Blues on Halloween :)

My latest, somewhat “found-object” guitar build is a 4 stringer- 1
bass string and 3 guitar strings to be played with a slide (it’s
fretless).

So this was an idea I’d had for awhile, but I’d never built one
exactly like it before.

All it needs are silver thumbtacks as position markers along the neck
(facing the player) which a friend I built it for can add and place as
he sees fit.

As my friend and his wife are moving I wanted to gift him so asked
what he wanted in a guitar of this type. He likes, plays, has built
and bought cigarbox and canjo guitars, so…

I only had to change a couple things in terms of the build but the
basic recipe was:

Round wooden body and sides, metal top, double-round wooden neck. For
this I found a truly ugly Halloween bowl at a thrift shop, sanded it
down to the wood and cut a throwaway piece of brown sheet metal for
the soundboard top. The neck consists of a dumpster-ed wooden mop
handle.

Strings are steel, I believe G bass string, guitar strings appx. A, G
and B. Only the B is a plain steel (un-wound) string.

I used el-cheapo 1/4 inch eyebolts, washer and wingnuts for tuners,
drilled the slots at angles for access and to direct the strings
somewhat left and right, left and right along both necks and into the
eyebolts. I always drill just under 1/4 inch and keep the slots quite
tight, then use a screwdriver or needle-nose pliers to tune because
these things really hold well once you’ve stretched the strings out…
but are tight enough that you really need more than your fingers to
tighten them. Then you finger-tighten the wingnut for each string.
Very simple, cheap and they work amazingly well.

I used metal hose clamps near the bridge and nut, tightening them well
to hold the two parts of the “neck” together.

You can see in the photos I used a larger bolt as a “bridge” and two
smaller eyebolts with a nut on each in place of a standard guitar
“nut”. For a “tailpiece”- as the wooden bowl is slanted, I thought it
good to use a hinge, 3 drywall screws into the bowl and feeding the
bass string through one hole, the middle strings both through the
middle hole and highest string through the third hole. Very simple and
works great.

Center of bridge to nut(s) are 25 1/4 inch scale.

In that he wanted brown, I went for brown stain on the body and neck
with silver hardware throughout and only varied from this using black
drywall screws for the tailpiece and also to affix the neck to the
metal top via two more of those. Under the metal top is a 1×2 inch
block of wood that runs the length of the inside of the bowl. I
pre-drilled holes, one through each neck and through the metal top and
slightly into the wood brace inside, ditto six holes around the top
and into the bowl, then screwed all in to hold everything together.
The extra hole up by the tuners is for a thicker string or strap
attachment.

No pickup in this one but he may add something later if desired.

So there you go… mad scientists r us ๐Ÿ™‚ These pics from my phone are
a little sketchy, and the long shot doesn’t do it justice re. the
overall look in that the body and neck truly seem to be the right size
and matching overall. The bowl was cut down from 12 to 10 inches and
has a nice bit of weight to it so the guitar seems quite comfortable
to play.

I’m very pleased with looks, sound and playability.

Grace! -Glenn

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GK Solo Blues- @ The Stand, Oxford, Michigan Sat. Nov. 5

Had a great time with old friends and new at Fat Calf Cafe, Chicago
this past weekend. Two dear friends from Germany are visiting JPUSA
and also came along with Wendi and I to the show. Maron did a
wonderful set of songs as always and the many chats with people before
and after were very encouraging.

This next Saturday, November 5th Wendi and I head north to Oxford,
Michigan to share the bill in a benefit show for veterans and their
families. I’m thankful to do a solo set on the night… so many in
need. We see more and more vets at our own inner-city shelters
(Cornerstone Community Outreach, Chicago). Love, healing,
encouragement and practical help are essential! Oh- if she’s feeling
up to it I may get Wendi up to join me on a Rez unplugged tune…

You can find details for this event via http://grrrrecords.com in the
Shows section. Hope to see some of you there!

