2015 News From The Nest ~  Updated on Fridays (mostly)

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PO Box 1745
Wimberley, TX 78676

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January 23rd

A great work day
here is to place the work around the weather and pace the work to music. Or, in assembly, to the sound of lectures or documentaries that may be playing. To hit it hard before the daylight and be winding it down by dusk. I have had a week full of those days... it was warm and sunny to start so much was done in the green shop - wood selection & layout, planing & cutting, routing & shaping, sanding & finishing. Then as the days became rainy and relatively cold, attention turned mostly into Johnny's shop for assembly, wiring, trimout, stringing & setup. Paperwork. Communication. This update. As the first real full work week of the year for Birdsong, to the sounds of everything from Al Caiola to Aerosmith, every single 14 build that became 15 got at least its next step and a handful of 15s got their start too. 

Only disrupted by
the Man In Brown bringing boxes of parts and supplies, a relocation of our internet tower for better signal, and a surprise visit by my old buddy who used to have a Mopar only junkyard coming by to see if I'd sell him the ol' '48 Plymouth project back, it was a VERY productive week on the benches. I do feel bad when a good man drives an hour out into the hills in the rain only to be denied, but sometimes that's life and we all have our turns at that wheel. It's my turn to man the wheel of the '48 for a while. To do what I do with my old cars - get them running and drive them to fun places. I only drive old cars; that's my world. I drive the same kinds I drove 20 years ago and they were old then. I like vehicles from the '60s and '70s... my youngest is a Ford van from 1983, but it's basically the same van they were selling in the mid '70s and I customized it as such. That '48 may be a bigger project than others before it and I'd have liked to have had it running to take the man for a ride instead of jacked up with the engine & wiring stripped out, but that's part of the process of progress as well. Sometimes if there's a bunch that needs fixing it's got to get a little uglier before it gets better. That's life too.

Johnny's shop got really ugly before going back together in its current form years ago. I still call it Johnny's shop because despite it being left behind in the big-picture soul movin' on of my mentor, and yours truly cutting the whole thing into '74 pickup sized sections of wall and floor structure with a sawzall and chainsaw like some deranged hillbilly and hauling by the load to be rebuilt where it is now by a circle of friends, I'm merely its custodian. Like the tools of grandfathers and the old cars that were once driven off showroom floors, I just have 'em for now as long as my body holds me. I fix them up for another tour of duty and guide them in making something happen. As tasks they were led to me (or I to them, or both) because I was "that guy" in that moment to turn them back into tools. They weren't finished so long as somebody took some action. They were not destined to be trinkets or junk or scrap quite yet, they just needed a little moving and a lot of mercy. The process isn't pretty and sometimes damn near kills you, and sometimes wisdom requires you just walk away, but now and then you can breathe new life into something good. We're all "that guy" a few times in life to what & who is around us, and I think - for me at least - its part of how I justify my existence along the way.  

Do someone good and make something happen. I'll be out in the shop if you need me.

Scott Beckwith
Captain Of The Ship
Birdsong Guitars
Wimberley, Texas

Listening to:
Al Caiola Italian Gold; Aerosmith Rocks; John Williams Spanish Guitar Music; Grateful Dead Grateful Dead; Meat Loaf Bat Out Of Hell; Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert.


January 14th

It's always auspicious
to start the year's first workshop morning looking at a piece of wood with a musical note in it. It's a crack unfortunately, but I'll work around it. It's just nice that it's there for now. A good omen. This is a thick top for a very special guitar project.

What the heck happened
in here the last part of '14?! Oh yeah...

Next up for routing -
Mesquite Cortobass, Walnut "Scott Shortbass" and Maple Birdsong guitar.

Next up for body edge sanding
and into routing... all kinds of goodness led by two Walnut Fusions and a lefty rainbow Cortobass!

And look what slipped into the lineup this week...
The Especial, the custom model played by Marciano Cantero of Los Enanitos Verdes! Some of you may not have heard of them but, believe me, anywhere rock happens and Spanish is spoken, these guys are HUGE and have been for decades. And you will not find a more down-to-Earth rock star than Marciano. El Especial has been toured and used in the studio and he loves it. It is a nice blend of Cortobass and Fusion... a popular blend for custom orders now its own model for 2015.
More info on The Birdsong Basses page.
More on Marciano and the band Los Enanitos Verdes: www.losenanitosverdes.net 

I also snuck this update
up here on Wednesday because I'm tearing into the workshop for the rest of the week. Got some good prep work done including a wood shopping trip... now I need a little more cleanup and a couple of tool replacements that are on their way. We just wore some stuff out in 2014, I tell you what. Looking forward to doing it again this year!

Ok, back into the sawdust go I.

Rockin' AND rollin',

Scott Beckwith
Captain Of The Ship
Birdsong Guitars
Wimberley, Texas

Listening to:
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Raising Sand; John Williams Spanish Guitar Music; and lots of Delta Blues! (Mississippi Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, etc.)

January 9th

Happy New Year!

In deep
cleaning & organizing, getting ready to crank up Birdsong for 2015. Took a little break over Christmas and New Years but I'm back in the shop, piles everywhere, getting my work for the first part of 2015 together and ready to get after. What a great year this is going to be - the little green workshop, the music, the smell of the wood, the feel of the tools in the hands... and the basses and guitars destined to be born out of all of this in the coming year.

Just before the break,
I received a wonderfully packed bunch of HP sauce! I love this stuff, it's a brown sauce from the UK, can be very difficult to find. And there are a number of across-the-pond clients who KNOW I love the stuff. As there was no direct return address, it's a mystery which sent the latest bottles... but CHEERS to you!

And, before I jump
back into the calls and all, here is a quote from a really cool guy who recently had his first Birdsong experience... none other than Matt Malley of Counting Crows fame!

"Finally - a shortscale bass that isn't a toy... I love that bass more than anything."

Thank YOU Matt -
for flying Birdsong, for all the music you helped make that has been the soundtrack to peoples' lives, and for all those great bass lines I ripped off from you back in my gigging days!

So folks, I'm ready to talk -
call with any questions and let's get you in the que for 2015 if that's where you want to be - it looks like it's going to be a busy year! I can't thank you enough... so I'll just pour it all into the instruments, ok?

You all stay funky and I'll see you next Friday.

Sho' 'nuff,

Scott Beckwith
Captain Of The Ship
Birdsong Guitars
Wimberley, Texas


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