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My blog posts are a bit like buses in Britain. You see none for ages and then all of a sudden several turn up at the same time. It's all down to finally having a little spare time over the Christmas holidays.

I've been trying to find time to get to grips with this excellent Robert Belfour tune for some ages. I love Robert Belfour's songs and his style so I've taken one of my favourites and murdered it in this video.

You can see that I'm trying to play my Smokehouse Guitars six string CBG along with my Farmer Footdrums and adding a few stabs on the harmonica here and there. Timing is a bit wobbly but I really enjoyed knocking this one out.

 

 

As promised - here is the second collection of bad photographs that I took at the recent Cambridge Cigar Box Guitar Festival, hosted by those hard-working StumbleCol good-guys, Col and Tom.

Yellowbelly Flat provided some fine entertainment with some very cool instruments and fine bit of Polka...
Here's SlowPaw Steve T's cool kick drum -

SlowPaw Steve T's cool kickdrum.

Which he put to good use when he warmed up the afternoon...

Slowpaw Steve T.

 Then the mighty AboynamedStu shifted a whole load of earwax with a performance of seismic proportions...

aBoyNamedStu

Followed by the inimitable ChilliCoolKev providing some stonking, lowdown gravelly cigar box guitar blues...

ChilliCoolKev

 He was followed by another duo - this time a bass-player and cigarbox guitar player in the form of the awesome LeadfootT. Some incredible fretboard work from Fingers on Bass and Leadfoot's vocals were totally awesome...

 Then Brickdust delivered a fine solo performance, introducing a collection of outstanding new tunes and a demonstration of barefoot stomping...

 Next up it was the chance for us to enjoy the wonderful talent that is bemusic.  Making great use of a few cool pedals bemusic introduced a whole arsenal of home-made instruments including her mesmerising canjo...

 And then it was our privilege to enjoy some fine and proper delta blues delivered by the incredible Jeremiah Longshanks...

 And then it was my turn to deliver a few of my own compositions along with a handful of covers...

Then it was time for Britain's hardest working cigar box guitar outfit to do their thing. StumbleCol, dressed in their trademark black-and-white, really showed us all how it's done with a totally polished performance.

 The night was rounded off with a well organised jam session featuring Steve T., bemusic, Brickdust and ChilliCool Kev. A great way to round off a wonderful day in Cambridge. Here's hoping there is another next year (or sooner....)

Cambridge Cigar Box Guitar Festival Jam Session

 

 

I bought this 5 string resonator guitar from Big Daddy Darren Dukes at Backporch Mojo back in early 2010. He used a mandolin resonator cone but when I added the heavy gauge strings that I like to use the cone just caved in. After doing this to 3 aluminium cones I decided to try something else. I obtained a brass cone from Mike Lowe on Cigar Box Nation. These cool resonator cones are now available from Smokehouse Guitars. This modification breathed a whole new lease of life into my Backporch Mojo five string.

Here she is in action:

I didn' find time to have a go at building a cigar box guitar for myself until the winter of 2009 / 201o. I'd gathered some parts, including several cigar boxes of various sizes and lengths of hardwood, mainly oak, that looked suitable for necks. I'd joined Cigar Box Nation some months earlier and studied the plans and designs used by many of the experienced builders in that community. This is what I came up with.

This uses the simplest of through neck designs. I used a piece of oak which was shaped using a rasp and some chisels. Big bolts were used for both the nut and bridge and two piezzo transducers were wired in series as pickups. I played with these for some time, trying to minimise the chances of feedback. In the end I wrapped them both in tissue and placed one under the bridge and the other under the strings closer to the neck. The combination seemed to provide both a good tone with minimal feedback.

See what you think of this box in action:

The first Cigar Box Guitar that I ever held in my hands was this excellent 3 string lap-style guitar that my girlfriend (KatieN) bought for me for my birthday in June 2009. I'd mentioned that I'd been impressed seeing Keni Lee Burgess playing one in some of his excellent videos, so she found this one on EBay and bought it for me - ain't she a darling!

This one uses a classic Bolivar cigar box and a simple through-body design. The neck is a cool 3 piece laminated plank that features a neat skunk stripe down the middle. The string spacing and action are both enormous, ideal for lap-style playing. But I'm not comfortable playing that way so I used to hold it more like a classical guitar - as you can see in the attached video below.

I forgot mention, this one uses an integral piezzo pickup which tends to feedback at higher volume levels.

Goin to Brownsville on 3 String Cigar Box Guitar

Here's a little demo of this guitar from back in 2009: