigger odds
Of the bigger dreams of stirred passions
Where another's destiny calls

*

I could write a hundred pages of this stuff. Maybe I will. Meanwhile have a great weekend and don’t be afraid. Whatever you’re facing, face front and take that next step. 

Listening to: Audio of one of my favorite documentaries, 1959 – The Year That Changed Jazz; Sex Pistols The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle; and delta blues like Jack Owens, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Boyd Rivers.
 

The Naked Truth

Anybody in my world knows I’m not exactly obsessed by current news. It’s not that I don’t care or don’t have an opinion here and there, I simply have a lot to do in the here and now tending to the garden at hand. This is the garden that feeds me, and provides something for your world – in fact it feeds mine BY providing something for yours, and I want everything I can control to be as good as it can be… so I stay focused on that and feed it with other things than the daily dose of doom & drama. For some reason I’m far more peaceful and productive this way, can bring more to what I do, can get more done, and can thus share and impact a lot more this way. So that’s what I focus on – the seed I can plant and the service I can do.  That said, when I check my email there are certain news headlines there on the screen in some side box and there was one that inspired me. “Naked Passenger Forces Turnaround of Alaska Airlines Flight.” Now, I didn’t read the story but my first thought is it was probably a guy, that’s kind of a guy thing to do. And if indeed the flight was headed TO Alaska in early February, let the man off the plane naked if that’s how he wants it. Play silly games, win silly prizes. But then I’m thinking why in the world would you turn around an entire flight over this, no matter how badly behaved? There are quick ways to settle a man down for a bit, especially when he’s outnumbered 200-something to one. And he’s naked, he’s not hiding any weapons. This is nothing a smack in the peen and some good strong duct tape can’t fix in about five minutes.

But that’s the topic this week – nakedness. If you’re facing a situation and it is buck naked, there’s a bunch of what a different one could be hiding that this one is not. Most people when they buy an old car think “Well at least if it’s painted already, I can fix up the mechanical bits and be so much farther ahead!” Not really. If it’s covered up with fresh shine you have absolutely no idea what it’s covering. Oh sure you can whip out a magnet and start clanking it to all the usual problem areas on a classic to see what’s still metal under there and might not get physically thrown out of a driveway. But what was replaced and why? What was needed and how well was the job done? Without a keen eye, a fair bit of time and a garage with a lift, on something covered up you’ll only see part of the story if anything. An old vehicle with original paint all faded and scrapes & a blue fender is much more revealing as to what it really is; what you’re up against. What you’re really getting. You might have to look away from the nasty bits, but you know that’s probably as bad as it gets. 

What’s under that thick paint on a factory guitar? Not the wood you see on finished ones where it’s going to show! And that neck pocket? Is it tight because the layers of paint and gloss helped fill the gaps or is it because one piece of wood was shaved to fit tightly in the other? How many pieces is this body really – obviously there are cosmetic laminations and stringers and that sort of thing, as well as practical considerations as to why halves or 3-pieces happen. But am I playing a guitar made from scraps & sweepings? Now, just like the occasional unexpected streaker in life it shouldn’t be all that shocking or turn the whole flight around, these are not deal breakers. If I’m going somewhere there’s probably good reason and if I’ve got to wash off a little trickle I’d rather do it where I’m going than where I left. So if the price is right, sell me that old Trans Am, the panel gaps are good and it doesn’t look bent; I’ll risk the rest. And there are plenty of painted guitars out there doing wonderful service; I know and love a few myself. I'd rather, though, have one of a few pieces of imperfect mahogany than filled & dipped balsa wood however pretty the color. If you want to know, if you really want to know what you have, sometimes it’s better to face the naked reality warts, cracks and all. This has been a public service reminder from your friends at the Wingfeather Workshop encouraging you to embrace the naked where it is good. Where it isn’t? Go all Greco-Roman on his ass like those weird little wrestling statues my Italian relatives used to have on the coffee tables. 

