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Topics I've Started

  1. "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
  2. Avatar photo issue....

    11 April 2017 - 09:43 PM

    I'm wanting to change my avatar photo. I've uploaded the new one, its the right size, I hit "save changes" and the new photo shows up on the avatar photo page, but my avatar when I post in a thread (like here) or at the top right of the screen is still the old photo. What step am I leaving out?
  3. Avatar photo issue....

    11 April 2017 - 09:42 PM

    I'm wanting to change my avatar photo. I've uploaded the new one, its the right size, I hit "save changes" and the new photo shows up on the avatar photo page, but my avatar when I post in a thread (like here) or at the top right of the screen is still the old photo. What step am I leaving out?
  4. New tune....

    01 April 2017 - 11:27 PM

    To ring in April, here's a new tune, "Ghosts of This Town." One of those songs that only a J-35 can come up with....

    That said, if I used this song at Songwriting U, they would no doubt flunk me because the last two lines of the last verse have FOUR p-words in them. That's a lot of spitting on the microphone, but the words fit so I said to hell with it and stuck them in.

    And here are the lyrics:

    Ghosts of This Town
    © 2017 by David Hanners

    Landscape is bleak, prairie wind leaves you raw
    Winter makes it worse, snow on stubble straw
    They say we'll make it through, just got to buckle down
    But there's only full employment for the ghosts of this town

    Ghosts of this town, beholden and betrayed
    They'll always find some way to keep us afraid
    All we know will one day come unwound
    On that day we'll bury it with the ghosts of this town

    Yeah, I get by just like you said I will
    But the future stares me down like Abe on a five-dollar bill
    Time heals all wounds I have always found
    Except the cuts and bruises from the ghosts of this town


    I'm not what I used to be, for better or worse
    Can't count my blessings on account of this curse
    You don't need to tell me I let you down
    I'm reminded every day by the ghosts of this town

    Raised her glass as if to make a toast
    Whiskey betrays you when you need it most
    She said, "I wanna go where life's a verb, not a noun
    Can no longer do the bidding of the ghosts of this town"

    I couldn't break the news, that die's already cast
    Can't change the future like you won't change the past
    As I paused to come up with something more profound
    She proved my point by leaving with the ghosts of this town

  5. New tune (but, alas, not on my Gibbs....)

    22 March 2017 - 04:26 AM

    I hope this works. For some reason, when I go to Youtube online and search for this video, nothing comes up. So I'm hoping this URL does the trick.

    Anyway, it is "The Oxyana Blues," a song about Oceana, a small town in southwestern West Virginia that is the epicenter of that state's epidemic of opioid abuse. In fact, the town has been nicknamed "Oxyana" (and there's even a documentary by that name) and it's all a pretty sad story. The town sits in the Logan Coalfield, so it also has the issue of coal miners being out of work.

    Wrote the song on the J-35 but for the video, I'm using my Republic 805, a brass-bodied single-cone 12-fret resophonic guitar from Republic Guitars out of Austin, TX. Republic is one of a handful of outfits having resos built in China, then once they get to the U.S., the guitars are cleaned up, finished and set up (I've been told they can be pretty rough when they hit these shores) and they can turn out to be pretty decent guitars for the money.

    Here are the lyrics. For some reason, each of the four verses has 36 words, but the chorus has 33. Not that I'm anal about word counts or anything....

    The Oxyana Blues
    © 2017 by David Hanners

    Found him by a silver maple behind the motel
    How long he'd been there no one could not really tell
    Cops asked around to find what they already knew
    Just another victim of the Oxyana blues

    The Logan's been around since the dawn of time
    Digging coal's hard labor even in your prime
    The docs give you pills, wash 'em down with booze
    You're back to work tomorrow with the Oxyana blues

    Blues twist and bend like the Cook Parkway
    Two-lane blacktop will not take you away
    Roadside's filled with junkies and hookers paying dues
    Trying to hitch a ride on the Oxyana blues

    Some need the blues to work with their pain
    Some crave them 'cause each sad day's the same
    When you're too tired to think and just want to be amused
    Only prescription is the Oxyana blues

    Clinics hand 'em out, it's all cash and go
    Two-hundred bucks a week for 90 pills or so
    Two-hundred bucks and everything to lose
    But we feel like we're winning on the Oxyana 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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