Music with Dave

We are listening to our friend Dave Gallaher (Microwave Dave) play tonight at Wings.

The food was great, but the company was even better.

Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza 2007

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.

CigarBox Armband

Updating My Blues Collection

I decided to expand my blues collection, which is sorely lacking. I knew that I needed to focus on the classics so I started looking for who are the must haves.

I came up with a number of names, but these three stuck out: Sonny Boy Williamson [II], Elmore James, and Muddy Waters. Once I decided on who I was adding to my collection, I needed to decide what albums I was going to purchase. I searched iTunes and Amazon. After looking forever, I decided a collect was the right answer.

I decided on the Chess 50th Anniversary Collections of Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters. For Elmore James, I selected The Sky is Crying: The History of Elmore James collection.

While doing all of this searching, I ran across a number of good collection album in the “Milliennium Collection” series. I just couldn't pass on the “The Best of Blues Guitar” and “The Best of Blues Rock Songbook“.

Here are links to the albums on iTunes:

His Best : Sonny Boy Williamson [II]

The Sky is Crying : Elmore James

The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection: Muddy Waters – His Best, 1947 to 1955

20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Blues Guitar

20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Blues Rock Songbook

Now, I can turn my focus onto more current blues talent like Sue Foley.

– Brian Allen

An Evening with Larry Woellhart

Larry WoellhartMy sister has been in town for the first three weeks of August.  And, we wanted to go out one time before she left Huntsville, Alabama.  Karen and I knew our friend Larry Woellhart would be performing down at Kenny Mango’s Coffee Shop so we all went for a wonderful evening of folk rock.  Larry was great as usual.  Kenny’s drinks were great as well.  You can check out Larry upcoming schedules here.

To see all of the photos click here.