Balls to the wall,

Listening to: Ted Greene. His album, some trio recordings & solo atmospheric pieces. Perry-era Journey (the Escape album I’m very attached to from my youth), and some old Clapton. His ‘70s stuff always makes me think of an art teacher and her early encouragement of my creativity… any of my success here has Ruthanne Arbeit’s ripples in there too. She loved Clapton and I enjoy a little more in her memory.
 

Old Dawgs

No, this isn’t about Maggie. BUT by request, here are some pics of the fuzzy girl... "Uhhh... hello all of you people!"

The Resurrection of the Blues Dawg
The Blues Dawg was my first quasi-original design. A modded Tele shape with a “1960s cheapo” style pickguard and a single soapbar P90 right in the middle. This was the moment I went from assembler to builder; from just putting parts together to actually making some of those parts. Folks want to know before they do, but there is no substitute for what you learn by actually doing it, going through the steps that first time. This is the first real “Scott” guitar from 1997… it’s rough and it’s sloppy. I actually sold it to build the second, but it was traded back in on a build a couple of years later and has hung pretty much since as a shop mojo talisman and reminder of how far this all has come.

Hwell me friends, some blues will be played this year and in selecting which guitar would be the one for the tunes in a peculiar open tuning I use, I thought it would be time after these many years to get the old slab running and put it to use. 

Yeah yeah, I know, I’m the bass guy. To satisfy you on that, here’s the “Blues bass” – the only bass I’d play on what I’ve got cooking up. This came into my life in 2001. It belonged to a young lumberjack-looking street guy who drifted through town for a bit. It spent years with him busking on the streets and riding in his truck bed with no case. ‘Til it broke. Then he traded it to our friend ol’ “Uncle Johnny” who was going to restore it ‘til I traded HIM out of it. Soul? You want soul, brother? You don’t believe in what can be held like cosmic capacitors in the fibers of a musical instrument? Come touch this bass one time and if the hair on your arms doesn’t tingle I don’t know what to tell you. You just aren’t picking up that frequency, son. This bass has seen things that’ll curl your hair. 

Another Blues Dawg I’d love to find is this one – I think this was the 4th or 5th guitar I ever made – 2 was a two pickup guitar, 3 was the original Bean, and the next two were this and my first short scale bass but I can’t remember the order. This was ’98, 20 years ago. This Dawg was light years ahead of #1 and I gave it to Alvin Lee of Ten Years After at one of their ’98 reunion gigs. He was a big influence and once I started into this life of woodchips and windings I tried to offer something back to those whose work helped ingrain the music into me. I know it was seen with him at meet ‘n greets but that’s all I ever heard and now he’s gone, but the guitar has to be somewhere! Where are you?

I am here. Onward.

Listening to: Rev. Gary Davis (blues), a documentary on the Marianas Trench in the ocean floor, episodes of Jonesy’s Jukebox, Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert from 1973, and some great live Grateful Dead.
 

Ripples of Lives

This was to be one paragraph shorter, a missive on men I've known who made me ME along the path of music. This is not a paragraph I enjoy writing but the longer you hang around on this rock the more you get to write. For any of my clients, associates or friends who have worked with HDCustom Guitar Supply out of Wisconsin, our authorized online dealer (and a rather big source for parts and accessories for other folks), Josh Munter has passed away and their operations have ceased for now. This does not effect us very much; there was a chance we'd be building more basses for them to sell but really 95% (so now 100% for the time being) of what we do is directly with you. I have no connection to the instruments that were in stock, as they were built to order for and belonged to HDC, not me. I have no more information that I can share, but it is a huge tragedy for his family, friends, and those running his various enterprises with him. Our condolences are with them. He did a lot for his community and helped the music to happen as best he could. May the connections he helped put together over the years continue in their own ways to help each other, and may their successes carry ripples of the man’s life and work - and best - with them. Thank you and rest in peace, Josh.

