Saturday, October 31, 2015

Shout Out to Halloween Birthdays...

Seems like I know a lot of people with Halloween birthdays. It is an important day to us. It's the day It's also the day I asked Cathy to marry me. And if you are a regular blog reader you know how that story is turning out. 

Fist off our daughter Rose and her husband Juan were both born this day. Here's a photo from the family camping trip. Juan looks a little serious but the fish were biting this day. 

Here's Juan at work. Not a Halloween costume. That's the Rio Grande in the background. I think it's taken on our side. I showed some one this photo and they said "he's fat" but he's not. That's the bulkiness of a bullet proof vest. 

Other shout outs is my friend Jan, Cathy's cousin Tommy, Deacon Gary, Cathy's brother John and of course if you remember my Granny Wallace was born on Halloween. 

Trick or treat! 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Playing Out and Selling Cigar Box Guitars...

You may have seen this photo making the rounds on facebook. Cathy and I played out at Old Souls Food Truck one evening last weekend and it was a good gig. 
They liked us and indications are that we will do it again. Also calls are in trying to get dates for the downtown buskers weekend which is an ongoing project every third Saturday where folks do music, juggling and so on downtown street corners. If that goes through look for me and Cathy in November and me and Mary doing drum and tuba Christmas in December. We will let you know. 

The cigar boxes continue to sell well. If you called me wanting one for Christmas. I got you covered. If you haven't called me I may not have you covered. 

I got a report on cigar box build #10 this weekend. Built from a 1920s tin cigar box in April 2013 I sold it to Marc of the Sawmill Vagrants band. Marc has since moved away but other folks held on the the guitar and it is in use and they like it. Glad it found a good home. 

No for the story of a guitar without a home.  It's build #22 from January 2014.. It's has a square neck so that means I build it before I owned a router. It's a thin box that is not really very loud acoustically but-has a great electric sound that I have used for some video demos. I have carried this guitar to New Orleans and played it, I have made the demos, at the recent craft fair kids sat in my booth and sawed it with great abandon and twice lately when I have had patients who played instruments I took it too work and let them play it. It has not required tuning for at least the last month. Stays in tune and takes punishment well. It's a white box that has a couple of smudges on top from all this use. It's a used guitar. 

Next two photos are how it originally looked. Neck is not true through the box but my had falls easy to the notes. It's made to be played with a slide. 

Here is how it looks today. Not sure if the smudges really show up. 

Now we will see who reads and who looks at the photos. This guitar on sale for $40. First to send an email to gets it at that price. Any shipping is on you. 


Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Bet You Missed the Sabine River Brass Band...

Last night I went to the first Annual Brass Band Barbecue. The food was good and music was great. Turnout was a bit light so that's the reason for his blog post. 

Last night, besides the Sabine River Brass Band covering New Orleans Standards I heard maybe one song I knew by a major country music legend type dude. It kind of morphed into something else so I don't know if that counts but the rest were new to me, maybe originals I really don't know but if you were hanging out some where with live music last night and somebody played the pretty much the same set list as the guy that played there last week well, I guess me and you like to hang out different places. 

Here's the Sabine River Brass Band. If you are getting married or planning a N. O. Style jazz funeral I recommend these guys for the gig. 

This is a band called Noise Crater. What's not to like here? Spooky reverby guitar, a tiny girl dancing swaying and stomping on uke, harmonica and belly dancer ankle bells and a drummer who wins best bass drum head. Unique sounding music born in some isolated rehearsal shed.  

This is County Willie. He's a local songwriting dude of some fame. 

Lots of stuff by him on youtube but you you might want to check out the trailer for the movie Rainbows End. In addition to Willie it stars The Legendary Stardust Cowboy and the late local baton twirling hot pants wearing guy Audrey Dean Leighton..

Other bands billed to play were Chris Edwards and the Tamale Pirates and 40 Watt Pine Box. Sorry I missed your sets but I'm getting your name out there so folks will know you exist. 

There was almost too much to see music wise in the East Texas area this weekend and there is still good stuff upcoming. Today's Lufkin paper has an article on April and Loyd, two people who put on the Old Mill Festival in Kennard. We met them this weekend when Cathy and I shared a stage with members of The Saw Mill Vagrants outside the Old Souls Food Truck. Their FESTIVAL is November 6-7.

Thanks to the Sabine River Brass Band for putting this event on. Lots of musical vision out there and good people working to bring it to you. 

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Let's Give Away a Big Screen...

I remember one time in maybe the early 80s I had a good friend who purchased a large wood cabinet Curtis Mathes color TV. My friend was doing well, had some money to spend and this brand of TV was advertised as the most expensive TV set in America and "darn well worth it." Curtis Mathes made TVs in Athens, Texas and in the 1940s had developed the radio as a centerpiece of the American living room. No reason this idea should not work for TV. 

Thanks to info from Wikipedia we know old Curtis developed a modular electronic component design. His service men carried all 10 electronic parts on the truck. A service call was designed to last 20 minutes and cost $20. In shop service was free. A great idea but things went downhill. 

