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  1. Dumb question re: Endpin jack

    18 May 2017 - 02:06 PM

    Played a gig tonight and as I was taking my strap off afterwards, I noticed the endpin jack collar that screws on was loose. It's happened before.

    So my question: Is there any reason why I shouldn't put a drop of Loctite or some other thread adhesive on it?
  2. Question re: Colosi bone saddles

    17 May 2017 - 12:40 AM

    So I'm making plans for our trip back to the U.S. this summer (St. Paul in particular) and I'll be taking my J-35 along. Aside from playing some gigs, one of the things I'm contemplating doing while back home is ordering a bone saddle from Bob Colosi and having it installed. Who here has done this, and was there much of an impact on the unplugged and plugged sound?

    I'd have it installed by the folks who have worked on my guitars for the past couple of decades, so I know it will be fitted and intonated correctly, but I'm wondering if the players here who have done it considered it a worthwhile upgrade.

  3. Lonnie's Tune

    08 May 2017 - 12:47 AM

    Lonnie Knight, a good friend of mine back in the Twin Cities -- and the best guitar player I've ever known personally -- died yesterday. Esophageal cancer. He gave it the good fight but we all know that deck is stacked. He died peacefully, at home, with family and friends and guitars around him. He was an icon in the Twin Cities music community, and one of those guys who could do it all -- write, sing, play, arrange. He was generous. Played on my last two albums and immediately raised the level of quality. He meant a lot to me, and meant a lot to others.

    I sat down and wrote this for him:

    Lonnie's Tune
    © 2017 by David Hanners

    Sting like barbed wire in the Iron Range wind
    Or smooth as silk on curves made for sin
    Some battles you lose even after you win
    Some battles you lose even after you win

    Like light 'round a black hole there is no escape
    But every note was true, not one was fake
    Wherever you're at I know you are safe
    Wherever that is, I know you are safe

    You're probably walking in Memphis, out of the storm
    Blowing out those stars one by one
    You deserved better but that's how it goes
    Now just sit back and watch that river flow

    Like a craftsman from the old Renaissance
    Art from your soul inspires and haunts
    Your light will guide us straight until dawn
    Your light, it will guide us straight home until dawn


    We'll meet again on some angel's wing
    Make bronze on rosewood of that old Goodall ring
    Last solo is yours, son, so make it sing
    The last solo is yours, make Paradise sing
    Last solo is yours, boy, make Paradise sing


    The first two lines refer to his playing. He could make a guitar scream. He could make it purr. Like all the great players, there was a hint of danger in his playing. He had sped and he had taste. Any guitar slinger can shred, but Lonnie never played 16 notes when four great ones would do. He always found the great notes. Thelonius Monk said, "There's wrong notes and there's **** that sounds bad." Lonnie never sounded bad. If he hit a "wrong" note -- and who are we to tell a genius he's hit a "wrong" note? -- he made it work. He made you think it was just a slightly different shade from the pallette he was working with. It sounded great. That's what geniuses do.

    The chorus is a nod to two songs Lonnie did that could send your soul flying or rip your heart out -- Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis," which Lonnie truly made his own, and, "Have a Drink With Me, Suzy," a song Lonnie wrote about lovers who had drifted apart sitting down for a drink. In it, he talks about how, at the end of the evening, they will "blow the stars out one by one." That line always got to me. If I wasn't feigning allergies to disguise the sniffles by the time he got to that line, I sure as hell was afterwards. Like all great artists, he had managed to create something that resonated, deeply, in me. Doc Watson did that. Bill Morrissey did that. And Lonnie Knight.

    RIP, brother.
  4. Don't send in a reso to do a J-35's job....

    24 April 2017 - 01:18 AM

    A couple of weeks ago I posted a video of a new song, "The Eviction Notice Blues," but something about the song bugged me. Actually, several things about it bugged me, but the main thing was the song was trying to say and do too much.

    I was sitting on the beach in Sri Lanka last week and started re-thinking the song. We were there for a week and I took my Republic reso with me (it is indestructible so good for traveling) but the song just wasn't coming. The minute we got home, I pulled the J-35 out and the new version came out, like a dam being burst. Or like diarrhea. Either way, there was a lot of clean-up and editing involved afterwards. This is a song meant for a Gibson slope dread, and I was silly to think it wasn't.

    I started over, with only the title, and wrote from a perspective I understand (up to a point) but don't agree with. The protagonist is a guy in a poor and predominately white neighborhood in Milwaukee. He's afraid if he falls any further down the ladder, the only place he can afford to live is in a predominately black neighborhood. (The article that inspired the first version of the song said the biggest fear whites in the study had was that they'd have to live in a black neighborhood.) The guy thinks that because he doesn't wear a white sheet, he isn't racist, but he is. He'll be in debt forever and he doesn't have the skills or education to improve his lot in life. He thinks others have it easier than he does. Coming from the rural Midwest and having lived in the cities, I've known plenty of folks like him.

