A slow rainy weekend keeps me off the lake but I get in the shop for a couple of new cigar box guitars. These home made guitars continue to trickle out to the public as I have time. Someone asked me last night if I was playing music all across the "country." They were familiar with my stint is a country music band a couple of years ago. I must remind all that no matter how international all this seems I do still have a day job. A young man called me up and said "I want a cowboy guitar." This is what I came up with.
The tail piece is an old spur I had laying around. Somewhere there's another spur and if I find it I can make another guitar like this.
A little cow head trinket and a piece of left over wash board from other projects. Gives it a rural look but actually with a little practice this instrument could provide a little bit of percussion sound. Remember there are no rules with cigar box guitars. Play it your own way.
It's electric and the acoustic sound is good.
Here's a more conventional guitar made from a San Lotano box. I tried to translate San Lotano to English because I thought it would give some inside and a Spanish vibe to this instrument. I guess it does because San Lotano translated means San Lotano.
It's electric but plays well as an acoustic.
The San Lotano guitar is hanging in the local music store Sound Techs on South First. It was yesterday but I had a call about a guitar and I refer the caller to the instruments I had hanging in the music store. It may be gone.
The Museum of East Texas also has my guitars for sale. There is an art bass guitar down there and a one string fruit cake tin that plays real nice for those of you into the brutally primitive low fi thing.
A few guitars have sold lately as people shop for Christmas gifts. I have about three guitars that I have made over the past year hanging around the house plus the one string Red Man tin.
I'm on a strange things in the woods kick. The place we hunt is one of those old camping areas from long ago. It was a custom in East Texas that when the crops were all harvested everyone would take off for the river when the would cool off with camping, swimming and fishing as a kind of vacation from the hard farm work. Without the modern conveniences for processing and storing frozen fish everyone would instead use this woods outing to catch and eat as much fresh fish as they could. I have only fished a little in this slough and caught a few catfish but I am sure it's loaded with fish. Nice little rocky riffle at one of the most narrow places. Wade-able with hip boots. I would not wade other wider places without chest waders and then you might find an occasional deep spot. Might not be able to wade at all if it rains much.
Note some kind of ore rock on the bar in this photo. Also spotted these rocks in the woods and they seem to be the same material, just bigger. There are two sets of two each about 25 yards apart.
Looking back the other way. They are situated in a little draw that probably fills with water. Natural or human? could have been part of an old bridge or dock I suppose if they are not natural but the ore on the creek bank indicates from the area. Wish I had paid more attention to those geology major room mates I had in college.
Saw at least a half a dozen ground scrapes like this one that indicate buck deer marking their territory.
Also several tree scrapes.
Mary and a snake skin. Lucky in winter snakes are not active. I would guess a walk through here in spring without getting snake bit would be a fine accomplishment.
Strange fruit. That's a term that's been around. An old college room mate might have looked in an old nasty fridge in an old filthy trailer we lived in and said something like "What strange fruit is this?" I did not have an answer that day and I still do not have an answer for things I don't know about. The past week I spend quite a bit of time in the great outdoors enjoying the fall season and I noted some things in the woods that should not be there. People that litter are bad people. I think of littering like I think of smoking. I seriously doubt that you could find anyone that does not know smoking will kill you. I seriously doubt that there is anyone who does not know littering or dumping is bad. I noted this item on a walk down a country road a couple of miles from my house. There was also the box the new one came in as well as a paper cup from an upscale fast food restaurant about 10 miles away. The pictures of those were not as artistic as I think this one is.
If we are to talk about bad people, not littering the woods, old trailers and times gone past I guess we need to talk about the song Strange Fruit. After I left that nasty fridge and filthy trailer of my college days and landed a good solid blue collar job paying long green I began some serious record collecting. Maybe 35 years ago I purchased a double album of jazz singer Billie Holiday's greatest hits. It contained a song written in 1937 by Abel Meeropol called Strange Fruit. It's Meeropol's protest to the photo of the lynching of two black men in Indiana in 1930. A little internet research tells us that between 1885 and 1942 there were 468 lynchings that left strange fruit hanging in the trees of the state of Texas. I'm sure there were people that spoke against this just like I speak against littering, smoking, what ever but it took a while to catch on.
Speaking of nasty fridges here is one I found laying in the woods of the Big Slough Wilderness area. It's not the one from the old trailer. It's about 2 miles down in the woods from the nearest parking This area was set aside as wilderness in 1984 and the few roads that allowed access to the place this was dumped were blocked that year. I'm guessing 70s vintage?
Another find not to far from the fridge. Again it had to have been dumped before 1984. I actually have an old hot water heater marked on my GPS as a way point but I think it is another one as the last time I used the way point one it was almost covered with pine straw.
Yeah, let's all go litter, lynch, whatever. I'm feeling that kind of thing is not going away. It's alive in the land tonight.
I think the past week fishing, playing music and socializing with friends says a lot about how thankful I am. I spent time with family, very old friends, playing music and a lot of fishing and hunting. I am not just thankful for these things but I am tankful for all the things in my life that have taken me down the path to where I am in a place to receive these blessings. There was some fishing with Darwin. It's an old friendship going on 4 decades now. Darwin recently told me when he first laid eyes on me it was at a party and I had on a funny hat. He said, "I bet that's an interesting person." I still get to wear funny hats to a party if I let my wife screen them first. Darwin is still hanging around so I guess I am still interesting. To all my other old friends I hope we get to have the time to renew our friendships as I am thankful and remember the past as fondly as Darwin does.
Thankful for music and for Cathy as a collaborator in creativity. We played a lot of music this weekend.. There was downtown music, a Quinceanera and the usual Sunday church.
We played the music for Dianna's
Quinceanera. She is a choir member and plays mandolin and flute. Her sister Marlena plays guitar. Good kids and the heirs apparent to keeping the bilingual choir in operation at St. Patrick's when me and Cathy get old and lose our chops.
Thanks for brother in law Matt. We had a great time fishing with you this weekend.
Thanks for time to get to know all my friends better.
Thanks for the catfish that bite.
What a life it is we have. My prayer for today is that all in the world have what I have been blessed with.
I don't know where you were Sunday night, maybe skinning catfish or something but I was the Old Souls Super Secret Party with special guest the Howlin' Brothers. You may remember them. They have played the Standpipe Coffeehouse at least three times, they have a big time record producer, they have recorded at Sun Studios and they get written about on this blog whenever they are in town. With music this good, the food has to be good. Tom and Mike of Old Souls Food Truck did the meal. It was ham, ribs, pulled pork with grits and greens on the side. Great stuff. The Bros are a three piece band, old time kind of music with a few twists.
This guy does tap dancing on the platform. I guess you would call it an Appalachian style or maybe even buck dancing.
A man after my own heart. Slide banjo with just a little wah pedal. I talked to him afterward and he said he added effects "not just to be doing it." Right on man, right on.
Good thing about the Bros is that you get to talk to them and they are really nice people who go out of their way to play for good fans in Lufkin. Now you may prefer Miley Cyrus or even Donald Trump but I have not met them to know if they are nice people or if they would go out of their way for a Super Secret Party here in Lufkin.