Sound, Script, & Sawdust — January 2018

January 2018

Here we are at the starting blocks of a new year. I hope you’ve got your cleats laced up, because I’m looking forward to running a strong race:

  • Releasing my first new album in 7 years,
  • Completing the manuscript of my first book,
  • Growing my woodworking business into a new (heated) shop

Burn Your Ships

My neighbor has a tattoo on his forearm. It’s of a square rigged ship being devoured by flames. A banner beneath the illustration just says, “Burn Your Ships.” I asked the guy, country artist, Sam Grow, what exactly his tattoo meant, and he relayed a story I’d never heard about the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes.

In 1519 Cortes along with 600 men and 16 horses landed on the coast of Veracruz, Mexico. Before embarking on their campaign against the Aztecs, Cortes dispelled any notions of retreat when he gave a seemingly reckless order: “Burn the ships.”

No retreat. No surrender. Do the thing or die trying. It worked for Hernan Cortes. It’s worked for Sam Grow (the kid’s got hundreds of thousands of downloads and just bought himself a new tour bus, all without the backing of a record label).

So…what are you willing to go all in for?

Excerpt of Issaquena County off Blood In The Honey:

Sloe gin, fast girls, and your cousin’s car,
 One night early fall.
 The clean crack of glass packs, they echoed back,
 Off the levee wall.
 You never made church that next morning;
 You never even made it back home,
 When you parted the guard rail,
 And the darkness just swallowed you whole.

Now your sister some nights she comes by,
 We drive 462.
 I suppose in some way each of us,
 Reminds the other of you…

“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.” — Oscar Wilde

If you’re relying on resolutions, you’re doing it wrong. Here’s a short piece I published on making changes in the New Year: Resolution Blues

Things have been rather chilly around the shop to say the least. That and the holidays have slowed production a little, but we’re diving into the New Year with another set of Adirondacks, a farmhouse dining table, and some cherry log side tables.

Past work can be found at

Rarities, Oddities, and Recommendations

  • If you’ve ever wondered where the artwork for Unknown Pleasures, the debut album by Joy Division came from the answer is several billion light years away.
  • This 17 minute documentary, In the Mind of the Maker, follows Cajun boatbuilder, Edward Couvillier in his construction of a cypress push boat.
  • Last year Paducah, Kentucky musician Chris Black released a garage blues masterwork titled, 230 West Allmon St. Apt. B. I’m going to suppose that’s his home address and that you can send both fan and hate mail there.
  • South Korean artist Young-sung Kim uses oils like a camera to paint hyper realistic portraits of goldfish and insects. Oh, and you can own one for about $50,000.
  • Humans have kept cats as pets for around 12,000 years. Abigail Tucker’s book, The Lion in the Living Room traces the fascinating history of our symbiotic relationship.
  • Finally, I don’t know how this story of Emile Leray’s escape from the Moroccan desert on a motorcycle he fashioned out of his broken down car has not been made into a movie yet, but I’d stand in line to see it.

Thanks, y’all,

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