Nothing says “Next!” like a new-to-you bass or guitar. Many times over the years I’ve had folks get in touch and tell me about their struggle they’ve been through and that their Birdsong will be a part of – if not mark outright – the next chapter of their lives. Surviving illness, memorializing lost loved ones, self-reward for sobriety goals, you name it. I’ve heard it. Just recently a fellow emailed me at straight-up midnight the day his divorce was official to buy one. What an honor that my work and that of the helping hands here at the workshop can be such a part of the first day of the rest of this man’s life! Of all of your lives, really – because Birdsong or pawn shop special, if an instrument that vibes with you comes into your life that’s like making a new friend. It’s not just about the presence, but what that presence brings and helps grow in your garden. There are songs I never would have written without that particular guitar inspiring a certain series of chords at that time. There are group efforts in my past where the instrument was (pardon the pun) instrumental in what happened. Some of that all turned into other things and connections and situations as the tiny little threads tend to do as they ravel together into a life.
Some guys get bailed on, they go on a bender. A shot for every ally. Around the world in beers. Hookers and blow… you know. Ok, maybe you don’t… but that’s a good thing! Because it’s SO much better to just pick up a new old guitar or order up a custom bass or take up the bagpipes. Whatever floats your boat. And you ladies too – don’t sit around because Prince Charming turned into a pair of tire peelout marks in front of the castle of your heart. F that guy. Yeah, it sucks to be stepped on, or even just over. But like a guitar that has lived in any way at all, our scars are proof of authenticity – that we’re worth being played and we’ve given ourselves in song and ceremony. My old guitars are roadworn and if I ever see any of my sweet little workshop manifestations again I like to see them having spent themselves playing… I want signs of life and of a life LIVED. A few years from now you’ll be way deep into bigger and better, glad those used-to-bes weeded themselves out of your life and left empty space for new gardens… and you’ll have a whole lot of riffs & songs too!
So if you graduated or just barely survived, lost someone or found yourself (or both), got the big promotion or it’s day one somewhere deep down where the first new patches of blue in a while are being noticed in your skies, there is mojo in a tool of music that will seed your new chapter from the inside out. May today onward be joyous and musical, made of the best of what was and the good times to come. And if you think anything I do musically or with these basses and guitars belongs in your times they are a-changin’, you just let me know and we’ll do up something special and symbolic for you and then you take that talisman into your new dawn and show it what you got!
(I’m taking next Friday off so I’ll spin my next yarn here on the news page in 2 weeks.)
Thanks for being here!
Listening to: Bob Dylan & The Band Basement Tapes, Jerry Jeff Walker Viva Terlingua, Junior Kimbrough You Better Run, and Living Country Blues USA Volume 11.