 

Influence ripples
Where life and music combine;
Come to and go from


To the Guitar Kid a cool older dude down the street with a big record collection is as good as any guru. Billy was the first person to call me a musicologist – I had never heard the term. But Stevie Ray Vaughan wasn’t Stevie Ray Vaughan to me, he was a result… as was who influenced him… as was who influenced them. Yngwie wasn’t just “Yngwie” but a gateway into another time, culture & music. Billy liked this, even though I was just starting these trails and this journey at that time. I spent the last year of high school on Cape Cod, on the beach at sunset in my van or off in a conservation area playing Neil Young songs on my acoustic guitar, undoing the effects of the previous years in suburbia and very grateful to not still be unraveling within them. It’s in one of these I met ye olde Scotsman walking his sheepdog. 30 years later when I take the time to sit by a window and look out into the woods with an album on, that’s a part of  Billy’s life now mine. Aside from our long past conversations seeded and soundtracked by Van Morrison, John Prine, Mississippi John Hurt and all the other amazing music - and their contexts & meanings, this guy and his albums brought to my world concepts and textures that became the framework of much of my life. 

Long ago I was told to find “…the man who works with the wood” – it would ultimately be a much older me, but along the way it was Kent Finlay too. Just out of high school when you’re pumping gas into other people’s cars in Massachusetts and the phone rings and it’s a guitar player you’ve been jamming with who also played drums telling you HE got a call to go back out on the road playing drums again backing up a known touring rockabilly legend, and oh by the way “…they needs a bass player too,” there is only one correct answer. Much of the first half of life I – or circumstances which I’m now very grateful for in hindsight – kept me free enough to be able to say “Yes” when the ticket out of town called. Loose enough to move when the muse said "Now." So off I go in the back of a step van. I knew this wasn’t exactly my dream but I also knew the music was carrying me, those wheels were rolling and that road went somewhere. Something was going to happen. In Austin, TX I met Kent, the one name in the little black book I called after that tour ended back where it started, and I put a few duffel bags and my gear into a ’77 Dodge Van named The Midnight Special and moved to San Marcos, TX. Who Kent Finlay was can be looked up in any search engine; who he was to me was the guy that took a young, green, raw, aimless, incomplete and clueless young guy from another world and honed him into a songwriter. Which saved me in more ways than I can tell you here. Texas music, the art of the verse, creation in sixteen simmered-down lines, a path, a purpose, a plan, and a whole lot of people & opportunities I’d have never even known where to look for, were all part of my path now. More than any of this he was my friend and counsel, a wise elder, as my life found its way and I found myself making the transition between these chapters.   

Wyly was a silver haired sage when he came to me to simplify his vast mapping of music theory and upper partials and how it related to God and the universe into simple songs and chord progressions he could just enjoy strumming. Reverse lessons, I guess they were. Not the usual plan in the cluttered lesson room of my music shop, but if it would help make music part of someone’s daily life as some kind of a practice more than just practicing, that was my calling and it still is. That’s my north star – help the music happen in another’s life - it’ll take over from there doing what good vibrations do, what good medicine does. But all the while with him I’d have to stop and quickly tab out in my own book of staff paper what he’d be doing on the fretboard because I’d never seen anything like it. Not in execution but in composition and chord structure. His chord sandwiches were all inside out and shuffled, cheese and sauce outside of bread, grilled on one side… some of the most wonderful assemblies of notes I had ever heard, right there in front of me - ME, the music man! A beautiful and profound mess in which as I unraveled for him I started seeing more advanced patterns and relationships and how it all related to God and the universe and I’ve never played the same since.  

In three different ways they came into my life through walking the path of music, colored three different chapters, and in three different ways they’re gone yet still here with me, alive in every note, with me in every step. I’m nobody in the grand scheme of things, just a soul on a journey and when I need a verse I pick up the pen and make it happen; sometimes that pen is a spokeshave; sometimes that pen is a hammer. But in all of this is me and in all of me are others – I share them with you so you think about YOUR influences. Keep them alive. Make a way or two of theirs yours as they depart. Keep them with you. Toss in a pinch of them daily to carry on their work as their ripples live in yours.

