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Hi everyone,

A few weeks ago Skymonk did the Hartsville, SC Concerts on College fall finale show. Frankly, one of the best shows we’ve had thus far, an absolute blast. There was a great energy from the crowd, vendors, and probably more people than we’ve ever played for. Ever. Which for Ben, Scott, and myself was truly rewarding experience and we can’t thank the people involved enough.

Let me explain what happened that night. Skymonk began our set like most nights, roaring to energize the crowd, jumping, sweating, playing our hearts out. One of the volunteers came to the stage to let us know that we needed to take a break to allow for some announcements. We played one more song and walked off stage. I was holding my acoustic guitar as we walked off, re-tuning for different song later in the set-list.

Drenched in sweat, shaking from nerves and adrenaline, we milled around seething from the energy of the show, waiting to get back up onstage and play.

 

A woman came up to me and said something that  I’ll ever forget.

 

She grabbed my shoulder to get my attention and says this…

” I just wanted to come by and say thank you. I’m here with my tonight with my 9-year-old son. He doesn’t like anything. I mean nothing. He just doesn’t show an interest in anything, no passion for typical boy stuff. But you guys, when you took that stage and played your songs, he was so excited!! He said to me, These guys rock! This is so cool! So I just wanted to say that tonight was something really special and I’m glad we came.”

And she walked away before I could say anything more than, “Thank you”. I almost broke down in tears right there. That moment where time is swirling and nothing is really in focus but all you can do is concentrate not to cry and just breathe. I will never forget that night because of what that woman said to me, how it made her feel, and more importantly how it made her son feel.

I don’t mean to tote this as some story that shows how important or how much impact Skymonk has. Quite the opposite. What’s important is the connection between human beings and for me, that’s what art is all about.

There are nights, shows, drives, and countless other things that make up what being a musician, an artist, that are such a pain in the ass and you can’t help but question yourself, “Is this the path? Is this what it’s like? Is it worth it? How long can I keep doing this?”

And then like a breath of fresh outdoor air, something like what that woman said to me envelopes you in the feeling that yes, you’ve made a mark, however small and made something special for someone.

This is why I do what I do. Possibility is a powerful force and there is a distinct possibility that young man’s life may change. I know mine did.

 

Until next time,

kn

 

I’d like to share something today with all of you; appreciation and gratitude. Probably something I don’t exercise nearly enough. And if you’re anything like me, you could probably use some of this great mindset too.

I was listening to an interview with Jack Conte of Pomplamoose and creator of Patreon. Jack was covering some of the tips, tricks, tactics that we as musicians all look for to make our workflow, our process, better and more effective. This ultimately would simply make us better communicators and better creators for our fans.

But for me that wasn’t the bomb that dropped. The hammer to head from this interview was his enthusiasm for life as musician, a creator, in this day and age. So much doom and gloom gets passed around that you have to be this or that, create this way, get this kind of experience, do these 5 things or your music career will crash, when the reality is none of that is really true. Connection with the people that enjoy what you’re doing is the real gift, is the real key. You can connect with as many people as you like, on any side of the planet. At any time.

That’s crazy. Please take a moment and think about how crazy that is.

I mean really.

It’s a weird, wild time that we exist in where that’s possible. What’s even more amazing is that it is free. Free! I’m loosely paraphrasing Jack but, you no longer have to convince anyone in a suit holding all the cards, controlling the industry, that your art is good and worthy of people’s time.  People decide that, your fans decide that.

So I just want to put it out there that I think Jack is right. This is clearly the most exciting time in the history of the world to be a musician, to be an artist, and have the ability to connect with everyone you can for free. But what’s more important than just noting it is, let’s be thankful it’s even a thing. Let’s be grateful to be alive and have the ability to do something courageous and risky, and then share it with the world.

So I encourage you as a listener, a new fan, or perhaps someone who just stumbled upon Skymonk to be grateful to be alive in such an exciting time.  So get your shades on because in my opinion, the future looks so bright.

Carpe Diem. Until next time,

kn

 

Check out Jack’s artist support creation Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/

Hello there, everyone!

I am really excited about the guitar I have for you this week…

Today, I bring you a repair I completed today, and let me tell you it was an experience!

A while back a customer came in with a a guitar that she had acquired from someone who found it in a barn. Now when we heard this you could only imagine what was going through our minds before she opened the case.  *gives you a moment to imagine*

When she opened up the case we were shown a beautiful, late 1920’s Gibson L-30. This is a fantastic small bodied arch-top guitar. And despite the fact that it was left in a barn for God knows how long, it was in relatively good shape. The neck was slightly warped. and it was in desperate of a re-fret. There were a few minor body cracks and a number of loose back braces as well.

When I began working on this instrument, I was blown away by the craftsmanship and was honored that I had been given this opportunity. One of the mantras we have at the shop is that we want to make a repair look as if we were never there. This mantra stems from a desire to honor the builders before us by making sure their work is left intact. Seeing this old of an instrument and bringing it back to life really made me think about the fact that this guitar in front of me was once just an idea in someone’s head and then that someone had the guts to make it a reality. Then nearly 90 years down the road. the idea winds up in my hands needing me to bring it back to life and allow the music to flow through it once more with its original glory.

Interestingly enough, I was surprised that it had a truss rod, because many instruments from this time did not have one.  Martin guitars for example did not adopt the usage of a truss rod until the 70’s. However, Boot was quick to remind me that it was an employee from Gibson who invented the truss rod sometime around 1921.  For those who may not know, the truss rod is the stabilization bar that runs down the neck that can be calibrated to adjust for string tension and neck movement.

This guitar has a carved spruce top with a birch back and mahogany sides. My favorite part of this guitar is the beautiful Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, which had a little water damage and took a very steady hand to clean and repair. After much sweat, stress and love this guitar went to a very happy customer.  This Christmas, she is surprising her son with it, and I can’t wait to hear about it.

Repairing the Gibson L-30 was a privilege, and I will cherish the knowledge that I gained from being able to work on it.

Picture time! I am including two before photos so you can see how it started.

L30 L30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L30 L30 L30 L30 L30 L30