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.