This past weekend was quite eventful. My old friend John Hasbrouck came up to play a gig and visit. John and Matt Gandurski make up the world’s only all left handed resonator guitar and mandolin duet. The Northside Southpaws play a nice variety of rags, waltzes, tangos and bluegrass and put on a refreshing show. John has does a great job on the mandolin and Matt has really put in his time learning how to second on guitar, but is still able to insert a nice fill every now and then. The Southpaws were playing at Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse . Another old friend, Joel Paterson, was playing a gig down the street and stopped by before the gig. Catfish Stephenson was also there. The five of us reminisced about guitars, music, recording etc. It was great to catch up with old friends.
After the show John, Matt and Catfish came back to the shop for a late night jam session. It was nice to listen to everyone play. I spent most of the time talking to another friend, Bruce, a former machinist, about better ways to make a 12 string tailpiece. It’s official, I am now more of a luthier than I am a musician.
On Sunday I finally was able to connect with Hank Sapoznik. Hank is a fantastic musician, author, scholar and producer of CD compilations on Charlie Poole, Ernest Stoneman, Murder and Disaster ballads, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I’m not yet aware of. Hank is in town teaching a class on Jewish music at the University of Wisconsin. The class sounds like a great one.
Hank was kind enough to include the copy of Ernest Stoneman’s guitar that I made in the Ernest Stoneman box set. Hank came with his dog Stinky and also brought some fermented and smoked sausages from his friend and cohort Mark Rubin. Mark had sent the sausages up from Texas and Hank was very generous to share them with me. After catching up over sausages and coffee, Hank and I headed out to the shop to look over guitars and talk about building a tenor guitar for Hank. The project sounds like a fun one as Hank has no specific idea of what he wants, other than a tenor that is loud. I get to play around with the aesthetics, which is always fun.
I’m hoping to get together with Hank as often as possible while he’s in town. We have a jam scheduled for next weekend. It’s supposed to be warm out, so maybe we’ll get to fire up the grill.