“Steve” Just Arrived via FedEx :)

Steve1 Steve2 Steve3Over the years there have been many kind friends… and I am -not- deserving such kindness, this I know. Well, if I start naming everyone of them I’ll likely forget someone.

But several have built amps, guitars, etc., for me, just out of love and grace. This stuff sometimes shows up in the mail, no kidding.

So I use them in shows, in studio depending on the sound needed for a given song or part of a song, loan them out on occasion for friends who use our studio here in Chicago, sometimes give various stuff away over time when it seems the right thing to do for a person in need.

Today one bro. Steve from Connecticut shipped this sweetheart. Whew. I mean, just Ohhhhhhhhh My!!

He had written me about a “partscaster” as he had some Strat parts lying around. Gracious… I guess he did!!! Oh, for you gearheads, all gold hardware and that’s a Seymour Duncan Trembucker in the bridge position.SteveMain

-So- pretty and such a gift I just wanted to share it here.

THANKS my bro., you are a gift, all I can say is that you know Who will be honored to the best of my ability with this gem.

Now, most of my gits either have generic names or are referred to as “her”. This one will be called Steve. Some will figure I mean Stevie Ray but you’ll know I mean you.

MAJOR Thanks and Gloria Deo! Wow. Time to play some blues…

-Glenn

First Day of Summer Joy, Life-Work Musings

Spent time walking a beautiful girl down the aisle to a handsome man today. Spent time with wonderful kids and grandkids, dear friends and an amazing wife (mine). Spent time thanking God for immeasurable grace to get through a cold and sing a couple songs in the celebration. Love is like that. Grace. Filled with grace.

Being with those you love most is a gift- and not to be taken lightly, expected nor squandered. It can change in a blink, in a moment, and we all know that but so often do not pay attention nor remind/get reminders that we need to measure our days as the Psalms say.

The plain joy of a day well-spent, of a clean, cool bed and place to rest. A good night’s sleep. Enough clean water and food, shelter, peaceful surroundings without violence, bitterness, mayhem. So many in this world have so little of these and we all know it. We need to think more about the gifts we’re given each day. We need to do more to help others without such gifts as I’ve described above.

I’ll tell you that it’s far easier to talk about all this, blog on it, write songs and sing lyrics that mention such things than it is to do something beyond communicating it all.

Throughout my life I’ve been blessed to meet, know and even live and serve among people who loved in action rather than mere ideas and concepts, people willing to sacrifice for others when they could have been living far more self-centered, pleasure-seeking lifestyles (and I might add, in many cases made a LOT of money plying their gifts in other than sharing ways). I live and serve among my heroes.

The Word echoes in my head- “I know what I’ll do… I’ll build bigger barns to store all my wealth”. And the end of the story- “You fool, tonight God will require your soul of you and where will all your accumulated wealth end up”? That is, what was it all WORTH… REALLY?

Self-satisfaction is the ultimate idolatry, the gut-true “I am god, help me stay on my throne or get-out-of-my-way” gig. Self, not God, is the ultimate false god. This is where everything equals nothing in the end.

Whew.

Grace calls us to make other choices and reap other rewards. And certainly, risk and pains are involved, make no mistake about that!! Authentic love often hurts but the final results are life in the face of death.

I am so thankful for the grace of Jesus Christ in my life!!

May you be blessed, truly blessed with His love. The gift of knowing you are is immense!

Thanks for stopping by,
-Glenn

Shelter!

If you’ve read my blogs the past few years- or heard my Cardboard Box project, you know that one of the many ways I try to help folks is by letting them know about our inner-city Chicago homeless shelter.

Cornerstone Community Outreach is one of several shelters individuals, care groups as well as the City of Chicago contacts regularly for assistance for the many homeless people throughout the metro.

While poverty and at times, mental illness, returning veterans with ptsd and other issues such as drug or alcohol addictions play a role, there are plenty of people who just need food, clothing or temporary housing and job skill training. CCO does all it can and I have often told our staff people they are my heroes. It’s true, simple as that.

Everyone CCO serves is someone’s son, daughter, sister, brother, mother, father or grandparent. They’re real people with real names and genuine needs.

The tragic fact is too many in society (as well as “Christian” society) just keep walking past them much like the priest and levite in Jesus’ parable about the man who was beat up and left by thieves.

Full disclosure: while I’m thankful to Grrr Records for sending quarterly cheques to CCO (appx. 70 percent of the sale of each Cardboard Box cd or download goes to their work) I had planned on doing a great deal more individual concert-fund-raisers for CCO and due to my wife Wendi’s advancing health issues (severe arthritis and perhaps more… we’ll know soon as we get recent MRI results back) I’ve been doing a great deal more care-giving at home. The point is that I have not been able to follow through for fund-raising sets and promotion of CCO to the extent I’d like to.

