Misc Guitars, Inspiration, New Record

If you know I’m a musician and you know I tend to be eclectic as a person it likely would not surprise you that I use many, many sorts of guitars.

The joy of different tones (acoustic and electric), feel of a neck, basic “fit” for a song or a part of a song, for a live show and of course, moods all figure in what I use.

Getting very close to finishing a new (largely solo) acoustic blues project with 98 percent cigarbox/found object guitars has been a joy for me!

Between cbg’s I’ve been gifted with and quite a few I’ve built, these songs would not likely been done without varied gits. Some of them would have never been written either, because there is a certain feeling I get, an (some might say “peculiar”, ha!) inspiration that causes me to think and play 1, 2 or 3 stringers a lot differently than I would a full six-string “typical” guitar or even dobro had I instead used those.

The truth is, inspiration is a major element in those moments I find I’m playing from my heart.

I don’t deny the importance of technique and of course technical “closest to Correct” as opposed to outright “wrong” playing -but there is something about inspiration that takes me to another place musically and most of the time, another level of artistic integrity without which sterile precision is all that would be left.

Anyhow, here were tonight’s recording session, a “dynamic duo” that appeared on two of the tunes.20160423_222832 One’s a loaner (calling it Dragon) and the other is one I built in 10 mins. or so up in International Falls, Minnesota at a recent cigarbox guitar workshop. It’s the “Ugly Duckling” and is obviously trashed, the neck has a couple holes/flaws in it as well… but as it’s a simple 1 string diddley bow, no big deal! I like the acoustic sound so we put a couple mics up and recorded. Both are slide guitars (no frets) which I played with a copper 3-way plumbing connector.

The Dragon has a pickup inside so we both mic’ed it as well as plugged into the board for a mixed sound. Fun stuff and I hope you’ll like the results, I’m diggin’ the chili at this point πŸ™‚

We are a bit away from finishing the project but I’ll post when it’s all done and ready to ship, download and such.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

New Threads? The Five Way Switch…

Well, “threads” are what some of us urban folks used to call “clothes”. Like, “I dig your new threads Dude!”

And for most of my life I have tried to truly avoid “put-on’s”. Meaning that someone doing a “put on” was jiving, jus’ not being straight-up… A PHONY, a faker.

As a follower of Jesus when I first read this, I had to adjust a few things including my ideas of language:

“… put on (or clothe yourselves with) compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3.12b

Hmmm. I think I’ll call this “The 5 Way Switch”.

Any guitarist who likes Fender Stratocaster electric guitars (I do, I often play a model so similar most people wouldn’t know the difference) eventually learns there is a cool modification one can make to them. The three-way lever that can be wired up different ways to the 3 pickups on a Strat can be changed by replacing it.

With what? A five-way-switch of course πŸ™‚5waySwitch Way cool, plenty more options for wiring and therefore more varied and different sounds can come out of the same pickups on the same guitar.

I needed (and still do) the five-way switch in my attitude and relationships.

One of my guitars has a five way switch that sometimes “checks out”… meaning it don’t always work, one of these days I gotta either fix it or get someone else to.

In my old life (pre-Jesus-following) I needed a LOT of fixing. I needed cleaning, re-wiring of my attitudes, passions, desires, relationships… I mean A LOT. But again, at times I still do, no lie.

Compassion? Humility? Yep. More please, I and all those I interact with need more of these from my side of the table!!

Kindness, gentleness, patience? I am surely not overloaded in these and again, I and all I influence need more of these in our relationships. Note also that Paul (writer of the letter to the Christians at Colossae quoted here) mentions these three things as part of the nine “fruits” God the Holy Spirit grows in each Christian’s life (in his letter to the Galatians, chapter 5). Fruit takes time and the right nutrients to grow, but such spiritual fruit is an indication of spiritual depth -far beyond mere knowledge or information.

In fact it’s really a reflection of God’s Own character/nature… springing up within us. Amazing stuff, ‘eh?

Here’s what I’m learning to do more of: in all my relationships, in difficult moments between myself and my wife, family, church, people on the street… thinking about elections and voting, posting on the Web in social media, or those I’m angry at, afraid of, “enemies”… do I think, speak and act out of THESE? God help me.

He’s my only hope of this rather essential “five way switch”.

Lastly, what sort of reflection of Jesus’ love am I if these aren’t evident?

