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Everything posted by dhanners623

  1. EXCELLENT cover of a fine tune. Your voice and playing bring out the pathos of the lyrics. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Thanks. Yeah, I was reading the lyrics. Still learning the song, but I need to edit it first. I want to cut two verses so it is VCVCVVC. I've got the first verse down to four lines, but I'm having difficulty getting the second verse down to that; there's a lot of information that has to be packed in. My desire to edit it down is that it needs to be a song, not a history lesson. The current version:
  3. Whipped out the J-35 and came up with a new one. If you're of a certain age, you probably remember the iconic Boris Yaro (LATimes) photo of a mortally wounded Bobby Kennedy, splayed on the floor in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel, with a busboy cradling his head. The busboy has a look of shock and disbelief on his face. The busboy was Juan Romero, 17. Born in Mexico, his family moved to the U.S. when he was 10. By day, he went to high school and at night, he worked at the Ambassador Hotel. He'd met Kennedy the day before, delivering food to his room. He later recalled that while most guests took busboys for granted and rarely engaged them, Kennedy looked at him and spoke to him as though he mattered. As though he was actually human. The next night, after Kennedy ended his victory speech after winning the California and South Dakota primaries, he was being escorted through the kitchen and saw Romero and stopped to shake his hand. That's when he was shot. Romero would later say he carried around guilt for many years, thinking if Kennedy hadn't stopped to shake his hand, maybe the gunman would've missed. He eventually got over it, but it took years. Romero left California, got married and raised a family. He worked various blue-collar jobs. Then he moved back to California. He died in 2018. This is the second of two versions of this song. The other is strummed and perhaps more rhythmic. But I decided to slow it down a bit and play it fingerstyle, The J-35 really lends itself to this arrangement, I think.
  4. I emailed the repair guy here in Nicosia and he says he's game, so I ordered the stencil. Depending on how fast the USPS is these days, I'll let you know how it goes. (I say that because this summer I ordered some strings from JustStrings and the USPS held them in New York for a full month before shipping them out. Normally, I love the USPS, but that DeJoy guy, jeez.) Ordinarily, I wouldn't trust the guitar to just anyone. But this spring I had him work on my Farida OT-22, re-locating the tuner holes to accept a set of Golden Age Restoration tuners. As fond as I am of the OT-22, for whatever reason, Farida drills the tuner holes fairly far in from the side of the headstock. Farida uses a tuner with extra long stems for the tuner buttons, so you can't just drop in a set of tuners if you want to upgrade them, which I did. The guy filled the existing holes, drilled new ones, resprayed the faceplate (not touching the Farida logo) and sprayed on a lacquer and I swear you can't tell where the work was done. And believe me, I've looked.
  5. As I recall -- and someone correct me if I am misinformed -- when Gibson first reissued the J-35, they made some for Chicago Music Exchange that just had the stenciled white script logo and no banner.
  6. It is a top-drawer shop and pros from Leo Kottke to Jeff Tweedy and lots inbetween have their guitars worked on there. (I've been there when some of Tweedy's guitars have arrived from Chicago....) They've worked on every guitar I've owned since 1994, and they've always been great to me. One of their people even built me a fantastic dread out of a StewMac kit. I'm thinking their remark about ethics may have stemmed from the fact the guitar was undamaged. Refinishing/restoring a damaged peghead is a no-brainer. Or maybe they didn't want their name attached to altering a guitar still under warranty at that point. Or maybe they just didn't feel like doing the work. Either way, I can't be too hard on them. The thing I keep coming back to is, "It's my guitar." I trust the local guy here in Nicosia to do agreat job if it comes to that.
  7. Love my '16 J-35 but one thing about it has always bugged me. When Gibson re-issued the J-35s, it gave them banner pegheads and the Gibson script logo in gold. A banner peghead looks cool, but it isn't "accurate" for a J-35. The original J-35s just had the script logo stenciled in white. I once asked my favorite repair shop in the Twin Cities about refinishing the peghead and they said it wasn't work they would do because it would be "unethical." Feeling dumb for asking, I left it at that. But sitting here in Cyprus, I'm getting bored and I'm again wondering -- Why not do it? (I wouldn't do it personally. I have a shop about a 5-minute walk away where the luthier/repairman does great repair work and is a whiz with refinishing. And you can buy period-correct Gibson script logo stencils on eBay.) Part of me says, "The guitar is mine, I'm keeping it and I'm not worried about resale value. I could paint it chartreuse if I wanted." The other part of me says, "If a trusted and experienced repair person says it is unethical to do to an undamaged peghead, maybe there is something to it." I'd not be representing the guitar as something it isn't. It is a Gibson J-35 and the serial number would clearly show it was built in 2016. The work would have zero impact on its sound. The only difference is it would look more period-correct. Any thoughts on why it might be unethical or why it is a bad idea?
