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Refurbished Gibson L-00

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Just realizing that I posted the before images of the Gibson L-00 but never got back to post the after pics.

I can’t say enough about the work that Elliot John-Conry and Dan Erlewine did. Its not just the way it looks but the tone and soul they brought back to life. True craftsmen.

 

 

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Accidental Recording

One of the things I love about the creative process is that it is so unpredictable. You can plan everything perfectly and end up with nothing. And you can plan nothing and achieve what eluded you throughout your previous efforts.

I went to Rob Norton’s house this evening to work on some songs for an upcoming recording session. While there, Rob wanted to test out a new microphone he just purchased. No production. No forethought. Just a simple mic test.

Rewind now to last week when I discovered a Townes Van Zandt song I had never heard. Robert Earl Keen recorded a version and it ended up on NPR’s series about winter songs. I immediately sought out the Townes version and have been obsessing over it ever since.

So when Rob hit record this is what came out. Unplanned and raw. Complete with mistakes. Yet capturing something that I like. It feels real. What more can I look for?

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Various Projects

While I haven’t been posting updates on our various projects (some I haven’t even documented well) we have in fact been making progress. Over the past few months we have managed to complete work on the apartment, build new doors for the garage and install shelving, repair the framing for the front porch and repair the steps, remove the wallpaper in the front parlor and paint it, and this spring we have been planting in the yard: a lemon tree, a satsuma tree, tomatoes, peppers, basil, and lots of flowers.

Jim teaching me how to build doors for the garage

Jim helped me build new shelving in the garage

New wood in place to support the front porch

Drop cloths in place for starting work on the parlor.

Stripping the Wallpaper in the Parlor

The front parlor completed just in time to put up our small tinsel tree. First Christmas in the new house!

Our Loot from a trip to Bantings Nursery

In February, K decided it was time for a sit-down dinner party. She decided that Valentines day would be a great opportunity since no one likes to go out for an over-hyped meal in a restaurant on the same day that everyone else in the city decides to go out. She pulled off a fabulous meal with everyone chipping in (she even assigned me the soup). A perfect first meal in the dining room.

Table Setting for Valentines Dinner 2011

Earlier this month we managed to score a free piano. Of course, as with all free pianos we had to move it. And this one needed a little TLC. But it is now happily ensconced in its new home and I am well on my way to playing Good King Wenceslas.

Repairing the legs on the new piano. The newest addition to the house.

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American Dream

Despite the title, this is not a post about the renovation of our house. Rather, I just wrote a song last night and made this demo. I thought I would share it. If you like it, you can download it for free.

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Small Step

Been a while since I’ve posted on the renovation — or anything else for that matter. Around the time of my last post, we learned that my mom had pancreatic cancer. While K and I — and K’s parents and our friends — managed to get some good work done on the house since then, I just never felt like writing about it. Writing about one part of my life without mentioning Mom seemed disingenuous. But I also couldn’t write about what we were going through. It was too personal and too hard.

Mom never got to see this house. She said returning to New Orleans and seeing the house was the one thing she wanted to do in the time she had left. But time ran out.

Since returning to New Orleans, it has been hard to muster the energy or even the focus to get back into the renovation. Tonight I took a baby step. I got out some tools and installed a closet rod in the downstairs coat closet.

It wasn’t a large project nor is it very public. But it is a small improvement that K wanted. Being able to do that for her makes me feel somewhat useful again.

I know that healing is a long journey made up of countless seemingly insignificant steps. Perhaps tonight was one of those.

New closet rod installed.

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