In the song "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" the rainman gave Bob Dylan two cures. One was "Texas Medicine" and the other was railroad gin. Like a fool Bob mixed them and we know how that ended up. The 39th guitar I have built has a Texas thing going on and it won't strangle up your mind. This is from a tin I found in a downtown Lufkin Antique store. It's pretty light weight metal so it was hard to work it without a small dent or two.
The back of this tin had a sticker on it that had been removed by a previous owner leaving a sticky spot. I tried a couple of things and settled on cutting a Texas license plate to fit. So far so good. My neighbor has not missed it. He will probably just think it fell off on the road somewhere.
Small finish imperfections no worse than on my 1976 Strat.
For those that are squinting a little closer at my reflection I do have on pants but no shirt and I think there are plenty of photos out of me with no shirt.
I got the Texas stuff pretty well centered and I don't think they will be able to run the number.
The neck was left from some project that was a failure. For some reason it was perfect for this tin.
It's electric. As is pretty typical of the tin guitars the acoustic sound is old time banjo and pluged in it's a roaring dirty blues monster.
People say all the time "I want one of those for my grandson." That tells me two things. One is that you love your family very much to give the gift of music. Two is that I play for mostly old people. We all got grandchildren. Even thought the dangerous rocking days may be gone there may be some sharp edges here so adults only and I can pretty much guarantee you won't hurt yourself any worse than I have hurt myself after all these years.
It's got the BB fret markers on the neck. You play it with a slide. I have not played it much, just built this morning but generally if you sit around and play one of these real hard and good the tuning will settle in. The piezo pickup might not do well at rock band volumes but for open mic jug band Americana Memphis Blues Again creativity it's very gigable.
You may have heard the Robert Earl Keen "Five Pound Bass." I remeber when I was a kid and fishing Sam Rayburn with my dad how catching a 5 pound bass was a pretty big deal. I remember camp-outs where when a big bass was caught we would run up to the old Hank's Creek Marina to us their to weigh a big fish. scales and show it off. Now a days I have a nice set of digital scales in the boat and I think the modern bass fisherman merely declares a 5 pound bass "good fish" and goes on in search of double digit numbers. Yesterday I did a personal best by catching a seven pound 3 ounce largemouth bass. I was by my self so it was hard to get a good picture of me and the bass.
Here he is. The thing that makes this so notable is that I caught him on 4 pound test line and a 1/32 ounce
H & H spinner. I was bream fishing. I guess this fish was bream fishing also. After taking the bait up a little creek channel he swam to deeper water, about 5 feet. I thought at first this might be a giant catfish because he stayed under like that. I kept steady pressure to tire the fish, there was one jump and I netted at the side of the boat. The four pound would have never lifted this fish in the boat. All this took under ten minutes.
This is a look down his throat. When I was a kid I was always trying to cure an old bass head by stretching it over a mayonnaise jar and salting it.with the idea it would dry in an open position kind of like shark jaws. I think my parents loved this experiment. My mother still occasionally mentions it. He's not swimming in my belly. I released this fish and whispered "grow big" in his ear.
The lure. That's a 1/32 ounce H & H spinner. I guess that old bass thought to have just a little snack. The H & H bait company is located in Baton Rouge. I used to joke that cajuns who made this lure scientifically designed it to fit exactly in a breams mouth. They make them in Honduras now instead of Baton Rouge so I guess Hondurans know the exact size of a breams mouth also.
These are photos I took of boats from the beach house deck while on vacation. Looking at boats wakes up something ancient in me. I think about the first man who may have been lounging by the seaside and saw something pass by on the water. I bet it made him hoot, made him holler. Bet it made him want a boat.