Perhaps worth thinking, praying, as needed repenting about?

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

Misc. Update, New CBGs

DeuceHere is the new doubleneck cbg (cigarbox guitar) I’m working on. A few more touches and she’ll be on tour with me. She’s named “Deuce”. Two 3 string necks tuned to E and A. 25 inches tip-to-tip, appx. 20 3/4 inch scale bridge to nut on both necks. Pickup installation coming:) Even has real tuners (!) so I feel like I’m slumming on this one…DeuceBodyDeuceNecks

The past weekend in the Minnesota cbg workshop I took a truly junk neck and box that I knew nobody would want and did a sort of “proof of concept” 10 minute build of a diddley bow (one stringer slide guitar), stuck a (cheater… I know…) Dean Markley Transducer (piezo) pickup on it and played it at the show where we’d done 2 days of building.UglyDucklingUD2UD3 Never fails, people get wide-eyed, smile and wonder at the simplicity and cheapo-but-coolness. There’s a little Christmas every time. My “Ugly Duckling” diddley.

I’m close to finishing a cbg with onboard amp built for touring as well. Mic it up, crank and bluuuueeesssss comes out.

Having a meeting re. final details for new solo blues release… these things take time!

Also working on the many kind requests for shows, lots booked and quite a bit more to process details for. As always, I will post along and along on fresh music and dates.

I have a number of pickups to create and also must decide exactly which cbg’s to take on the May-June tour with us. Looking forward to seeing so many old and a number of new friends! And there is a webcast live show in the works being planned for one of our PA stops πŸ™‚ Again, we’ll pub that info. when it’s all set.

In a day or two I’ll post a fresh blog on the life actual maintained accountability friends have blessed me with.

Looking forward to Beloit, WI tomorrow night!

Time to heat up the soldering gun for some piezo pickups…

As always, thanks for stopping by, -Glenn

Intl’ Falls CigarBox (Plus) Report

Wow, another sweet weekend of two workshops, a show and two services. Well we sure weren’t just sittin’ around πŸ™‚

Let me first say if you don’t already know, I grew up fishing and hunting and would do more but for lack of time. But I love to get out during the seasons whenever I can!

You will see some expired animals in this blog so if that’s an issue, stop reading/looking now! Fair warning.

I must say rolling through my state of birth (Wisconsin) was sweet too. We saw 3 eagles, lots of other wildlife and of course it continued in Minnesota.

International Falls happens to be in the poorest county in MN so simple cigarbox gits are a great way for peeps to learn, build, make music and just have fun in what can be difficult circumstances. The paper mills have cut back. Hunting and fishing are part of a living for many, and so the annual Sportsman’s Expo at the Ev. Covenant Church brought a LOT of people together as it does each year.WhitetailBucksMuzzleLoadingPeriodVendor

Pastor Darren is a friend and as I’d already done one of these workshops with him a couple years back, he decided it might be fun to bring something fresh to the Expo along with the many vendors, lectures and contests over the weekend.GitBuildNice3StringerTheCrowd

As you can see, there was a lot going on!NorthernLightsPrizePhoto

Over the two workshops and with great and needed help from a few other folks, something like 35 guitars were built and a lot of smiles on the weekend.TinyCoolBlackAndGoldGit

I performed about 4 tunes over 3 short “this is what they sound like” previews on the stage of the main room as well as doing the Sat. night concert. Nice responses in every case.

Wendi was so sweetMyQueen though a bit sick off and on during our trip, doing fine now and we’re now readying for this weekend’s visit to Beloit, WI at Josiah’s Place where I’ll again bring out some cigarbox and found-object gits for the gig. You can see my earlier post for info. on that.

Oh- just today got an invite to a museum to potentially do a cbg building workshop in the autumn during a history of guitar event. If we can make it happen I’ll publicize it.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

To Intl’ Falls, MN

Saw several flocks of turkey in fields last night, quite a few deer as well. Ol’ Wisconsin is as I knew it would be up nort’ πŸ™‚

Some rain, some sun, today blowing snow off and on along the route.

All say our Midwest (and more of the U.S.) weather is pretty odd… but hey, up on two legs:) God is GOOD!

Today we continue from Rice Lake all the way to the border of Canada, another cigarbox git building time today and show tomorrow, 2 services Sun. a.m..

So happy and thankful for my Wendi being with me. What an amazing trooper. And on her birthday as well.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn