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Ron guitar photoSharp-eyed readers will note that I actually wore a tie for this photo. This is somewhat akin in frequency to a total eclipse of the sun falling on the same day you win the Powerball.
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World's Fastest Cigar Box Guitar
The fact of the matter . . . is that I don’t get out much.
I’m not much of a socializer or small talker. Prying me off my property, or so it is rumored, requires a bulldozer, a jackhammer or an infestation of zombie copperheads. Even if all three descended at once I’d probably stay put if it weren’t for a need to protect my pups. They hate loud noises and venomous vipers. It bruises their karma.
Thus, it should come as no small surprise to those who know me that this weekend I’m actually leaving the safety, security and moderately quiet serenity of my little patch of dirt. I’ll probably actually talk to a few people, though I guarantee nothing more than a few monosyllabic grunts, bird chirps and the type of throat-derived clicking noises favored by certain lost tribes of the Amazon (the one down south; not Amazon.com).
Failing that, I’ll just be playing a lot of guitar. Publicly. Out in the open in front of God and everybody. If you’d care to join me, then just head to West Plains, Mo on Friday or Saturday (June 15 and 16). You can find me (or more likely, hear me) at the Old Time Music and Ozark Heritage Festival.
Though I’m not on the schedule you’ll probably see me on stage several times over the weekend. I hate schedules, but in return for a booth to show off my wares – cigar box guitars and Pluckin’ Poles and such – I’ve offered to be the “fill-in” guy between acts. I haven’t yet figured out the definition of “Old Time Music” - so I’m assuming that old blues from the Robert Johnson era is appropriate.
However, most of the time I’ll be planted at table manned by myself and Wichita Sam Wood. Sam is a classic builder of fine instruments and a featured performer at the fest. Last I heard he was playing quite a lot, so expect gospel tunes and hill-country stomp sort of tunes. It’s good that I’m sharing this table with Sam, as he’s a jovial fellow who will talk to just about anybody and actually make them laugh. I’ve known Sam for quite a spell, and I have to admit he makes some of the best instruments I’ve ever played.
So, if you don’t have any weekend plans, and you’re wanting to here some good tunes and get a taste of the REAL Ozarks, then just swing on down to West Plains. The festival will be hard to miss, since I think it draws about 30,000 folks.
Just look for the guys with the cigar box guitars.