Is a cigar box guitar destined to play only the blues?
What exactly can you play on a cigar box guitar?
In this post you get 6 different videos showing how one man is changing the way cigar box guitars are perceived, and revolutionizing how they are played.
Jerome Graille plays guitar.
And he plays it really, really well.
It's not just the blues that Jerome plays.
As you'll see, the man plays a cigar box guitar with the toughness of a back-alley brawler and the grace of a steel-nerved surgeon.
In an interview with Jacqueline Cassell of entertwine.net, Jerome was tossed this softball question and knocked it out of the park with his answer.
What do you like the most about guitar?
I love the guitar because it is an instrument to play all possible styles of music, from any country, of all origins there is always a guitar or similar instrument to the guitar.
Did you find the golden nugget in his answer?
A guitar is capable of playing all styles of music.
And while often limited by the number of strings, a cigar box guitar is also capable of playing everything from Django's gypsy jazz to Bach's classical to modern-day pop -- not just the blues.
Think a cigar box guitar is a one-trick pony?
In fact it's a certifiable jack of all trades.
Need some proof?
Check out Jerome's cover of AD/DC's Thunderstruck.
Wow! Jerome tears that song up, and I'll bet Angus would be proud.
If you aren't bobbing your head by the time Jerome gets to the solo section and is kicking ass with his
slide, you ought to have your pulse checked.
Now, you can make the case --
"AC/DC is just blues-rock. How big of a leap is that to make?"
Well okay then.
How about the song Hysteria from alt-rockers Muse?
Now, c'mon. Unless you've seen the video before, I'm sure you haven't seen a cigar box guitar played quite like that.
And here's a fun fact:
The four-string CBG played in that video is a signature model from my friend AJ Gaither, the hardest working one-man-band you'll ever see.
And speaking of a new way to play a cigar box guitar...
Set your eyes on this!
I know, right? What the hell just happened?!
Jerome clearly is comfortable playing music that challenges the norm on a cigar box guitar.
And isn't that really the spirit behind building cigar box guitars? Challenging the norm?
This next video will knock your socks off.
It's Jerome's latest upload to his YouTube channel.
And here's a hint...
Think of the greatest spaghetti western ever made and you'll know this song.
Good lord, that song brings back so many memories of watching that movie with my father.
Now here's a little more blues-rock to assure you that I haven't lost my grasp of CBG roots.
In this video Jerome adds the kind of flair to ZZ Top's Tush that's so raunchy it'll make you blush in proper company.
Get that man a full beard and you'd swear that Billy Gibbons is strutting his Texas swagger throughout that tune.
"Still Glenn, I don't see how all this blues-rock is that far removed from the blues I hear other guys play on their cigar box guitars."
I hear ya, buddy.
But the genre isn't the sole focus (although Jerome is a well-trained musician whose styles are much more diverse than just blues or rock).
The idea here is that Jerome is approaching the instrument with a fresh perspective.
He's come down from the ivory tower that so many trained musicians look down from onto us CBG builders and players.
And he's breaking out of the 3-chord box, demonstrating that much can be played on a cigar box guitar, with style and attitude.
He's challenging the norm.
But if you'd like to see and hear something a bit more "normal" from Jerome, check out this video that has only a handful of views at the time of this post...
There's some traditional blues for ya :)
Catch an eye and earful of Jerome's amazing work in his cigar box guitar YouTube playlist.
So what do you think?
Do you agree that Jerome revolutionizing the way cigar box guitars are played?