Beer Bottle Blues

Justin Johnson is one of my guitar heroes and I came across this video to share. Last year Justin released a two-volume set of roots justinjohnson42music CDs, Smoke & Mirrors, played entirely on traditional homemade instruments. On one CD the instruments were mostly borrowed from a museum of cigar box guitars, some being a century old.

To help add to the project’s feel the first CD was recorded in the Memphis studio of Sun Records. The same studio where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash began their careers. For the second CD they moved to the heart of blues history, the Hopson Plantation outside Clarksdale, Mississippi where they set up a studio in an old sharecropper’s shack.

Killing time between sessions Justin’s partner, Nikki, taped Justin jamming on a homemade six-string using, among other things, a beer bottle for a slide. The guitar was built for Justin by Dan and Darren Dukes of Delta Groove Guitars using an old galvanized wash bucket as the body. It is Nikki who is also handling the snake rattle percussion section.

It just continues to astound me how much creative talent exists in this world.

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