Day 3: Hanging out with Bowlin’s Box Guitars.

After a rainy morning at the market we headed back to Travis’ apartment to talk more about cigar box guitars. He was kind enough to show me around his place, tell me about all of his builds, how he got into this, how he thinks it benefits the youth, and of course; he played me some songs on his guitars!

Huge thanks to Travis for the insights, and also for giving me one of his handmade guitars for the road! Now I just need to figure out how to take it on the next plane..

Diggin’ at Nashville Flea Market.

This morning I hitched up Nolensville Pike to meet Travis and his friend Kathy at the Fairground where the Nashville Spring Market was taking place in the rain.

When two cigar box guitar makers come together in the natural guitar part hunting habitat, things get a little exciting.

It was when we were both digging through a pile of rusty old draw pulls, thinking how they could potentially be perfect tailpieces for our guitars, that I realised we were completely on the same wave length.

We both look for unique parts that have their own history etched in the rust, which is what truly sets cigar box guitars apart from their factory made counterparts, and what gives each guitar its own playful character.

I picked a couple of rusty old American licence plates, a handful of brassware, and this enigmatic cigar box that dates back to the 1930s and was made on the east side in York, P.A.  

Blues Jam at Papa Turney’s Juke Joint.

So Travis Bowlin of Bowlin’s Box Instruments invited me along to a blues jam/juke joint last night at Papa T’s right on the marina of Nashville Shores.

I met him there for a beer and bbq, then I was handed an old Les Paul lawsuit copy and told to jump up on stage with Travis and an ensemble of in-house native Nashville musicians.

What happened after that still remains a mystery to me. I’m certain we rinsed Zepellin’s Whole Lotta Love, and a few basic blues rhythms led by Travis and his co-pilots on bass and drums.

It got real when Papa T himself stepped up with a Hendrix style white strat which, in true Hendrix style was a lefty strung upside down. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Papa T and an incredible 17 year old guitarist really put the night to rest with this absolute assault on their strings. Within a few lengthy solos and some serious action on the wah pedal, they were joined by a saxophonist that just topped the whole thing for me.

I’ll be catching up with Travis tomorrow to talk more about his business and Cigar Box Guitars!

Day 2. Bourbon Street Blues.

Took the route 52 bus downtown to the city centre this morning.
It’s the second day of a relentless thunder and lightning storm,
which gave me a great excuse to hide from the rain in some
of Nashville’s rough and riotous Honky Tonk bars


The eponymous ‘Music City’ rightfully earns its name with live country music flowing from every doorway, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Record Store Day 2017
than to be in the ‘Texas Troubadour’ Ernest Tubb’s world renowned record store..
Also after struggling to get hold of Cigar Box Guitarist Stacy Mitchhart from home, turns out he’s playing right here tomorrow at Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar!

Beach Plastic Plectrums

 

To participate in combating ocean plastic pollution, I am now making plectrums out of plastic washed on our shorelines.

Living in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, I am blessed to be near some of the world’s most beautiful beaches but the problem of ocean pollution is too close to home.

Read more…

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