|Genius at Work|
|Banjo, BasTrak and Dobro (look close)|
|Fans Checking Out the Big Banjo|
|Jamming with the BasTrak at Charlotte Bluegrass Festival|
|Dobro Work In Progress|
Words (and pictures) simply can not describe the Roots Rusted Revival project. However, let me present the following as my own--modest--contribution the this living, breathing work of rust belt art:
In the middle of a warm, Michigan summer, pick a calm, quiet evening and step outside. There you will hear the faint musical echo of our state's past: the rhythmic striking of axes against tall Northern Michigan pine trees; the slow rumble of dynamite blasting an iron ore face in a U.P. mine; the sharp crash and clang of hydraulic presses in Detroit and Flint's great automotive plants. If you listen closely, you will also hear the ghosts of our blue collar ancestors singing and making music with family and friends; with simple, traditional instruments--the guitar, and banjo and washtub bass--they brought with them as they moved from the poverty of the south to the opportunity of the Midwest. Though the trees are gone, the mine's have shut down, and the great factories lie rusting and crumbling, the spirit of those songs still lives in each of us. In a real sense, it lives in the popular music of our generation--in Barry Gordie's Motown, in Bob Seeger's Classic Rock, in Kid Rock's rap/rock fusion and in Jack White's modern pop. In another sense, it lives in all of us--in our work ethic; and our spirit; and our passion; in or creativity and our ingenuity; and in the dirt, grit and blood we pore into our daily lives.
Roots Rust Revival is about more than creating sculpture; it is more ambitious than building the worlds largest playable instruments; and it's definitely about more than continuously and incrementally improving the work through the interactions in all of us. These pieces are about embracing the music in each of us; about the beauty of seeing what is old reborn into what is fantastic; about seeing with the eyes, embracing with the hands and appreciating with the heart; about the transfer of experience--be it the small brown stain of rust on your hands the work gives to you, or that little piece of your soul that lingers on the steel where you touched it; about giving life to the inanimate through experiencing it with all of your senses; and about the very act of creation--just because you can. Roots Rust Revival is important not because it is like nothing you've ever seen or heard, but because it IS everything you've ever seen and heard.
More pictures from Heavy Metal Stringworks below.