Cigar Box Blues – The Makers of a Revolution – 18 December 2020 – 18/12/2020 – Friday – BBC Four

We meet the passionate makers and players of cigar box guitars. Many of these craftsmen and musicians are from post-industrial British towns, and have created a self-identity through making these unique three-stringed guitars. Born from the blues, their simple, low-cost, ‘no-rules’ approach means anyone can try their hand.

These are the fervent advocates of the ‘cigar box guitar revolution’ who express their love of designing and constructing hand-made instruments, recycled from almost anything. The democratic, pro-recycling, local-production ethos of the movement inspires new recruits, while the emotional connection they feel for their instruments creates a unique and evocative sound that totally transports musicians and audiences alike.

Although the cigar box guitar has a long history in the USA, where it formed part of the culture of traditional blues music, it has only recently become popular with musicians in the UK. This film reveals how just three chords, played on their unique, DIY instruments, handmade from recycled materials, connect them to their truth.

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About the Show

This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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