The Most Exciting Thing Happening In Music

Well, for me, anyway.

Two months ago I acquired my first cigar box guitar. I wish I had the talent in woodcraft to build it myself, but I did manage to assemble it from a kit. 3 strings, fretless,with ridiculously high action so that it can only be played with a slide, it allowed me to connect with the music of Blind Willie Johnson and Fred McDowell in ways my conventional acoustic never did. And I am absolutely smitten.

For those unfamiliar with the history, home-made instruments first became popular just after the Civil War. It allowed the poorest of the poor - Blacks and rural Whites - to create music with everyday objects found around the house. Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, even Jimi Hendrix cut their teeth on one or two stringed instruments made out of a broom handle, a box, and some baling wire.

So now there’s a resurgence, and while there is a certain degree of hipsterism to it, people are making playable, great-sounding instruments out of shovels, baking pans, and hubcaps.

This is a pretty good overview of the community. Unfortunately, it seems to only be available via Amazon Prime.