  8. I wish. I think either would be out of my price range at the moment....
  9. Don't know if you guys follow Steve Earle's "Guitar Town" series on YouTube in which he discusses guitars in his (huge) collection, but this week he talks about the history of his 1939 Gibson Roy Smeck Radio Grande. He also plays a tune:
  10. Sounds ok on my iPhone. It is quite an improvement over your original of several weeks ago! Good job. My only comments involve two small aspects of the lyrics and delivery of the first two lines of the chorus: — I feel there should be a bit of a pause after “Some dreams grow wings and fly.” Give us a couple of beats to breathe that line in, to picture it in our minds. — I still am not a fan of the word “whither” in the next line. If the dream crashes, it won’t whither. It’ll die on impact. Things that starve whither. Things that don’t get proper nutrients whither. If it crashes, it makes a hole in the ground.
  11. I’m late to the party but GREAT job! Your slice-of-life writing is a real strength. Proud of you!
  12. Will do. My current plan is to have it available on my website and/or BandCamp. It'll be six or seven songs and they'll be free. I like money, but I gave up the profit motive when it comes to music a long time ago....
  13. Both have wide, open spaces. Particularly in the Texas Panhandle. The town is named after the Canadian River, which itself has nothing to do with Canada. There is some dispute over how the river got its name. As an update, I went in the studio Wednesday and recorded the tune for my upcoming EP. Changed the key so I sing it a bit better, and changed a couple of lines. Happy with how it came out.
  14. Whatever the year, COOL guitar. Those Grovers hurt my sensibilities, though....
  15. It's always cool to have a unique guitar. There are enough cookie-cutter axes out there.
  16. Thanks for the kind words. Seems a lot of songs like this I'm talking instead of singing. I'm not much of a melodic songwriter, but I may have fallen into a routine that works. I'm from East Central Illinois but lived in Texas for nearly two decades. I learned to throw in that accent out of self-defense. And yeah, I'd love to hear more songs from folks....
  17. I've started work on an EP, although it may grow into something longer. It is titled, "Murder Ballads of the Texas Panhandle" and is an assortment of originals. Some are true stories and some are not. "Canadian, Texas" is one of the true ones. Tried it on the J-35 and while it sounded good, the Farida OT-22 brought out more of the clipped sound I was looking for.
  18. Does the rattle happen when you shake the guitar? My Farida OT-22 had a rattle after I had a strapjack installed for a Baggs M1. Took the strings off and reached in there and, sure enough, the large bullet-shaped gizmo meant to cover all the soldered pieces was loose. Screwed it down tight and no more rattle. I'm thinking the guy who did the work just couldn't get his arm in there far enough to get a good grip on it and turn it.
  19. The two major finishes used on guitars are nitrocellulose and polyurethane. Nitro allows the wood to vibrate more freely. Poly is easier to apply and dries faster, so it is popular with those who mass-produce guitars. But poly is also a tone killer.
  20. Three things to NEVER leave attached to a guitar with a nitro finish: -- a strap -- a capo -- a clip-on tuner
  21. That looks useful, but the guy in the video lost me when he leaned the guitar against a round stool, then turned the guitar upside down and rested the top of the headstock on the floor (or maybe his foot?) while he put on the device. Both are good examples of what NOT to do....
  22. I'm surprised (then again, not) by the number of companies I email who never reply. The coronavirus has just made things worse.
  23. Whatever you use, go with a microfiber cloth. When getting new glasses a couple of months ago, I asked the optometrist what was best for cleaning glasses and he said normal dishwashing soap was best, but to always use a microfiber cloth. He said paper towels and even t-shirts have microscopic wood fibers in them, which can cause scratches. As he was saying that, it struck me that if the cloth can scratch glasses, it'll probably scratch a nitro finish on a guitar.
  24. Three years ago, I had the Tusq saddle on my ‘16 J-35 replaced with a Bob Colossi bone one. The first thing we discovered was that the Tusq saddle was too thin so it was leaning in the slot under string pressure; the bottom wasn’t making proper contact with the bottom of the slot. A properly fitting bone saddle improved things right away. Then in the summer of ‘19, I had the Baggs Element system removed, so now the saddle was in direct contact with the slot. That was yet another improvement.
  25. I just take out my Xacto knife and carefully enlarge the hole, taking off only a small bit of leather at a time. I test fit and keep cutting and test-fitting until I've got a good fit. Once I do, I wrap a bit of sandpaper around a pen barrel and sand the hole.
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