Phew! I’m back from my whirlwind vacation in San Francisco. Today I plan on catching up on tons of emails, phone calls, laundry, groceries, & the Saints game, and will be ready for guitar work tomorrow. For now, I want to take this opportunity to address an issue that’s been weighing heavily on my mind this week: my good friend and fellow guitar tech / luthier Alex Barnett.
Alex is the most exuberant and enthusiastic guitar nerds I know. He and I worked together at SF Guitarworks in San Francisco, where he brought his infectious raw talent and excitement to us old dogs in the shop, and introduced us to some new concepts of where the future of the guitar is headed. He builds some rather fascinating guitars, under the name Barnett Customs, some of which employ built in effects, MIDI controllers, and other wacky stuff. Like so:
Alex is also a busy road tech, lending his skills to international touring acts, and also offers repair services in Redding, CA. This guy lives and breathes guitars, and I’m impressed that he manages to build, repair, and tour all the while providing the highest quality work. The dude just kills it – and he’s only 23.
Alex is a good soul, and has had a very difficult year, culminating with the passing of his mother this week. The life of a guitar tech, even a highly skilled one such as Alex, is not exactly glamorous nor luxurious, and now he has the unexpected responsibilities of handling funeral arrangements and taking care of his 17 year old sister. He has no other family to speak of, so this burden is his to handle alone – he is stepping up to the challenge, but it’s a lot to take on by oneself.
He could use some steady work right now – I would hire him in a heartbeat if I could. But since that’s not an option, I’d like to use this opportunity to highlight his work in hopes that he can commission a custom guitar or two, or perhaps land a good touring gig. If you’ve ever wanted a really interesting custom guitar with all sorts of bizarre electronics, chrome or burnt charcoal finishes, built to your specs, check out Alex’s work on his Facebook page: facebook.com/barnettcustom. If you’re a touring band looking for a damn good guitar tech, or are needing some expert guitar repair in the Redding, CA area, give him a call (530-410-9145) or send him an email (Barnettcustoms@yahoo.com).
You can also support Alex directly by donating directly through YouCaring.com (http://www.youcaring.com/adoption-fundraiser/help-a-brother-care-for-his-sister/89922). Funeral arrangements are expensive, and every little bit helps.
Here’s some more examples of Alex’s work. Get ’em while they’re hot!
The man himself, with a custom guitar he built for Eric Cannata of Young The Giant.