Listening to: Rev. Gary Davis; live Mississippi Fred McDowell; Aerosmith Rocks; Keith Richards Cross Eyed Heart; all kinds of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson and mixes of old-school Country.
 

Winter Week

Our winter has been this week, with a few days under freezing and one morning of 16 degrees. Some of you laugh, I know – I look up your temperatures in my old home of Boston, and you out in Bethel, Alaska, and on up into Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in Canada. I look all of these up when I start resenting the cold. It’s all relative. And it’s all part of a balance… without our little blasts of cold I might resent the summer heat here, instead of seeing it as payment for no prolonged winters and snow. Things going less than optimally, nature that battles us a bit, these are all perspective alignment tools. So while it kept me out of the shop all week since none of these little workshop buildings were built or insulated with 20s in mind, and I really do question the sanity of folks who stay – let alone move to – places where the inside of your refrigerator is 20 degrees warmer than the entire outside, I’m grateful for it and wish you the best. I’m just happy to be on this side of the dirt. If I gotta be cold or hot now and then, give it to me. I’ll take it. But I'll take it where it'll be 69 degrees on Saturday, thank you.

Well the van is draggin’ ass a little with big long slabs of mahogany, walnut, poplar & Spanish cedar in it for your builds. I saw the forecast and saddled up ‘n headed out to take care of a wood shopping trip before the cold hit. I’ll be unloading it over the weekend. I love the van but it’s more of a travelin’ van than a wood hauler. One of the vehicle things on the list this year is to get old Joe The Truck back into truckworthiness. Joe is a ’74 Dodge I’ve had for going on 18 years. Right now it has slot mags and musclecar tires on it and is more of a tire-frying fun machine than an actual truck. He got a nasty engine put in about 5 years ago, with headers and barely an exhaust, and is quicker than the Roadrunner. But I miss my old sojourns in my old friend; there was a long time Joe was my wheels – just a simple, dependable truck - and I think this year he’ll be dialed back a bit. If I’m going to live to be an old man, I want to do it in Joe The Truck. These are the kinds of things one thinks about over the winter, even as mild as it is here.

This is also the time of year I go through my T-shirt drawer and decide which of my old threadbare favorites will be moving along to their final service on the finishing bench rubbing in & off our oil finish layers on the instruments. It’s the most respectful thing I can do with an old shirt I have loved for years, and another way of bringing meaning to the ceremony of an instrument’s creation process. 

Speaking of creation processes (“Processi?” “Procii?”) I have in inventory FOR SALE one of the prototypes of the import Tbass I designed for Thin The Herd. When these came in I took a few, examined, revised, and did videos of them. This is the only proto I have and it shows a ding here and there from hanging around and the testing process. I’m going to give it a last going over and let it go live a playing life. I’ve taken $100 off and this is one of the ones I signed off on the back of the headstock. More info on these on the BIRDSONGS page, more pics of THIS one on the INVENTORY page, and I think the guys at TTH have a few new ones available at $795 including a natural that can be seen in this video of me jamming creepy swamp blues on a blue paisley T-style guitar of theirs. That guitar was for sale too - at a killer deal. 

Music-wise I’ve been on a Yusef Lateef kick, with Jazz Mood, Eastern Sounds, and Psychicemotus all aspin… along with plenty of live Burning Spear reggae. Next week will be classic country in honor of the uncle of a guy with a van being used for the resurrection of another van being brought back to life by a good guy I know who saw it in a ‘70s movie and went in search of it. But that’s another three stories and it's brunch time.

Next week, we talk influences… have a great weekend and awesome week to come! Do something creative & treat yourself kindly.



 

My Truth Is What Comes Out Of The Speaker

Building from the sound up.

