Boots On The Ground

Thanks for checking in, hope YOUR week was good and productive – feel good about the accomplishments, there are always loose ends and leftovers and surprises. That’s life. But it’s an age full of talkers and if you’re out there mixing it up and pouring it into molds, good on you! Looks like effects from the flood on parts supplies will be minimal, I might be making one or two calls about parts substitutions but even with those I’m going to wait a bit and see what happens. Things could have been bad for us homestead and parts-supply-wise from the storm but it wasn’t and we’re grateful. We know we were spared because the storm stalled over the Houston area, which was devastating for them. The rain totals are just unbelievable. Our thoughts are with them all.

Our actions are as well – as we speak Jamie is boots-on-the-ground in a very hard hit area outside of Beaumont, TX where she grew up. She has set up a place to fund her direct assistance of these people who have lost everything, and it’s going from your hands to hers to theirs either in food & water, needed living supplies, or actual “Here – buy what you need” store gift cards. ALL who ever get anything out of my ramblings here or any communications on the side or the little wood & wire tools of creation from the workshop are REQUESTED TO KICK IN. I don't call in the Birdsong Army very often, but if you're in - be in. $5, $10, a buck, whatever - it all helps more than you know and it all adds up to one more meal, ten more meals, a pillow, having their few savable belongings safe & contained… stuff no matter how you or I may struggle we’re still a step or two away from. PLEASE drop something in the bucket:


TO THAT EXTENT an extremely generous cat named Brandon Ysteboe (“Ist-a beau” for those who wish to say his name aloud in gratitude as I’ve been doing, wishing good to a good guy) has DONATED A REALLY COOL GUITAR to the fund. We made it easy, you’ll just pay Jamie's fund and it’ll be shipped from here to you. It’s one from the family, a funky blues machine former Wingfeather Workshop / Birdsong luthier Jake Goede put together for fun a few years back. I’m calling the value $500 “Plus whatever extra you’d like to give” – remember this isn’t a big organization, every buck goes from you to Jamie to DIRECT help (or the very HAND of) another person in distress through loss. If you want to be a hero and have a cool guitar to plunk on too, here’s your chance! CONTACT ME FIRST:, message my or the Birdsong Guitar page on Facebook, call (512) 395-5126 any hour any day.
(UPDATE 9/10: ***SOLD!!!***)


Speaking of cool instruments FOR SALE, a really cool client Jim has to put his “Full dress southwestern” Birdsong Cortobass up for sale – “Full dress” means it has exceptional looking Texas mesquite, real crushed turquoise, and solid silver plates made & hand engraved by Clint Orms Silversmith in Ingram TX… the REAL DEAL. It's in MINT condition, made in 2015. This is one I've been asked about since, it's in the pictures on the front page of this site, and Birdsong enthusiasts have been looking for it. Contact him for details at

After hardship and tragedy, after it all comes apart, it re-seeds. The forest grows back, springtime comes again, flowers bud and bloom again. It’s nature’s way, and we’re a part of that. Here, in the bass guitar world, is a little fun & hopeful snippet to end on. Before all of this Hurricane Harvey stuff I had the chance to design a new bass and spec it out for limited small batch production. It’s one of the most fun parts of this whole process. And there are a couple of surprises with this one – first, it’s 34” scale! Second, it’s not for Birdsong (though I might just be tempted to make a couple), but for my friends up at Thin The Herd Guitars in Round Rock, TX. This will be our second collaboration – you saw the first here in the SHORT SCALE Tbass, something that brought short scale playability and Birdsong tone into a more traditional look that fit their line. That thing will absolutely SMOKE a Mustang bass... get one and find out! Now? On to bigger things. Birdsong is designing them a whole bass line and this sexy beast on the right comes next! The guys at Thin The Herd offer a value proposition all their own in the middle ground between standard inexpensive off-the-rack instruments and what high-end workshops like us do. They call it “World class for the working class” and I’m really excited to be working with them to bring great tone and boutique style (and some recipes & tricks) into value price ranges Birdsong could never reach. Stay tuned for more info. And stay tuned just in general, it helps the music happen. 

Thanks for taking the time, and before I sign off I want all of you in Florida & in the path of Irma to know you are in our thoughts too – please read last week’s blog on preparations (below), at this point just do what you can to hunker in, but more than anything keep each others’ spirits up and be strong. Don’t panic – help those around you. Unless they’re doing something really stupid, then you just help YOU. Be safe. Check in when you can, OK? We love you.

Listening to: Lots of jazz guitarist Doug Raney; Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green-era) Live in Boston; Neil Young Road Rock; Marvin Gaye What's Going On; audio documentaries on numbers stations (shortwave radio oddities I've been fascinated with forever).