As Wendi and I navigate health issues and options, perhaps I can do more… it’s my heart to!

Meanwhile, if you’ve not (or have not recently) checked out these sites, please do, I would be surprised if your heart was not touched by the true stories and needs at Cornerstone Community Outreach.

http://www.ccolife.org/

My friend Jeremy Nicholls (New Zealander) and his sweet wife Beth (Peoria native) are gems, and have served on staff at CCO for many years. His blog is an amazing read, and if you scroll down through it you’ll find stories of the sort I’m mentioned:  http://freeingprisoners.blogspot.com/

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Sweet Weekend in Michigan

image

So it was longtime friends, some new faces and time for playing a bit of blues on cigarbox and found-object
image

guitara as well as guitar and bass-making in Three Rivers -where they also had a cool antique auto show.
image

Then it was on to a worship, dinner and blues set in Sturgis, Michigan with more good friends. Very cool stops, now home with my Best girl and family! Thanks for stopping by,
-Glenn

Michigan Gigs- GK Solo This Weekend

Fri. and Sat. June 14 & 15 in Three Rivers, MI at The Pink Paisley Poppy Emporium- NOTE: correct times are appx. 10am to 8pm or so (w. breaks)! I will be singing, playing, chatting, demonstrating and selling various cigarbox and found object guitars outside (and inside if the weather doesn’t hold) at The Pink Paisley Poppy Emporium @ 6 North Main St.

Sun. June 16 I’m bringing a bit of music and sharing with friends at a house church in Sturgis, MI about 2:30pm, we’ll have dinner and I’ll do a concert at 7:30pm Very limited seating. For address and more info please phone: Christopher Kirk @ 269.221.1266

May your weekend be bright!! -Glenn

Number 10 CAN Make Music!

Number10Can   My song “Recycled” from Cardboard Box is about people over stuff. But for you people reading this… here are some “d.i.y.” things you could do with a large tin can if you were so inclined…

Working in our large industrial kitchen the other afternoon I was in part, doing a job of de-papering, taking both lids off of and smashing the big #10 size cans of spaghetti sauce to box up and leave for the local scrappers. This is a great recycle as well as easy way (in our big city) of getting the metal gone.

Being a cigarbox and found-object guitar and bass building and playing sort of alien 🙂 I’ve both seen others and myself have played around with making canjos, ersatz hand drums, etc., with tin cans. But these larger number 10’ers are cool as they provide two huge lids (can be used for a fake dobro on a 1, 2, 3 or 4 string cigarbox by mounting ’em under the top of the box inside and bracing them (which gives a more metallic, dobro-like slide guitar sound to a cardboard or wooden cigar or other type non-metal box) in place with wood, screws and epoxy. Then again you could have one secured to the inside bottom of the box as well as one with holes of your making (shape, number of holes, etc.) in the CanLidother lid that is mounted as I just described inside the top of the “guitar” body… and leaving the rest of the box open inside (after the box lid is glued/screwed shut tight) you get the warmth (sound) of the cardboard or wood mixed with more or less metal sound (and cool looks) and all you’ve done is used one or both can lids.

Then there is the cool factor of using such cans with their grooved/ridged sides- after smashing ’em flat, mount inside a picture-frame sort of wooden holder and you have a mini-washboard to use as a rhythm instrument with a spoon or rock.

AND, you coulMiniWashboardd simply build a frame (as in a bit thinner box) around the can with the ridges set the same way the neck is (inside whatever box you build- and under the can) and with a piezo pickup have a pretty cool (and flashy in the lights!) slide guitar, also a dobro-sort of vibe but thinner than a typical cigarbox guitar.Number10CanAsGuitar

For clarity re. the pics here:

You see the original can with paper, also comparison to a normal sized veg can as well as the other elements.

If you’re not in a hurry as I was today, you soak the paper and get it all off, nothing but metal left. With a can opener you get both lids off (likely have the first one off already to use whatever it contained, so now do the second one). Smash it flat. If I were building something with the can I’d step hard on the can on a hard floor but also likely bring a thick towel and large-faced hammer, maybe rubber mallet, and carefully smash it as fully flat as possible. The towel would likely help keep marks off the ridged surface. If using one or both lids in a cigarbox, carefully cut the hole about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch smaller than the lid is, then you have room to screw or bolt and/or epoxy the lid underneath in place, also hiding the rough edges. If you wish hole-designs, drill and or can-open/cut ’em prior to installing into box.

And I haven’t even talked about painting these babies yet?!! There’s no end to this.

I may make one, none or all of these in the future, we’ll see. Just sayin’ 🙂

Thanks for stopping by, -Glenn