Had a wonderful conversation the other evening with a man deep into signal chain clarity; think of him as a rocket scientist of sonic fidelity. Though I couldn’t speak his language fluently with its science and numbers, I could grasp what he was working on and his descriptions of the sources and forces of the problems.

During the conversation I offered the truth of my process, the north star I always navigate by in my R&D, and thought it’d be interesting here. “My truth is what comes out of the speaker.” In other words not what Leo Fender did, what anybody else’s recipes are, what the label on a part says it is “for”, or what anybody claims makes a difference or can be done or not. My truth is what comes out of the speaker.

Well, like anything, what speakers where when and to whose ears in what environment? Changes in these have far more tone shaping input in the moment if they change than, say, the difference between walnut and mahogany in a solid body electric instrument. FAR more. But much like in a test kitchen if you make everything else in the recipe the same and ONLY change that one seasoning, then it is heard there. And then it becomes one ingredient. Then you add other ingredients that work with that seasoning. Eventually you have a recipe that tastes great if they’re all balanced and working together – one that defies the casually observed basic parts’ roles and amounts of impact. In my case, a short scale bass that sounds and resonates like a much bigger bass.

This is a combination of many things – design of the structure, pickups and position, and yes – ingredients like wood and bridge metal. And of course the execution of all of this to where it all fits – and thus works – together harmoniously, without ingredient A cancelling out B which directly works against C… that’s where the life and overtones go away. My job is to put them back in, and my truth is what comes out of the speaker.

The Cortobass was a palette of voices I knew would be useful in a working instrument – not copies, but voices of families – something round and half upright, something more punchy and aggressive, something huge and slightly scooped. I’ll put any shaped or spec’d chunk of magnet & wire (pickup) in any position on anything and mount and wire it up and in however I want if I think it will add or subtract what I want to hear from that position on that instrument. It either sounds good and stays or isn’t what I’m going for and out it comes. 

Why not just go with a Pbass pickup? Because I don’t build Pbasses. I have a bass that has a version of a P pickup in it and sounds amazingly like one, but given the big differences in Birdsong scale and Fender scale – one fundamental thing that affects the tension and response you get out of a vibrating string – it took a certain version arranged a certain way in a different position and an instrument of different materials to add up to that tone I wanted to hear out of the speaker. A Pbass merely shrunken does not sound like a Pbass anymore. You can’t change fundamental things about how this recipe works and then proceed as if it’ll sound the same if it’s made the same in every other way.

The Birdsong Cbass was the speaker-as-truth principle applied to a specific voice I wanted to copy. Where “specs as truth” don’t give results, I look to the results and spec backwards from there. I had a great vintage P bass and wanted to offer that sound in a smaller, lighter, shorter, better balanced form. So I started with the form of the Cortobass and worked the ingredients until the speakers couldn’t tell the difference. 

There is the “How to get this resonating more” side and the “What known tonal seasonings will add back in what is different” side – related, but I pursue building from the sound up. Tone first. My truth is what comes out of the speaker. Sometimes, like with our 5 strings, there are those who say it can’t be. It’s impossible. No, it’s really not – you take what first comes out of the speaker, judge what needs fixing, and adjust your recipe to take out a bit of what isn’t good and accentuate what is, and put more in of what will result in what you want to hear more of. What’s missing? There are other ways of putting that back in the soup. This gets you close, and then you can pull a few tricks on the physics in the instrument – stuff you can’t explain but can be heard every time you do it. So, you do it. Or you listen instead to peripheral voices neither where you are nor doing what you’re doing – and don’t. I listen to the speaker.

And I listen to the same speakers so they’ve become invisible to me. Birdsong in its 14 year history has had a total of two test amps. Both very humble and both run with their EQ completely flat. When I’m dialing in a recipe be it a rough concept test bass or pickup height on a bass that’s finished, and say I’m looking for a little more bottom end, I’m working on getting that out of the bass not the amp. This amp is a consistent and I’ve heard hundreds of similar basses through it – which subtleties do you think I hear, a changing amp and room, and different string sets (I use only two) OR given that those don’t change, the subtle differences in the instruments themselves? Exactly. 

