Tuesday, May 6, 2014

El Gato Dos (IW#072)

A while back I made a bluesmaster style banjo for one of the best musicians I know.  It accidentally wandered away form him, so I made him another one.  We used to call him "the Lovercat," so his banjo was "El Gato."  This new one, of course, is "El Gato Dos."  I used the same art work on it, which is a black cat that was a symbol of the IWW that I really like, and the bottle caps have jugs on them because he and I used to play in the Brooklyn Jugs together.  That was a real hoot.

Anyway, the neck is almost the last of the church pew oak that I had and the pie tin on the back is embossed "New England Pie Company,"  which is pretty good-looking.  It has a slightly mellower sound than the other bluesmasters, in part because the big can that is the head is heavier than what I have used before.  Still sounds pretty good, though.

Muerto Uke (IWW#071)

A very cool person in Virginia Beach is married to another very cool person who contacted me to make her a uke for this past Christmas.  She had gone to a party with her face painted like a Dia de los Muertos skull not too long before that, and she is a pretty rockin' human anyway, so it made sense to incorporate that.  I had this black cigar box that was begging to be used, but had not been sure who should get it.  It was one of those moments of a lot of things coming together beautifully, yielding the Muerto Uke.  The neck is a leg off of an old piano, which had a sort of Gothic profile when I cut it into the peg-head.  Sounds pretty good, too: