I have always had music in my life.
As a young kid I played piano, flute, tenor and baritone saxophone and even the bagpipes for a while, though they soon got forgotten when I discovered the guitar.
Like all my friends and no doubt many of you, I thought if I had the same guitar as my hero and practiced once a week, we might just make it. Needless to say we didn't, and if I'm honest, I'm probably play no better now then I did then.
It did however, form an early interest in building my own guitars.
Like many, it started with minor customizations - a quick paint job here, maybe a set of new pickups there...
That quickly progressed to building complete electric guitars - including the most recent solid body I built, the now infamous custom 'Uk Map Guitar'.
For me, this guitar epitomizes everything I feel about building instruments.
Lets stand out from the crowd, but let us do it with style!
Lets have something that not only stops folk in the tracks, with their jaw hanging loosely on the floor, but lets make sure these things rock too!
LETS BLOW THEIR MINDS!!!
I guess therefore it was only a matter of time before I got involved with Cigar Box Guitars.
I was instantly hooked. Nothing in music had ever moved me like these simple, primitive instruments.
I immediately bought one, took it apart, and set about creating my own version.
It quickly escalated into a full blown obsession, and a desire to share my revelation with as many other musicians as possible. You don't need a £1000 Gibson to have fun, technique and style does not come with a mortgaged Stratocaster - and nothing will make you smile like a cigar box guitar!
To say playing a CBG could change the way you hear, play and enjoy music is a bold statement indeed..... so dont take my word for it. Try it!
The Home Grown Music Collective
Dont get the impression I hide away in the workshop all year though - I am also heavily involved in the cigar box scene. I was instrumental in the formation of the Home Grown Music Collective (www.homegrownmusiccollective.com) 18 months ago, and it has gone from strength to strength. Although we are all Cigarboxateers, the new group is not restricted to guitars and the blues - it is open to all home made instruments and any style of music. Check it out and get involved!
You will also find me at the Uk cigar Box Festival each October giving workshops, selling guitars, chatting and generally playing up, despite it being over a 1000 mile round trip for me to attend.