All Posts in NEWS & UPDATES

September 10, 2012 - 1 comment.

Piano Keys Project

A few years back, I sought after a free upright piano on Craigslist (an old Boyd), and picked it up the next day.  Like an old settler with a buffalo, I wanted to get as much as I could out of this dead carcass, and I imagined at least three projects.


Project number one:  make a midi controller station for stage use.  Done, details here.  Project number two I'm going to try this fall.  Using the steel sound board and some custom glass I'd like to make a coffee table.

Project number three was inspired from one of our fine artists at Living Stones.  I had saved the keys for the piano.

I found a nice piece of finished plywood at Home Depot in the scrap bin.  Threw two coats of Amber shellac on the front.
 Shortly thereafter, I started putting the keys in what I thought was their correct order.  After an embarrassing amount of time, I realized that they were individually stamped with their corresponding number, but they were so faded and aged that numbering the keys quickly turned into what felt like an hour of archaeology.  Scraping, dusting, and lighting from every angle helped identify 60 of the 85 keys.  Some were easy to spot...
Others, not so much. It turned into a real puzzle towards the end.  What in the world is this one?
Next, I clamped down a heavy duty ruler so there would be a common bottom edge and glued them down with liquid nails.
The command to "sing a new song" is found in five places in the Psalms.  With the help of a friends die-cutter, we cut the letters out of vinyl, laid them down to the top of the keys, and then I watered down some craft paint into a washed look.
Finished product hanging in my office pictured below, with some x-mas lights for effect.  I think I'm going to do another one, and may even take custom orders for similar pieces in the future.  You could choose the stain and the lettering.  Email interest to donald AT

Anyway, project two is all done.

December 16, 2011 - 1 comment.

The silence is ending…

After 3 years of quiet...

Zimmerman is heading back to the studio!

Here is what we know now:

At least 8 tracks of brand new material.
Release date set for late 2012.
It will be our best work ever, we are quite sure.

We're working hard to show you what our next project will be like, not just tell you, so keep your eyes peeled. The most exciting details involve how we are going to make the record and who is working with us in the studio. More info coming around Jan 7th.

With great love and affection,
Donald, Cory, Liz, Mike, and Trevor

November 8, 2011 - 1 comment.


A few people asked about the instrument I played this past Sunday.

It's called a "melodica". Made popular by Hohner in the late 50's, it's popped up in reggae, folk, and pop music now and then over the last 5 decades. Most melodicas have two octaves, and they have a warm tone. They were used heavily in Asia and Europe to teach children music theory and basic music skills.

I first found one in a studio owned by Shane and Shane called Spaceway outside of Dallas, TX. Our producer at the time encouraged us to try it on a track and we did...

I've hung on to it over the years and pulled out for special sets, especially those when we strip the electric guitars back and use more folk-style instruments.

There you have it. A brief history on a fun little instrument...Watch for a reappearance at Christmas!

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November 5, 2011 - 1 comment.

Oli’s First Song

My son Oliver wrote his first song a couple days ago. We're pretty sure the song is called "Train". I think you'll hear why.

Sounds kinda Dylan-ish to me. While this isn't his first harmonica attempt, it is his first vocal performance. Enjoy!