Tag Archives: guitars

Featured Artist – David Lackey

15 Aug

David Lackey – Because my earliest memories are from our farm on Lackey Road in Delaware, Ohio. Named after my great-grandfather. Old gray barns, dairy cows, maples too big to wrap your arms around, chickens, wheat and soy bean fields, hay pastures and pond – the backdrop for my dad and grandfather’s farming, my mom’s pie baking, my grandmother Lackey’s homemade noodles and cinnamon buns.

Seemed like something was always cooking and something was always breaking down – Allis Chalmers WD tractor, GMC pickup, shed roof, board fence, coal furnace. Some machine or building or apparatus always needing attention. And tools everywhere, never where you needed them.

Long before reuse, recycle and repurposing, my farmer grandfathers where making do with twine and barn wood and wire. Long before eBay and Amazon, there was Sears, the local hardware store, the lumber yard. You could fix anything with pliers and a hammer – use your tools to wield a little leverage over your material, make something new out of whatever’s laying around.

I’ve inherited several tendencies from those Lackey Road farmers:
– the desire to make something useful with your hands
– the knowledge that liking what you do is enough of a reason to do it
– the acceptance that you’ll be lucky if you break even
– belief in ground truth and tool truth – things made out of wood and steel
– and the need to work standing up

I farmed part-time with my dad on my way through Ohio University, hung out with my farmer relatives summers, and shoveled enough sheep excrement to figure I’d never make it as a full-time farmer, so I became a teacher and taught my way through thirty years of Thoreau and Emerson, Whitman and Frost.

I started teaching the same year Muddy Waters died. Always looked forward to teaching Langston Hughes’ “Syncopated Blues” so we could talk about the twelve bar blues, bring in guitars and have my students perform lyrics they’d written. Or Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – “The pump don’t work ‘cause the vandals took the handle” – what’s that about? When we read Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, I’d bring out the Woody Guthrie song sheets.

One summer on a trip south to see Faulkner’s Mississippi, Linda (my wife and Etsy mentor) and I “went down to the Crossroads” – where highways 61 and 49 intersect in Clarksdale. We hunted for Robert Johnson’s grave, found Muddy Waters’ cabin site, hung out at Ground Zero, tracked down Po’ Monkey’s juke joint, stayed in a sharecroppers shack at Hopson Plantation, got ourselves on the King Biscuit Hour radio show across the river in Helena, Arkansas.

On our way through Alabama we explored the roots of the Civil Rights movement – Birmingham and Selma, where I found my first cigar box guitar – a three-string with no frets and a pickup. Talk about cool! I brought it home and showed my friend John, who immediately set about to make one, and then another, and then another one after that. My first CBG was a six-string. I bolted a Strat neck to a black Punch cigar box, wired up a Telecaster bridge and pickup, plugged it in and was hooked.

So, five or six guitars later – three and four-string CBGs, six-strings, all electric – Linda says if I want to keep making ‘em I need to start selling.

I make guitars because I’m into tools and wood and music. I use my hands, heart and head all at once (same reason I ride motorcycles, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). And like my Lackey Road ancestors, I get to work standing up.

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Featured Artist – David Lackey

29 Jul

David Lackey – Because my earliest memories are from our farm on Lackey Road in Delaware, Ohio. Named after my great-grandfather. Old gray barns, dairy cows, maples too big to wrap your arms around, chickens, wheat and soy bean fields, hay pastures and pond – the backdrop for my dad and grandfather’s farming, my mom’s pie baking, my grandmother Lackey’s homemade noodles and cinnamon buns.

Seemed like something was always cooking and something was always breaking down – Allis Chalmers WD tractor, GMC pickup, shed roof, board fence, coal furnace. Some machine or building or apparatus always needing attention. And tools everywhere, never where you needed them.

Long before reuse, recycle and repurposing, my farmer grandfathers where making do with twine and barn wood and wire. Long before eBay and Amazon, there was Sears, the local hardware store, the lumber yard. You could fix anything with pliers and a hammer – use your tools to wield a little leverage over your material, make something new out of whatever’s laying around.

I’ve inherited several tendencies from those Lackey Road farmers:
– the desire to make something useful with your hands