Plenty of local musicians–Mr. B, Dick Siegel, and Jay Stielstra, to name a few–have also worked as carpenters. Though the careers are seemingly very different, both involve the use of one’s hands to create beauty with wood.
But there are also risks in the dual trades. A slip of a hammer or, scarier yet, a power tool at their day job can wreak havoc with their evening performances. It happened to Stielstra, who says he “shortened the middle finger” of his left hand on a table saw and had to relearn how to play the guitar. It happened even more severely to local folk singer Chris Buhalis in April, when a table saw mangled his left hand. Only his pinky was unhurt–proving, Buhalis jokes, that “I’m not an overachiever.”
More seriously, he insists that “from the moment it happened, everything has gone my way.” Buhalis has donated his musical skills to many benefits in the past; now he’ll be on the receiving end of a fundraiser at the Ark on Sunday, July 14 (see Nightspots). More than a dozen local musicians will perform–including fellow carpenters Stielstra and Mr. B.