The Jack Murphy's Cigar Box Guitars Ensemble

(left to right) Dennis Swauger on bass, yours truly, Tom Impola on four-string, and Iain Machell on the three-string.

I work at SUNY Ulster Community College (Stone Ridge, NY) and we have an Arts Showcase up in the gallery this month featuring the work of faculty and staff. I’ve got three of my guitars in the show.

There is a two-string cigar box bass (oak neck, weed wacker trimmer line for strings, Romeo y Julietta box, which I built and modified from a Witchita Sam Huntsville kit), a three-string lap steel slide lunch box guitar (Elvis lunch box, poplar neck, eye bolt bridge and bolt for nut), and a four-string cigar box guitar (Revolucion cigar box, shower drain for sound hole cover, mahogany neck with oak fingerboard, Corian bridge and nut).

Three of my friends, who are professors asked to play the guitars, so we put together an all CBG trio and called it “Jack Murphy’s Cigar Box Guitars Ensemble” and they got together and rehearsed one night, then put on a show this past Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the gallery.

I was able to borrow a camera and film it, and then the public relations people decided they wanted to use it, so they put it on the college's Facebook page.

They did seven songs and one encore, and it went over quite well. It was fun to see and hear others playing my guitars. The players are Dennis Swauger (professor of chemistry) on bass, Tom Impola (English instructor) on four-string, and Iain Machell (chair of Art Dept.) on the three-string.

Here is a link to one of the songs they did, “SUNY Ulster Blues,” lyrics and vocals by Iain Machell.


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Comment by Willardj on October 7, 2009 at 8:16pm

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