In the beginning the Universe was created...This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move. Douglas Adams - The Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.
Well, what can I say... its been all a bit nuts really since we last spoke. COVID lockdowns, left thats not left versus right that not right, if your a middle of the road normally educated, vaguely educated person (apologise now for your white privilege) then your labelled as 'alt-right' or a 'Libtard'. Black lives matter protests, which I completely understand although Im not sure they are going about it the right way, cancel culture exploding in a way that is simply unbelievable! If you don't like what Im saying then 'off ya fuck' its my blog, you don't have to read it!
Everything seems to be about people being offended, free speech is becoming a thing of the past (worryingly so on both sides of the Atlantic) The presidents got covid, the debate was a shit show on all sides (Canada must feel like its a small flat above a meth lab right now!) Brexit is now becoming some kind of fucked up legal battle that nobody understands, scottish MPs speaking in the house and travelling home to Scotland after a positive covid test (she'll be fine, she's an MP!) and even our Prime Minister doesn't know the rules of engagement where covid is concerned, so how the hell can we... and the future... well 2020 has been a full on shit show so far so I guess all we can do is keep our fingers crossed!
So where does that leave us...? Fuck knows my dear reader, fuck knows. So I thought as I've been completely slack about writing this blog as Ive been ridiculously busy as The Boss has me decorating hallways and such, Ive has a couple of great custom orders come in and now Ive got too much on the bench to contemplate!
I built a lovely guitar for a customer in Little Rock, Arkansas (don't worry they weren't called Clinton) and after I shipped it I got the most amazing video of the unboxing... things like this are all too infrequent, its not that I dont get great reviews from my customers, I do... but this, this was a bit special!
It made my day, week and every time I watch it it makes me smile. So heres the guitar in full... Home Bound was an electro acoustic cigar box guitar with a traditionally made soundboard, floating and braced for maximum resonance, just like the Barn Swallow, it had a maple neck and ebony fingerboard with an awesome coil split ToneRider Birmingham pickup! I also added twin under bridge piezo for that open snarl on top of the warmth of the bucker... and to top it all off... the kid can really play!
So what else is new... well there is s shitload on the bench, there's a wonderful custom order I'm in progress with, carved body, heavily spalted sycamore drop top utilising the natural knots i the timber as sound holes, something which seems to go down well with those who have seen and or commented!!
Theres a lot of work on this one and some interesting aspects to it! The client wants the neck to replicate his Rivera acoustic (a stunningly expensive Spanish type) so the neck will be fairly wide and flat which is a change for a six string! So stay tuned for this one folks!
Ive got the Lightningcaster in progress on the bench, a bit of a departure for me this one, not because its six string but the finish will be a much lighter relic than I normally do, this will have a maple neck that I'll probably finish in a solid colour...
Its a big solid two piece vintage oak body, from the last of the 200 year old oak I managed to get from a local barn conversion that I sent a gazillion volts through then filled the lighting cavities with candied orange resin so this will be another fun one to finish! Its going to have hand wound hot pickups by my good friend at Underfluked, but we will get to him later in this post
While this is a departure dont fret, there are some more heavy relics coming... including The Thickline (unsure if I will keep that name!) which is a deep bodied Thinline Deluxe, 26mm deeper than a normal thinline with a HUGE sound chamber. This will have Bareknuckle pickups in it, a flame maple neck we will see what I use as the fretboard!! Ive gottokeep the anticipation somehow kids! But its going to be a HEAVY HEAVY relic!!!
as you can see!!!!
Last-'ish' and I say ash as Ive a couple of cigar box guitars to build as well but they are still in the drawing phase but I do have a nice slotted headstock walnut neck for one and a maple and spalted tamarind pinned headstock neck made for that pair. But I say 'ish' as Ive a relic Im playing with as a 'test' guitar for mockups, wiring options etc thats in relic candy apple red with a maple neck thats only just had its second turn in the spray shop.
I know Ive said Candy Apple Red but for those NOT in the know this is shoreline gold that's spayed under the translucent red that gives it the lovely glow that you expect from a candy apple red finish!
So as I said 'ish' what else is going on... well there is Swamp Thing, a lovely relic 3 string single cut that is designed to have bits fall off it as time goes on and possibly one of the last genuine Elmar flat pup pick ups our ever likely to see!
This is for sale on my reverb store so go check that one out on my Reverb store, click on the box below!
And finally Ive got to give a few shout outs... Ive met some great people through Instagram recently and there's a few makers and shops and musicians out there Ive got to mention.
Firstly, there's @MarcusDluxe, a top bloke who does reviews and is also one half of the YMAG podcast (also worth checking out) and has a great YouTube channel of demos and chat. But he also makes some AWESOME pedalboards. (and he lent me a lovely Gordon Smith Guitar)
If you want a flat board or a display board, if you want a funky colour or plain then Marcus is the man to see! If you tell him I sent you, he won't give you a discount and he may charge you more!
Next is @Underfluked, they have just got a new site up and again Dan is a great bloke (Im biased now Ive got some of his hand wound pickups to review!) but go check is site out for pedals and effects! He stocks some great gear!! Including his own pedals like The Little Treble Maker and The FUZR! Both of which are getting rave reviews!
Next up we have @Funny Little Boxes, another great site and supplier of some awesome pedals, never priced over £100, and one in particular The LittleBox, made in collaboration with @Bad Penny FX, who I have to say aesthetically are simply the best looking pedals currently available in the Universe!
Above is the LittleBox (I will be reviewing one later in the year) reviews have been awesome and I have to say from what Ive heard on YouTube reviews its capable of some awesome vintage fuzz and is all in all genuine tone machine!! Below are a selection of Andy's boutique pedals. Go check him out!
and finally we have @Bad Penny FX themselves... some of the coolest if not THE COOLEST LOOKING PEDALS ON THE PLANET! I cannot wait to review some, particularly as I will be reviewing them for use with cigar box guitars as well as 6 strings. Not withstanding Im looking forward to increasing my knowledge of pedals from scratch as the last time I owned a pedal was around 1993. I had a distortion and a delay that was around the same size as a small car! All I remember of pedals was distortion=good, the centaur was an unaffordable legend and a Super Fuzz Big Muff was not only a classic album by MudHoney but also a fuzz pedal! (Yes I'm over 50 but I still skateboard... do you?!) So Im seriously looking forward to an education...
Check out some of their designs below!
we have my new favourite King of Tone, The Swamp Thing himself...
the man from the north who plays like a born southerner...
(thats deep south y'all...not saaaf Lanadaan!) @DavidandtheDevil
I discovered this great dude on instagram and was just blown away by his slide playing, this mans has tone coming out of his scale fuckin' ass in shit tonnes! In fact he's the sort of guy you hear then think 'fuck it... Ill never play like that' and put the guitar down! Actually Ive got to be honest Ive not heard anybody that inspires me to play like Dave and his devil does every time I hear him so Dave i thank you from the bottom of my black
little heart for that!
He posts some awesome videos of some truly inspiring, foot tapping, deep dark blues...
In fact do yourself a favour before playing the short film below...
'turn the fucking volume up!!!'
No go trawl through his instagram because the Swamp Thing has got ya motherfuckaaaaaaaaaaaas!
Right you crazy people, this don't get guitars built as nice it is! So forgive me my ramblings,I am a man possessed after all... and Halloween is coming which for me is like fucking Christmas!!!
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
―Douglas Adams,The Restaurant at the End of the Universe