The second chairman of the company, George Curtis Mathes was killed in 1983 in the Air Canada Flight 797 fire, The Canadian fold singer Stan Rogers, on his way back from the Kerville Folk Festival also died. A great singer was lost and the TV company began to decline. 

All this brings us to what I do. I take photos of junk big screen TVs that are abandoned on the side of the road and I raffle them off to raise money to keep this blog in operation. I don't mind bragging that I have raised millions doing this so it's not really all that necessary that I do it anymore but looking back through the blog I note that the last big screen give away was in 2009. I know some of you have missed the excitement so here is a couple for you. 
I don't know if Curtis was doing a good thing making the TV the centerpiece of the American living room but for a company that made wood cabinets starting in to 20s and furniture in the 40s and stood behind a repairable product I don't think the modern big screen is what he had in mind. All I can go by is what I see in the stores. Walls of plastic at what ever price point you can afford. 

I know you like it so here it is. Send in your raffle tickets. I'll be glad to come over, I'll bring the tuba and I'll install these in your yard. 

Click the big screen tag to see what fun we have had in the past. 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Rodrigo Y Gabriela...

Somebody asked me this week if I like flamenco music. That's all it takes to get a blog post going because at Riot Fest back in September (it seems like ages ago, time is flying) we saw the nuevo  flamenco duo Rodrigo Y Grabriela. They are from Mexico and  famous for combining rock and metal tunes with the flamenco style. 

                    According to wiki they were once a couple but now only                                     have a musical partnership. 

a little bit of beer bottle slide action. 

A little flamenco rock. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two Man (or Woman) Bands are Cool...

Still catching up on photos of Riot Fest adventures and I thought I would document some of the bands we saw that just had two people in them. Now I know you classic rock dudes think the power trio is so cool and I think it is also but that old conventional wisdom that you gotta have bass, guitar and drums to be taken seriously is a bit out the window these days. I have been holding up pretty well in a cigar box guitar and banjo duo lately but let's get down in the mosh pit with some screaming power chords. 

I don't know if I can recall all the names of these bands but most were local to the Chicago area with a few of them being Canadians from across the lake. 

This is a band I can't remeber the name. A, girl on a Rickenbacker guitar and a guy on drums.  Don't forget the good hair. It was the Byrds that said "if your hair swing right and your pants too tight you gonna be alright..." 

Drummer steals the show. They will do that to ya. 

This band was called Indian Handcrafts. Canadians. Fender guitars, screaming, panting drummers, lots of E, G and A chords what more is there? 

This is Skating Polly. I guess they are old enough to get their pictures on this blog. Two girls, boy scouts, switching instruments, occasionally a bit out of tune and I liked them better than most bands I saw. 

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If I Did Not Have to Work Today...

It would be a good hammock day. A Hammock day seems to be a contagious activity lately.
Having fun with her buddies in the hammock. 

Is it my turn yet? 

That's a "Let's take this thing for a spin" look if I ever saw one. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Replenish the Freezer...

After a minor fish fry, minor in the fact it was mostly just people related in some fashion, family so to speak the freeze was empty of catfish. Me, Cathy and cousin Beverly fixed that. We caught 37 cats in about four hours fishing time. 

How many photos do I have like this? Cathy, sitting in that boat seat taking a fish off the hook. I have a bunch. 

The bait we use is called a punch bait. Call that because you take a stick and punch a hook down into this ugly stinking mess and when you pull it out by the attached fishing line there is a glob of bait ready to be cast out. No matter who you take fishing there will be one person on every trip who thinks that they get more bites by hand balling the ugly stinking mess onto their hook. 

These girls are busy. They are jerking in fish and subduing river monsters at boat side. They just aint got the time of day for anything else. 

Me and Beverly with a tub full.If you go through this whole blog you could figure out how much fish I have caught over the last 10 years. 


Friday, October 09, 2015

Do What You Do...

Here is another band from Chicago Riot Fest. They are called Foxtrott. This falls under that category of don't ever let them tell you your instrument is not cool. The band was a singer, a drummer and a french horn player. 

They will try to tell you that, that your instrument is not cool. They tried to tell me that. I'm a tuba, banjo, cowbell, cigarbox guitar player. They will say the headstock is not right on your guitar and that you have the wrong amp that you don't have the right number of strings on your instrument. But really it's not them telling you that. It's their phone, their TV, their dead civilization that tells them what is so. 

Try telling this girl her horn is not cool and should not be on stage at a big rock fest.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

The D...

That's as in Tenacious D, a band we saw at Riot Fest with Jack Black of School of Rock movie fame among others and his side kick Kyle Glass. It's what you call you call "mock rock" and basically makes fun of rock stars and wanna be rock stars sitting in the room headbanging to Led Zeppelin. They put on a good show with a tight band backing them up. This is a comedy act so don't take them too serious. There are some cuss words used. 

We were very close and got some good photos. Bad thing about being so close is there were a lot of guys who looked just like Jack crying out his name and pushing a shoving to get where they might be able to touch the hem of his garment. They are taking it way too serious including knowing all the lyrics to the songs and singing along. 

All kidding aside they are very talented guys. Kyle plays multiple recorders. 

It's a big rock show. Plenty of smoke. 

Did I mention it was crowded at the front of the stage?  


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