Preacher Maker

I really, truly love the idea of a Maker Faire. I love the emphasis on craft. I particularly love that music is included in the Maker universe. Because I believe music IS craft. I like the feeling of making music. Music IS a made thing. I look very forward to making music at the Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire this Saturday, April 16th. As good a day to make music as any beautiful music-making kind of day.

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“When A Man Loves A Woman” was released on April 16th. Can you imagine this song as a MADE thing? It’s as if it just flowed down some soulful waterfall one day, and arrived fully formed. But no, it was MADE. It was written, and performed.

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That’s why we have that phrase. “Written and performed by …”. Because it is a made thing.

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I’m going to make music on Saturday. Preacher Maker.

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To make music is a fabulous feeling; so many physical things; fingers on steel, on wood, strings across wood, brass on wood, brass on brass, wooden boot heel on wooden stage—think of a National Resophonic Steel Guitar; the wood, the metal … think of a Marine Band harmonica; the wood, the metal … think of the heft of a vintage mic …the heft of a big brass slide.

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It’s a fabulous interplay of so many intangible mojo things … the break in a voice, the rasp of a throat, the lilt of a melody, the swing in the groove, the bend of a note, the turn in a phrase, to make the change from major to minor …

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When I write, I feel connected to thousands of years of craftpersonship. I feel connected to Han Shan in the caves. I feel connected to Kerouac on the mountain. I feel connected to Bukka White, alone in his hotel room, challenged to write something original, the shadow of Parchman darkening his door. I feel his pencil in my hand, I see his paper on my desk, I feel connected to him when he emerges with When Can I Change My Clothes in his pocket. I feel connected to Hollis Brown, to Mr. Jones, to Judas Iscariot, I feel connected to The River, to Sugar Mountain, to Uncle Vernon, independent as a hog on ice. I think of songs like This Land Is Your Land, and marvel that a real person sat somewhere once and worked through the possibilities—that flutter of highway? That snaking highway? No .. That ribbon of highway? Yes! How could someone MAKE This Land Is Your Land? How could someone MAKE Death Letter Blues?

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Yet these things are made. They are made. Music is a made thing. See my fingers after playing for three hours straight, with no break. I have made something. Stevie Ray Vaughan used to super glue his calluses back on after tearing them off from playing for so long.

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I love Santa Cruz. This is the promised land. My missus as a child rolled in on some luxuriant tide and landed on the beaches of Aptos, and waited there for me to make a way to find her. Our daughter is making herself into the most remarkable human on these same beaches. This is why we are here. I love Santa Cruz. These forests, these beaches, these waters. Oh, the things Santa Cruz will make. Are you going to this Maker Faire? I sing this line in my head to the tune of Scarborough Fair. Are you going to this Maker Faire? Can you believe someone MADE Scarborough Fair? Surely the melodic gods simply delivered it one day? No, it was made.

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They’ve very kindly written an article about me, for the Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire:

“Preacher Boy’s music is a hyphenated thing — country-blues, alt-blues, folk-blues, and acoustic-blues. It all comes out of the country blues tradition, although much of the music he makes sounds more like an eclectic interpretation of Americana and roots music.”

You could even say Preacher Boy music is a made thing.

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That’s a copy of my first album. It was first released 21 years ago. This is a picture of a cassette tape version. A cassette! I held it, and felt so proud. It was made.

This is my most recent album:

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It is a made thing. It was made in a small shed, away up high in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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The Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire has a theme: Invention Literacy

The Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire will be focusing on another newly emerging form of literacy — Invention Literacy, an interdisciplinary skillset that combines creativity (the ability to bring one’s ideas into reality), entrepreneurship (perceiving an opportunity), problem solving (defining a problem, identifying the cause, determining solutions, and implementing a preferred solution), technological literacy (using technology effectively in different ways), and a variety of other skills to make, iterate, tinker and create!

To make, iterate, tinker, and create.

Yes. Yes, let’s.

 

 

 

 


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