Friday, May 21, 2010

From The Top

New gear, old, wet gear re-furbed, old gear new to us. It's time to bury the dead and move on. Rehearsals started a couple of days ago in a secure, dry place in Nashville. We've got cardboard everywhere as we unbox shiny new toys/tools and put them to use. We've got a few old favorites still drying out but refusing to give up their place. We've got some killer used gear that is now new gear to us, including an exceptional Martin D-35.

The silver lining in the Nashville flood is the opportunity to make friends with new instruments. After playing the same guitars, basses, mandolins, drums, etc. for years, you get to know them well and their faults and shortcomings are known and unconsciously ignored or adjusted for. New instruments feel foreign initially and have their own faults, which you will discover over time. This keeps things fresh, I guess, and it's been less painful to say so long to old friends than I imagined it would be.

J. Bouvier has provided us with some amazing mandolins, both acoustic and electric. Two Martins have joined the new Gibson J-45 in the vault. All new wireless, racks, workboxes, hand tools, tuners, pedals, everything.

It's kind of fun to start over...but, as is the case in the flooding, once every 500 years or so is often enough.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

After The Flood

It took a few days, but the national media eventually took notice of the record amount of rainfall and 1000-year flood of the Cumberland and Harpeth Rivers. The loss of life and homes is a tragedy that will scar Tennessee for years. My own home was not in danger, other than the accumulation of rain water in my yard that made it to a couple feet from the door.

The personal loss to me will be revealed this weekend, when Soundcheck, the local rehearsal and gear storage facility will finally be re-opened. Soundcheck took as much as 4 feet of water inside the main building, which itself is easily 4-5 feet off street level due to the many docks built in for semis to load gear in and out.

That much water has covered every guitar, amp, keyboard, drum kit, etc. for several days now. Many instruments will be total losses, none will ever be the same., My workbox full of specialized guitar tech tools, accumulated over many years is underwater and probably ruined. I might be able to salvage some of the gear, but the electronic items are most likely toast.

Local luthiers and guitar repairmen are joining together to set up a triage center at Soundcheck in order to quickly dry out and stabilize the guitars as they are recovered from their river-soaked cases.

I'll update this post as the results of their efforts are known.

UPDATE: Here's our gear, all of it was underwater...