Blindworm Guitars has been an instrument manufacturing and repair shop since 2008. Founder Andrew Scott has been known for his extremely intricate woodworking skills and incredible instrument designs. After a year of worldwide pandemic and some health issues, Blindworm will continue, but will be moving in a different creative direction.
“We had a great run as a high-end, local-focused guitar store and full-service repair shop. But after building well over 200 instruments and amplifier cabinets, my lack of regard for personal safety took a major hit on my lungs,” explains Andrew. “The docs eventually persuaded me to stop inhaling more dust, and pushed me to make a career change. COVID has been a weird chunk of time for us all. I spent most of it closing up shop, reorganizing and planning my future, and consulting the cosmos,” he says.
As for repairs, local folk artist Curtis Boucher has taken that part of the business to Manitou Springs, and will still be offering quality service while Andrew and his wife Kelly Scott are exploring other avenues. “Kelly and I have been diving into our studio passions of music and film. We will be turning Blindworm into a full-fledged audio-video studio,” says Andrew. “We will be closed to the public for a short while to focus on some big projects, but anticipate opening up to public projects and studio work in the near future.”
They’ve already started creating, releasing a massively trippy video for their song “Fangs of the Basilisk.” The track is reminiscent of Tom Waits and Les Claypool when it comes to dark creativity. “Kelly’s high-heel clicks provided the beat’s main structure and the rest of the music is all me,” explains Andrew. The video and song were created entirely DIY, including everything from the studio to the filming.
“One hundred percent of the audio and video production was done in our new studio. The video was the result of a lo-fidelity challenge we took on to make a video with only what we already had on-site. We had less than four days to complete from start to finish. Kelly and I both were heavily involved in the storyboarding, lo-fi prop making and filming. All of the credit for the video editing is on Kelly. She really does all the creative work alone once the audio and filming is done,” says Andrew.
What’s especially great about this track is that it features a new instrument Andrew created and built. He’s been working on The Mindbender for nearly two decades. “I have been refining the design for the past 18 years or so, and was granted a full patent for it last month. It is an intuitively played instrument based on bending strings to pitch, using your ear. We have a dozen or so of them out there, but are working on larger-scale manufacturing,” he says. He and Kelly are also currently editing a new song and video called “Sync Me Up 2 the 5G.” “It’s a tongue-in-cheek, absurd song about everyone’s favorite pastime, vaccine conspiracy!” laughs Andrew. You can view the video for “Fangs of the Basilisk” at tinyurl.com/w8xhyjfm and check out Blindworm Guitars’ work on Facebook.
In more creative husband/wife collaborations, Jeremiah Walter is set to release his new Psychedelic folk album Eighteen Magic Spells on May 7. Not only is this a full album, it is also a companion piece to his wife Darla Slee’s art show entitled, Uprooting a Mountain: Norse Mythology Reimagined. The art show will be running from May 7 to 28 at Kreuser Gallery. Both the album and art show are reimaginings of ancient Norse mythology with extensive research going into the projects.
“It was great that Darla was working on artwork about the same topic, and had already read most of the myths before I did,” explains Jeremiah. “It gave us a chance to discuss different stories and characters, and getting to work on a companion project with the love of my life was an amazing experience.”
The number of songs on the album is even part of the concept, as multiples of three and nine are popular in Norse myths. This album is a journey with unique surprises and many different instruments. “I feel like each of the 18 songs has its own unique feel. Part of that might be because of the variety of instruments I used,” says Jeremiah, including acoustic bass, balalaika, ukulele, cümbüş saz, banjo, harmonica, lap steel guitar, lyre harp, mandolin, phin, piano and taishōgoto.
Eighteen Magic Spells will be available for purchase at Kreuser Gallery during Darla Slee’s Uprooting a Mountain exhibit; the album will also be available for streaming at jeremiahwalter.bandcamp.com.