My folks called and indicated they were thinking about heading down to the Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza at the Flying Monkey Art Center in the old Lowe Mill. I checked with my pregnant wife and she said go!
We headed down around 7:30 and arrived as John Lowe was playing. Everything was setup on the east side of the Lowe Mill so, the sun was down behind the building and everyone was sitting on the grassy lawn. I spied my friend Dave Gallaher and had to give him an update on Karen’s pregnancy. Dave indicated he would be playing after the next act, Robert Hamilton. Dave reminded me that his cigar box guitar is a Lowebow made by John Lowe.
John is a one-man-band playing under the name Johnny Lowebow. He is playing the drums with both feet and sliding on the Lowebow with his left hand while strumming the Lowebow with his right hand, which also is holding a drum stick to play a snare drum while strumming. I know that sentence was a mouthful, but you had to see him performing. When he signed my arm band, I asked him if the performance was like exercising. He said it was a full cardo-workout.
Robert Hamilton, of Low Country Messiahs, came on next accompanied by Shane Speal. They played a great mix of tunes with both musicians playing cigar box guitars. I picked up a copy of Low Country Messiahs’ latest album, Biscuit Palace.
Shane Speal is founder and curator of the National Cigar Box Guitar Museum, which he brought some of it to the festival (see the picture above).
Following Robert Hamilton was Huntsville’s own Microwave Dave Gallaher. Dave started his set with some traditional songs of his before picking up the Lowebow to play “Trail of Tears”. The crowd has thrilled to hear Dave play. He has been entertaining Huntsville for many years. You can check Dave playing with the band The Nukes all around Huntsville and the southeast.
Click the photo for more pictures.