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Can you use gaffa to fix a slide?

In October 2009 we had our first ever stall at the Juke Joint at Queens Blues fest here in Adelaide. We made about 30 slides in anticipation of the flood of customers and sold about 4. One of those customers, it turns out, was Dan Dinnen.

It turns out we’d seen Dan playing with Heather Stewart at the festival and he took his slide back to Melbourne and we didn’t hear anything from him until….

In September we got a distressed message from Dan:

I bought one of your slides whilst playing at the Juke Joint festival in Adelaide last year. THE BEST SLIDE I HAVE EVER USED. Dropped it on a concrete floor recently. %*@! to say the least. Can I possibly send you the slide (held together with gaff, it got me through a few gigs!) so that you can send me another that’s as close an approximation as possible? Actually…. make that two!!

A couple weeks later a package arrived with the sorriest looking slide inside.

We went to work trying to find the bottle that Dan’s original slide was made from. We’ve got hundreds in the workshop. The problem is that a ‘vintage’ had passed since the slide was made. This means that it is highly likely that the bottle that Dan’s slide was made from is no longer in production and the wineries are using the trendy new-season bottles or worse still – the dreaded screw top.

After digging around we found five dusty bottles that were probably collected just before the 2009 Juke Joint. They were a perfect match. The Bremerton BOV. We hedged our bets and decided to make five replicas. That way if any broke or cracked during the handcrafting process we’d be covered.

All five turned out pretty good. Three seemed to be a closer match to the original (from what we can gather). We sent two to Dan a couple weeks ago and hope they arrived safe and sound.

It turns out that Dan is a bit of a man-about-town. A Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, guitar finger-picker and blues-harp wailer who draws his inspiration from the deep well of old-time, pre-war and country blues. Dan has played gigs around Australia, and in October 2009 won the prestigious MBAS Blues Performer of the Year award which saw him head to Memphis, Tennessee to compete in the 2010 International Blues Challenge. He’s supported/accompanied/sat in with some of Melbourne’s finest players including blues players Jimi Hocking, Geoff Achison, Dutch Tilders, Heather Stewart, Jules Boult and Jaimi Faulkner, as well as folk-roots singer Kavisha Mazzella.

Dan released his acoustic blues album “Back Home” through Blackmarket Music in January 2010.

Currently, Dan is playing gigs in and around Melbourne including the Rainbow Hotel, The Drunken Poet and the famous Blues Train in Queenscliff.
Check out www.myspace.com/dandinnen

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