    And the new lyrics:
    The Eviction Notice Blues
    2017 by David Hanners

    This neighborhood thrived after the Second World War
    Now worn-out duplexes and corner stores
    Whites afraid they'll wind up in Metcalfe Park
    Places we don't go after dark

    Crazies in white sheets on TV
    That's not my wife and that's not me
    We're not racist, just don't wanna live around
    The blacks and foreigners taking over this town
    Blacks and foreigners taking over this town

    Wanted what our parents had, just more
    Then they busted our unions, shipped our jobs offshore
    'Tween the Greatest Generation and right now
    Working man lost a lot of ground somehow

    Still paying off the emergency room
    If you get sick, better be a tycoon
    Debt so deep there's no daylight
    But I'm past where it keeps me up at night
    Past the point it keeps me up at night

    Water pump's whining and it's gonna go
    Replaced the fan clutch couple weeks ago
    Can't take it in, not this week
    Paycheck barely covers rent and gasoline

    Sonny next door, maybe he can take a look
    Knows a Detroit motor like a teacher knows a book
    Mountain Dew mouth, jailhouse tattoos
    An ex-con running from the eviction notice blues
    We're all running from the eviction notice blues
    We're all just running from the eviction notice blues
  5. "The Eviction Notice Blues"

    13 April 2017 - 02:05 AM

    Came up with a new one, although in the video, I'm using my Republic reso, not my J-35. This is kind of a first draft of "The Eviction Notice Blues," and the song is still finding itself tempo and attitude-wise. I wrote the song after reading a review of "Evicted," a new book by sociologist Matthew Desmond. It is about the epidemic of evictions, particularly in the cities -- in this case, he studied eight people in Milwaukee. While people have always gotten evicted, the economy has quickened the pace, plus, landlords and others have discovered there's money to be made off evictions. And people can be evicted through no fault of their own. Desmond writes of a woman who was evicted because she called 911 after her boyfriend beat her up. Not only was she a victim of domestic abuse, but because she called the cops to report the crime, she became homeless.

    I borrowed a couple of Desmond's people and used a few other details from the review.

    Still trying to decide how the song needs to be performed. And no doubt there will be more rewriting. I'm not sure I give these characters enough humanity, and that's something I want to do.

    Here are the lyrics:

    The Eviction Notice Blues
    © 2017 by David Hanners

    Arleen's got a job but she'll never earn enough
    Dwayne is unemployed and sometimes drinks too much
    Arleen called the cops one night when she tired of Dwayne's abuse
    Next day the landlord handed her the eviction notice blues

    There's a plague in the cities, you know what I'm talking about
    Poor black men get locked up, poor black women get locked out
    Trickle down never made it past Fifth Avenue
    Here, the sheriff's handing out eviction notice blues

    Paint's peeling, there's no heat, plumbing is Third World
    Shining City on the Hill looks a little blurred
    Streets are a time bomb we never will defuse
    Landlords set the timer on the eviction notice blues

    Streets of sagging duplexes, corner stores, faded signs
    'Though Heroin Susie's clean for weeks she still pays for her crime
    When you're always starting over you're always gonna lose
    Packs all she owns in Hefty bags with the eviction notice blues

    This trailer park was something back in 1964
    Now driveways filled with rusted cars of the young, the white, the poor
    They fear they'll wind up living where the black folks do
    But they can't outrun the landlord with the eviction notice blues
    They voted for a conman who gave 'em enemies to boo
    He's just another landlord handing out eviction notice blues



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  1. Photo

    Mik Neville 

    25 Dec 2016 - 20:36
    E-mail Thanks again might help me to make my mind up one way or the other
  2. Photo


    20 Dec 2016 - 14:08
    Mik-- It is a heck of a job. I didn't do it myself, but had a buddy who was in luthiery school at the time do it. Send me your email address at and I'll forward the email he sent me in which he described everything he did and how he did it. It's quite extensive. His work improved the sound.
  3. Photo

    Mik Neville 

    20 Dec 2016 - 13:38
    Looking at some old posts I read where you had the finish on your Texan sanded down. I'm thinking of doing this to a masterbilt did you do it yourself and how big a job was it or did you have it done for you. I can not see how thinning out the finish could not help the sound to improve. Anyhow thanks for any info in advance I enjoy reading your posts thanks Mick
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