Thanks for visiting my blog ๐Ÿ™‚ -Glenn

Recording & Misc. Update

Gkatgrrrstudio

So I’ve been writing a lot of songs (various styles and kinds)
recently and have more in my head I’ve just not recorded demos of yet.
All in good time…

Had a nice day today recording at Grrr Records studio. Ed set me up,
out came my Gibson lap steel, some of my wonderful pedals and one of
the sweet little Trimmed & Burnin’ amps. I played some slide guitar
for something called “The Martyr’s Project” that also features Phil
Keaggy and other friends. More on that when it’s time to tell the
story -but I was invited to slash away at a song and did so today.
Hopefully they can use some of what I did on the tune.

Also recorded a Christmas song with a blues feel via my Dobro, just
one track of dobro and one vocal. Grrr will release that sometime
prior to Christmas, again, we’ll post news on that when it’s mixed,
etc..

Working on a “found object” guitar, one bass and three guitar strings,
fretless, for slide playing. It’s a gift for a friend who digs
cigarbox and found object guitars as I do. Fun. I’ll post pics when
finished, likely on Sunday night.

Nathan snapped the included photo today. Relaxed Kaiz ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow I’ll haul a few of my home-made guitars along with my sweet
McClellan acoustic and harmonicas to a show here in Chicago (see Grrr
Records “Shows” section if you’re interested). Info. about my
wonderful McClellan acoustic is here via the link:
http://tinyurl.com/3byxe2w

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Saints & All-Saints Day

Some protestants (I happen to be one of those) have such an aversion
to anything that seems like saint-worship that when Catholic or other
church streams -look- like (or actually are) they are praying to
departed saints… or in what seems an un-biblical glorification of
these people… well, many protestants “throw the baby out with the
bathwater”.

I’m not arguing for Halloween -though a bit of candy and fun is not
automatic paganism either!

What do I mean?

The terms “saint” or “saints” appears some 96 times in our English Bibles.

The Hebrew (Old Testament) meaning includes “apartness, holiness,
sacredness, separateness” while the Greek (New Testament) definitions
are “awe, reverence, revere, most holy”. That is, true followers of
God, of the Lord Jesus Christ live in awe and reverence of God, they
walk in His holy way.

While there is plenty of scripture that clearly tells us nobody but
the Triune God should be worshipped and none that indicates praying to
the dead is o.k.- is there something really wrong, are we “in the
flesh”, sinning or somehow associating with the demonic if we set
aside time to remember godly people who have positively influenced our
lives for Christ? I think not.

While dentists and nutritionists and the police have due concern for
excessive candy consumption and the occasional vandal, party-kid or
addict with regard to Halloween, and while the day’s orgins are
certainly mixed with unscriptural weirdness, when one seeks to focus
on the true God and the Bible’s teachings we can benefit from
remembering and considering the lives of godly people who have gone to
be with the Lord ahead of us.

“By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God
testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead,
still speaks.” (Hebrews 11.4)

Just as the above verse states regarding Abel, we’ve all been blessed
with those who are gone from the earth and yet their lives still
affect us in positive, deeply moving ways.

The older one gets, the more one realizes the wonderful influence
these men and women of God have had in our spiritual life.

For me, such people are St. Francis, Corrie Ten Boom, Bonhoeffer,
Wesley, Luther, Booth, A. W. Tozer, Fenelon, Mother Theresa, G.K.
Chesterton, Brother Lawrence and so many, many more I never got to
meet but expect to one day!

As I age I have an increasing list of personal friends who are gone
from this earth who all blessed me on many levels. I find it
significant to remember them and those special moments we shared.

One of the few memories I have of my grandfather John (my Dad’s Dad)
involves sitting in his lap as he daily read his Bible. By that time
he was a very old and rather quiet, kind man. I realize my Grandpa has
had a huge impact on my life.

I have my own “saint Francis” in a friend with whom I expect to
worship the Lord with around the throne in the future. He and his wife
and family participated in ministry with us and served our family
helping with our kids as REZ Band toured back in the day. For many
years Frank was indeed a witness to me (and so many others) of God’s
love and power as the change He worked in Frank was nothing short of
amazing! My memory of him is sweet and I’m so thankful for his life
and testimony.

Another “saint Francis” was a man who also served in community with us
for decades, coming from a drug/hippie lifestyle and into saving faith
that influenced his family and many friends toward following Jesus. We
shared a number of hobbies in common and I learned a lot about
creativity and “making due with what you have” from him.

