At Some Point It Has To Become Music

Hey, brothers and sisters back in the northeast – you folks all take care OK? That looks like it was some nasty weather. Be careful but be daring if you have to, stay safe and help each other. 

Had a strange dream the other night. No, not the one where I was pushing my cart in the supermarket and stopped to ponder the selection of sliced watermelon when the guy pushing his cart came up beside me, leaned in, and said, “Dip your tipsy disco pipe… it’s all good.” and then just walked away, as if he had just imparted the most profound bit of wisdom or some secret spy code to the wrong dude. Not that one – though Jamie did make a T-shirt of it and we take turns wearing it out to confound the locals.

No this one was serious. My friend Brady Muckelroy was not the world class luthier he is (, he was a music professor and had “Kid duty” the composition performance day of student graduation exam week. And he picked me to step in as substitute, to pass or fail these young Einsteins on what would be half of their final exam grade… in other words, pass or fail them right out of the school. “Sorry man, I pulled kid duty. You’ll do fine.” Yeah, I live and breathe and sleep music at a very deep level but let’s put this into an academic perspective and just say I’m more qualified to step in as CEO of Gibson than I am to conduct a symphony-level pure science side of music theory class and decide who gets to go further with it or not. Schooling and education can be very different things.

How am I supposed to judge a class where every single student could sight read the night sky and shred circles around me on instruments I don’t even know how the hell to tune, while plunking out from memory four inversions of Cmaj9add4add6(b13)(b5) on the Steinway grand in the corner? Then it occurred to me – this was composition. This is where it all has to become music, not rocket science math or an Olympic event. If they couldn’t make some magic and move me with all of that – “Adagio!” they were GONE.

Then I woke up and, thank everything Holy, just had to build basses and run this ship. What a relief! And speaking of old friends, look who is back at Birdsong world headquarters… the old Ridgid bandsaw! It spent a few years over at Muckelroy Basses after its first 9 with Birdsong and now rejoins us. We’re brutal on tools and this one has some hard miles under its wheels. A little TLC and fine tuning and it’ll be back into service. Birdsong began humbly as a name and a corner of ol’ “Uncle” Johnny’s workshop - a board on two sawhorses - then as a company in 2004 with a few borrowed tools. This was the first bandsaw Birdsong bought. Beep yourself out a little theme song for it; I promise I’m not going to grade you on it!

Music on,

Listening to: Some great long Grateful Dead jams from ’73; Count Basie - Half a Sixpence; Rolling Stones Beggar’s Banquet and some Miles Davis.