I first heard JP Williams at the Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival last year. Unlike the other acts bringing primal, slashing gutbucket blues and folk, Williams took the stage to deliver classic, uptown Chicago blues (and a touch of Memphis soul) on his cigar box guitar.
Williams has just released a full album of cigar box guitar blues, Everblue. Here's the first track, the appropriately titled, "Cigar Box Boogie."
This is contemporary blues with a twist. Williams' cigar box guitars are used like unexpected paint brushes. In "Leave My Poor Heart Alone," you have the classic elements of Fender Rhodes, saxophone, cocktail drums and bass, but then Williams pulls out a homemade mandolin solo. WOW!
"It's a Sunny Day" opens with a beautifully imperfect acoustic cigar box guitar laying down the foundation. It's then joined by a Hammond B3, drums and more. Williams is joined by female singer, Ekat Pereyra.
There's some fantastic tortured harmonica on this album, too. "Bluesman Tonight" mixes the harp with some distorted cigar box and late-night sax. Somebody pour me an Old Fashioned and light my cigar.
For fans of Junior Wells or The Fabulous Thunderbirds, this is the cigar box guitar album you've been waiting for.
For more information and to purchase your own copy, go to www.everbluecd.com
Thank-you Shane Speal for your very fine review of my new "Everblue" CD. I really wanted to expand my musical horizons and felt CBGs provided the perfect opportunity to do that for my original tunes. All ten tracks feature CBGs and could not have been created without them. I invite all of Cigar Box Nation to listen and comment.