A. J. Gaither spent the bulk of his young adulthood getting his hands dirty, making a living working on cars. But the southern Arkansas native found a way to keep his hands busy, building and playing handmade musical instruments, while avoiding arrest and living further north in Kansas City.
Southern New Jersey natives April Mae and Dave “Catfish” Fecca form two-thirds of the blues/Americana trio, April Mae & the June Bugs. Prior to the inception of their current band, April and Catfish toured from Memphis to Mexico in a blues-fusion group. Their time spent in the south strengthened their ties to the blues which led to them being awarded the honor of 2009 Emerging Artist finalists at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas.
She doesn’t have a distinct recollection of how she was introduced to music, just that is was always around her growing up. Belinda Gent can’t even cite a particular musical influence in her family, but the spark to create was deep inside her.Continue reading “Belinda Gent (bemuzic)”
Ben was raised near the Everglades in Florida with nothing but the blues playing in the house. His grandfather’s influence made certain that Mississippi blues specifically helped to shape the boy’s musical interests. Continue reading “Ben Prestage”
In this gallery is our collection of celebrities holding (and ideally playing) cigar box guitars. If you have any photos like this, please let us know! Click on any of the photos for a larger view and more info.
Englishman John Wormald began playing guitar in his teenage years. While in school he built his first solid body electric guitar. From there, although it would take some time to grow, John’s luthiery and performances would take on a storied life.Continue reading “Chickenbone John (John Wormald)”
As far back as he can remember, music has been part of Gary Copeland’s life. Gary sings and plays music steeped in rich tradition, bellowing the heavy sounds of Appalachia. And the roots of his musical history run deep as the coal mines in his home state of West Virginia. Continue reading “Gary Copeland (Spence’s Rye)”
Even with music in the family, Gerry Thompson didn’t start playing music until well into adulthood. When he inherited an old banjo-lin from his father the wheels began to turn. However, the little strummer was sorely in need of work. Continue reading “Gerry Thompson”
At the young age of 12, this Wisconsin youth became active in the Milwaukee music scene. So active, in fact, that before having reached 19 years of age, Glenn had played in more than 12 bands and had already led two. Continue reading “Glenn Kaiser”
“I struggle to understand these blues artists who endlessly retread the old blues standards – have they nothing to say? Are they so vacant they have to sing other people’s words?” – John Farr aka Hollowbelly.Continue reading “Hollowbelly (John Farr)”
Musical styles: Blues, Hillbilly stomp, Rock, Americana, Originals
Handmade instruments played: cigar box guitars
He didn’t start build cigar box guitars until 2007 but he was bit by the artistic bug much earlier in life. Jason Farthing was drawing his favorite super heroes as a wee lad which is something that ultimately led to his love for the visual arts. That love turned into some of the finest custom painted cigar box guitars one can find.Continue reading “Jason Farthing (The Budrows)”
“In elementary school, we had a picture of Bo Diddly in our cafeteria. He was holding a rectangular guitar and the poster said something to the affect of ‘Eat your vegetables’. […] I didn’t see anything like that again until 2000 or so when Microwave Dave played the local W.C. Handy fest with his cbg. […] I had no idea at the time it would totally change my life in the years to come.”
As a young boy, John was introduced to boogie-woogie piano. Years later, and after a short stint with the trumpet, he was given a guitar. John was not one who took well to lessons on either piano or trumpet, and had a only a few on guitar. His growth as a musician really took off by jamming with friends. He grew to play in several bands in various clubs and immersed himself into the Fayetteville, AR punk scene, ultimately opening a music store with his wife in that city.Continue reading “Johnny Lowebow (John Lowe)”
Handmade Instruments Played: Cigar Box Guitar, Gas Can Guitar, Diddley Bow, many others
Over the last several years, Justin Johnson has become one of the most recognizable performing musicians of the cigar box guitar and homemade/handmade music movement. A highly accomplished musician, Justin plays a wide variety of handmade instruments created by builders and craftspeople all over the world, frequently switching between different instruments on stage all while weaving a masterful tapestry of sound and spoken word. Continue reading “Justin Johnson”