“The workshop” is actually two here – what we call the green workshop, and Johnny’s shop. The green one is where the rough planks go in and come out finished parts & pieces. The last thing that happens in here is the finished neck is shaved to fit the finished body, touched up, and pressed into the pocket. It’s tight enough to carry and hang that way, and that’s how they’re then walked into Johnny’s shop – as a neck in a body, a bass or guitar that just needs components now. But it IS a bass or guitar as I see it, not just pieces of wood. While I’ve been routing and carving in the green shop this week, it’s been getting some attention of its own after 9 years, including one VERY wet one last year.
Water damage is a bieyotch because by the time you see it there’s ten, twenty, a hundred times that needing fixing. This is true in acoustic guitars, motor homes and buildings, and the little green shop got some siding, a few studs, and a section of bottom plate skillfully replaced by Brother Dbone. He’s one of those Swiss Army-knife guys that are really good at a bunch of things. This happens to you when you devote to the craftsman’s path; you either get good at a bunch of things or you get very hungry and go find a paycheck. In reality, you learn a whole lot from building yourself the life an artist’s pay usually won’t buy ready-made. This guy uses it all! Artist, multi-instrumentalist, clay-spinner extraordinaire (his main devotion - we use bowls and mugs of his creation every day) and all-around handy guy, Dbone also works with us as we need the help and he has time, helping your instruments happen. One of the handful of faces behind the scenes that really helps things stay moving.
There are enough basses and guitars out the workshop door after almost a dozen years where I get calls from people wanting to consign one, for us to re-sell it for them (for a little cut, of course) and sometimes we do it. It’s similar to some of the unusual requests and wild custom one-offs on the front end of things – sometimes it can be done, other times there’s simply too much on the plate that would grind to a halt if I said yes and threw it into the mix, and I have to decline. So it’s not a matter of willingness or policy as it is a matter of timing on the “off-menu” stuff and services. Such is the way of the organic living entity that is a small workshop and its devotees and our craft.
Since many times a Birdsong client is selling one to fund another, occasionally we can work something out as a trade-in. And of those, every so often it’s something really unusual, a custom one-off special ordered and lovingly maintained while still being played like they’re made to. Well, here you are! This one came in last week, is ready to rock, and I can’t find a mark on it really. I know it has been played because the black is worn off the strap buttons – but that’s it. “All highway miles” as they say in the car world!
It’s a 2013 Birdsong Custom with a Skyrider body, P/hum pickup setup (with the P reversed to beef up the thinner G and D strings and give a more even tone), DiMarzio & Lace pickups, Honduran mahogany & ebony body, matching headstock, black hardware, rear routing… it’s really something, and it’s been all checked out & ready to ship! To order this bass right now I’d quote a few steps north of 3K and probably a year wait. You can snag this one for a selling price of $2400 USD. Don’t pass it up if you want it – get in touch! This is a one-of-one build, plays like butter and sounds amazing. Here below is a gallery of this fine machine.
Thanks again Dbone for showing some love to the green shop, and thank YOU for being with us! Have a great weekend; go do something for a cool little space that does so much for you.
Listening to: Blues man, just old Delta blues all week… until yesterday when I put Los Lobos Colossal Head on repeat. It’s still going – that’s a great album I’ve been building guitars to for at least a decade.