Sure we brought guitars including a cigar box guitar I made as a birthday gift for Suzi. It's made from one of her dad's old cigar boxes which I estimate to be of 1950s vintage. Funny story here. Suzi used the U.S. mail to send me two cigar boxes and a shirt as a birthday present. They were mailed in January, the month of my birthday and the package was post marked as such. I got the package in late March. Since Suzi's birthday is really in May and I delivered this guitar in July I am just as prompt as the mail. Here's Suzi and guitar. Look out Pine Knot! By the way I think Suzi turned 31 on her birthday or that is how long I have known her or something like that. I guess that makes her husband Charley (they spent all week at the beach with us) 39 because I want to say I made his acquaintance in 1976.
Matt sets the groove on maraca while my cigar box guitar celebrity endorser Bill Cooney cranks a tenor banjo. By the way if you note product placement we are now sponsored by Snark tuners which is a really great product and I stay in tune a lot better that if I was sponsored by Bud, Old Mil, or Milwaukee's Breast.
Cathy and her cousin Michael know a lot of the same songs. When Cathy was a teen she babysat Michael. Little did his parents know she was spinning Beatles, Houses of the Holy and Dr. Hook and the Medicine show records during this time ( maybe even the Eagles "On the Border" but they act like they don't remember that one) and what the hey looks like everything turned out ok. Hope all ya'll can say the same.
There was a band in New Orleans and the guys are still around that called themselves the Radiators. Said their music was fish head music. I guess they were trying to do the Jimmy Buffet parrot head thing but just be a little stinker. In this photo I think Warren is working on arrangements for a Radiators tribute band.
Here's a photo of the beach house we rented for vacation. It's call the Boat House and it's at Surfside beach.
It's very handy especially for the less mobile folks like Don Miguel who other wise could not have made the trip. It has ramps up, down from the porch and to the beach. Here's Miguel and daughter Selena.
One of the things that was great for me and there were many great things was that bench you see in the back ground behind Miguel and Selena. I think there was some kind of mystical link there that I could spiritually sense when I was on it.
I have met power spots that made me feel this way before. Usually some old rotted porch on a house way out in the country used for a stage where it seemed like I could play guitar really well and because of the isolation as loud and as long as I wanted or maybe a New Orleans street corner when the unexpected is always seen. Seems like these days I have managed to be able to raise my hands above my head and summon that lightening bolt spark where ever I am and the power spot thing has not been so important.
I took good advantage of my new found power spot at the beach house. About every other day on vacation I would roll up a beach towel for a pillow and stretch out for a nap on this bench in the soft warm Gulf breeze. And I would be laid out like the girl on the cooling floor in Blues man Son House's sad sad song "Death Letter." Just like that girl people would come up to me and peer right down in my face and say "Mudbelly you ok? You wanna go ina house to sleep?" you comfortable?" Yes it was a most comfortable place that fit me well. Unlike the girl in the song I was not waiting on judgment day. I was getting ready, resting, going on to the next thing soon.
The beach! That's been the cry for the last week as we hit the water with fishing rods, floats and sand toys to have a great time with family and friends. This is what the end of vacation looks like on a Sunday evening from the back seat of beach buggy we rented.
Usually I am recharged by vacation and I have on my mind new things and new purposes and a fresh enthusiasm for work and home that the time off gave me and I am ready to get back to the world. I feel different this time. I feel recharged but maybe it's is a change with my age as I look forward to spending more time like this with friends and family. I'll try to list who was with me and Cathy at the beach with us this week. Our kids, Morgan and wife Ali, Mary and husband Miguel, Rose and husband Juan and the grand kids, who stayed most of the week, Coraline and Warren, Cathy's brothers and sister Matt, John wife Mari, brother Jim and daughters Samantha and Chandler, sister Margaret and daughters Grayson and Addison, Cathy's parents Bill and Geneva, Don Miguel and wife Alejandra and daughters Crystal, Selena and Ashley, friends Suzi and Charlie who stayed all week, friends Lupe and Norma Aunt Shelia and Uncle Art and last but not least who stayed most of the week Cathy's Cousin Michael and kids Everret abd Stella. I think that's everyone. See all ya'll next year.