Ah, springtime hit Pennsylvania today and my
kids were begging to go outside to play in the 60 degree weather. I followed them out and had a seat on my old porch
swing with a brand new Colin McRoberts cigar box guitar.
Life is good.
I probably own the world's largest collection of cigar box guitars and I have played every style imaginable. It
was refreshing to sit down and play the McRoberts because it is just a damn-good, old time, no frills, roots and blues machine.
It played like a primal dream, with the hand carved neck and long scale neck which added a touch of treble whine to the
sound. McRoberts provided a piece of PVC tube as a slide, but I found it too quiet and deadening, so I pulled out a
small glass slide from my own collection. Unfortunately, this wasn't my guitar to keep, so I had to keep myself from
really digging in to the strings and marring the Punch cigar box. (Note to the world: cigar box guitars are supposed
to get chewed up and scratched to hell. Play like your life depended on it. The instrument can take the abuse.)
Still, my lighter-than-usual strumming and fingerpicking caused the box to sing with every touch. He's done a great
job with the simple construction. Although this is a primitive instrument that is created for lo-fi tones, the McRoberts
didn't give unwanted buzzing or 'smooshed' tones. Kudos.
If you're a guitarist looking for something deeper than Stevie Ray ever dreamed of, a McRoberts cigar box guitar will take you there quicker than you can say 'O brother
where art thou.' No Strat, Martin or Les Paul
has the mojo of a damn-good, old time, no frills cigar
box guitar by Colin McRoberts.
King of the Cigar Box Guitar
curator of the Natl. Cigar Box Guitar Museum
-reviewed March 13, 2007