No doubt many of us will be glad to put 2016 behind us. This has been a wild year for our world, our nation, our city, and even our tiny little space at Strange Guitarworks. While we know 2016 has been full of negativity and loss outside of the shop’s walls, inside we have striven to accentuate the positive and do our part to build and strengthen our community and New Orleans’ music scene. We’ve seen a lot of familiar faces, made new friends, listened to your stories, shared some laughs, caught a few of your gigs, and may have had more than a few beers with some of you. We’re really glad to be here, and we’re really glad to be here with you.
This year has seen some monumental changes at Strange Guitarworks. First and foremost, we ceased to be a one-man operation with the addition of Aaron Younce. Aaron has been instrumental in increasing shop productivity and quality, keeping things organized, designing and building new tools, and taking on projects that lesser guitar techs wouldn’t dare. He’s also been a great co-worker and friend, keeping the conversation and jokes flowing, and making the once lonely work of fixing guitars much more enjoyable. The shop is a much better place with him around.
He’s also embraced the New Orleans tradition of costuming with aplomb:
2016 was our first full year in the new shop, a space which we share with amp & keyboard tech extraordinaire, Paul Agostino. We’ve been steadily building out the shop over the year, adding shelving, benches, and investing in way too much money into all the coolest tools. Yeah, we’re tool geeks, and we love getting new tools, but the underlying point is always this: we want to be the best equipped shop around, because we want to be ready for anything. Utilizing the right tool for the job ensures greater accuracy and consistency, which we are constantly striving for. Building out the new shop has been a lot of fun, and has created a comfortable working environment to spend our days tending to your guitars.
We have worked on a TON of guitars this year. Looking back, it seems absurd how much work we got done:
- 206 Fret Levels + Setups
- 71 Refrets (24 with stainless steel frets)
- 116 Setups
- 106 Bone nuts
- 24 Bone saddles
- 11 neck resets
- 8 Headstock repairs
- 214 Miscellaneous jobs
How we managed to get all of that done without our arms falling off is beyond us. Not that we’re complaining – we love the work.
And now for a glance back at some of our favorite pictures of the year:
Overall, 2016 was a great year for Strange Guitarworks. This was a risky year for us, moving into a new space and bringing Aaron on as partner, and we have survived, thanks to each and every one of you. We couldn’t do this without you, and we want to thank you all for supporting our humble guitar repair shop. We will continue to strive to be the absolute best guitar techs we can, and to continually earn your trust and respect. We, as ever, remain to serve the music community of New Orleans. Thanks for having us, y’all.
– Benjamin Strange and Aaron Younce