10/01/2015 On an earlier trip to Yackandandah, I came across a tiny shop called Oz Blues and Roots Music Store. The owner, Shayne Soall, makes cigar box guitars. These are primitive guitars that use an empty cigar box for a resonator (sound box), or perhaps a metal biscuit tin instead. The earliest ones had one or two strings; the modern models typically use three or more. Shayne’s shop was chock full of the most interesting three and four string guitars and assorted paraphernalia like amps made from retro-fitted radiograms, mini amps, slides, etc. While his guitars are fully functional and sound great, they are also hand-made individually designed and decorated works of art.
These guitars literally struck a chord in me and I couldn’t shake them. A week or so later, I went back to Yack and bought one. Shayne’s a great bloke and threw in a small amp, an amp lead, a finger slide, and a headphone amp.
The one I chose doesn’t use the traditional cigar box or biscuit tin as a resonator – it uses a chrome bed pan. This is a prototype for Shayne, a one-of-a-kind. He calls it the Crappacaster in homage to the Fender Stratocaster. In his words, “You ain’t played shit till you’ve played some bed pan blues on a Crappacaster.”
Being a slide guitar and fretless, I’m kind of back to school doing Introduction to Slide 101 and trying to get my hands to do what they’re supposed to be doing. Sounds worse than learning the violin, but occasionally a great sound pops out and surprises the hell out of me…
Just need to be able to find it again when that happens…
And, if all else fails, just turn up the volume on the amp!
(Unfortunately, Shane’s Harley guitar stand didn’t come with the guitar.)