Soon after his ordination, Denny (a JPUSA friend and pastor) was
called home to the Lord. He greatly impacted my life on a number of
levels and often blessed me with kindness and encouragement in moments
when I needed both.

As the years pass all of us will have to accept saying “Goodbye” to
loved ones, many of whom followed Jesus faithfully and who, like us,
with all of their eccentricities and flaws yet “speak” into our lives
by their godly impact via our memories.

Some on our list of saints left this world long before we were born or
perhaps we never met though they walked the earth during our own
lifetime.

Are all followers of Jesus truly “saints”? Yes, one can make a solid
biblical argument we are. At the same time there are some who have
more deeply influenced you and I than others. They may not be
“extra-ordinary”, surely they were not sinless or perfected in their
earthly lives yet they had a profound impact upon us with regard to
following God in love and integrity.

I think pausing and reflecting on such people is a very good practice,
with or without candy. Well… the occasional sweet treat is no sin
either ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

“Seasoned” With Salt

Get it?!! Well, at least I hope this blog is…

And no, that’s not a ufo but a jet on the way to Chicago O’hare
International airport (above that tree)!

Being very honest, I don’t fully understand why I love the change of
seasons so much, but like quite a few others in this world, I do.

Others would love to camp out in summer, perhaps spring, or autumn or winter.

I really enjoy all of them- and I don’t like some things about all of
them… but I guess my longtime favorite season is autumn.

The woods, the scent, the sunlight through bright leaves, the moving
of animals, hunting, just being out in crisp air all brings me to
life!

I could also mention other cool (to me at least) things I really like
about the other three seasons.

Anyone reading this knows I interact with nature. So did (and do) a
lot of people.

The Celts (and Celtic Church) among other people groups recognized God
via nature and even the seasons. You can find references to this all
through their writings, prayers and history.

Again, if you’ve looked at very many of my song lyrics or read my
writing over the years you likely know I’m at peace with change and
think it important to write about it from time to time as part of
life- both for Christians and those not walking in faith with God. We
really need to embrace what IS as opposed to what we wish “was”!

One job of those who love and communicate with others is to observe,
to look, to listen.

Some of the greatest personal pleasures for me have been in times,
places and among people where I am able to discuss art and creativity,
music included but also other art forms and interaction of such forms.

Nature is a wonderful setting for this and I’ve been blessed by being
able to share from the Bible, personal experience and hands-on
workshops in several places over the years. I LOVE such opportunities,
because when if/when I’m able to encourage deeper -and- wider thought
about music, writing and the arts in such settings, the examples of
nature, growth and change are immediately in front of all attending.
You can literally SEE God’s hand at work, sometimes very slowly while
other times very, very quickly.

It’s like that with my life, with your life, with everyone whether
they are willing to pay attention or admit it or not.

Consider how the economy, health issues, a huge inheritance, an open
door in a local church or ministry, a “door” of opportunity or
longtime service (or relationships, etc.) closes. Sometimes these
things happen slowly, sometimes lightning quick.

How we come to the Lord (or not), how quickly we bring thanks, cries
for help, make carefully prayed-over and informed decisions as the
seasons of our lives change are all so very important!

Few people like baking or sunburns in the middle of summer, few truly
enjoy being caught out in brutal, stinging ice storms and blizzards in
winter. I’ve not met many people who love having to un-stick cars and
trucks out of muddy back roads in spring or the hard, cold winds and
rains that sometimes occur in autumn.

Yet how we respond and adjust not only tells us something about our
maturity but about our resilience. Can we “bounce back”, will we allow
fear, anxiety or depression to “run” our “show” or do we know Who and
who to turn to for the help we need?

Can we live in faith and a genuine sense of peace and joy even when
uncomfortable with changes?

Will we allow anger at God, bitterness with people, worry about our
future to overshadow our thinking and choices in the present moment?

Choices, all choices we must each make as the seasons turn. They will
not stop turning until we arrive before the throne of God.

Ha, I’m personally not certain whether there will be a continuum of
“change” or “seasons” as we think of them now… but there will be no
more negative anything because we shall see His face and -we- shall be
changed!

Those following Jesus ALWAYS have something to look forward to!

Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚ -Glenn

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