So I might live in a world of inductance and resistance and peaks & valleys in a frequency spectrum, and swim in those waters, but I don’t design or build by the science and the numbers. It’s more of an organic tonal alchemy. If that last bit of smoothness in the upper mids in my experience is brass vs. aluminum, or that depth says another two millimeters of pickup positioning, or that clarity of notes ringing in a chord some… I don’t know, eye of newt in the pickup wiring itself, well then in it goes! My truth is what comes out of the speaker. It’s all fun in here but I’d drive you batshit crazy with a wall of Telecasters in a Guitar Center and you’d never listen to them with your eyes again.

Stay tuned…

Listening to: Jazz – Bill Evans, Count Basie and lots of Yusef Lateef.
 

Welcome (to) 2018

Start where you are, it’s what you do – you call this here and now the beginning and begin. Yesterday’s gone, you have now, and you help form tomorrow out of what you do today. 

The new year seems to come every year around this time you know, as a sunrise comes around every new day. Our position – and thus perspective – and the weather of the day may be different but it’s there and it happens and it arrives every time. Find faith in that.

The first step into a new circle… will I turn it into a cycle by running it the same? Good or bad, I decide. First day on a clean calendar… what will I fill this with to the best of my abilities and boundaries of my circumstance? And how can I make one carry more weight to swing at the other? I decide that. 

In the workshop it is a series of cuts and tasks and fitting things together, layers of doing with a big goal in mind and attainable steps leading there we take by the day. If I bring my best to these things I do, and they all lead to somewhere I want to be that I am not now – perhaps making me along with it the version of myself I want to be and am not now – guess what happens? We become as we attain these levels, of completeness, of evolution, of growth, of steps along the journey between now and what will be. Just like a bass guitar being worked out of the wood.

But all of that only begins at the beginning. Where you are is not as important as where you’re AT about that line. I commit to the first cut because it’s the first step. There’s a lot of work and a lot required of me following that first cut. But if the end result is what I want to happen, I have to make it happen. With help, with guidance, but it’s my hand on this tool and it’s my hand that guides this journey until enough is let go of to see the guitar that’s inside of the plank I’m starting with. 

And it’s either going to happen or it’s not; the thing is, if it’s my task and my way forward and my service where I feel it’s important, I know that task will receive its little check mark through it because I want to move on. I want to be closer to the result than I was before I spent my time and energy on whatever I did. So what I do should be on the way forward to it, at it, in line with it, and not on the side or going backwards. Those happen now and then but from outside; not in here. Life happens, definitely. But I’m happening too. And so are you. 

Now is the time to make the list, now is the time to line yourself up with where you want to be when you see the next New Years post on this site – you’ve got around 50 weeks give or take, what’s going to happen? Now is the time to lay it out on the material, make the cut, and get on with making it happen. 

Anyone who’s anybody and done anything worth doing had to draw a line and say, “This is day one – I take it from here.” Feel good about yourself. Accept 2017. Time is a gift. Opportunity is a blessing. Life comes in kit form. Find the glue; it’s time to do!

Welcome to 2018, its dreams, its goals, its lists, its challenges that will strengthen us, its lessons that will hone us, its losses that will teach us. And the ground we will cover in and in spite of all of this. Thank you for being with us, we are with you. Me? My job is to, at its core, help fill the world with music in hopes it serves it to its highest good. And along that way be creative and sharing in musical paths and moments and bring my best to the cuts and work and fittings at hand in this year – I’d say “Coming year” but it’s already here. And so are you. It’s time to start cookin’ the food we’d like to be feeding others and aim to be eating ourselves. 

Whatever your time of day, good morning brothers and sisters.

Listening to: Dean Martin Sings Italian Inspired Songs; lots of chord-melody guitar jazz; a little reggae.