I came across Strange Guitarworks a few months ago when Paul Murphy and I were working on a different story. The shop immediately caught my eye because it was so vibrant and cluttered but in a cozy way.

Benjamin Strange, the owner, gave us a tour and I shot Aaron fixing up one of the guitars in store. Ben told us that they fix any type of stringed instrument and that they have fixed up a few instruments that were damaged in Hurricane Katrina. I gave Ben my card and told him to give me a call next time he gets one.

A few months later I get a call from the shop that someone brought in a 1970 Gibson SG that sat in floodwater for weeks in Arabi. The guitar was really rusted and corroded and the neck was disconnected but they said they could fix it up.

Once I got in touch with the owner of the guitar I knew the story was special. Ray Lambert is the snare drummer in the Storyville Stompers Brass Band. He’s a classic New Orleanian in all the right ways. Warm, talented, and hilariously irreverent.

Ray told me he bought the guitar 49 years ago but stopped playing it when he started playing drums for the Stompers. The guitar was in his music room at his house when Katrina hit and he’s been wanting to get it fixed for 12 years. He finally came across Strange Guitarworks and the rest is history.