We finally had the chance to attend the annual Pennsylvania Cigar Box Guitar Festival at the York Emporium, a fantastic used bookstore and curiosity shop. While the weather wasn’t the best, we still were able to see some amazingly hand-crafted cigar box guitars and hear some live music. Check out the Facebook page for more photos as well as video. I didn’t come home with a cigar box guitar, but that’s only because I’m hoping to make my own someday soon.
We mainly came for the cigar box guitars, but made it a point to browse inside, too. While it’s super tough to browse a book store with two young, rambunctious kids, I was able to buy enough time to pick something out from a huge pile of old, digest-sized pulp science fiction magazines. I chose a copy of Fantastic from October, 1955, and I’m excited to read it.
Last summer I picked up a cheap record player so I could listen to some old records that I inherited from my family. I had no idea how much fun we would have with it!
We immediately started to notice the abundance of vinyl that could be had at flea markets and yard sales, usually for a dollar or less per record. My wife and I now love flipping through stacks of vinyl, searching for all sorts of retro music, and we almost always come home with at least one gem to add to our growing collection. Sometimes they turn out to be a bust, but with such a minimal investment, we’re willing to take a risk on a record based solely on a whim or a fabulously kitschy cover.
We keep our record player and vinyl collection next to the dinner table and it’s already made for some great family memories.
I spent my Sunday afternoon in a recording studio doing a session for a blues band. Maybe when the record comes out I’ll post some links. Anyway, I had to inquire about the very strange-looking item leaning against a corner, which turned out to be a stumpf fiddle.
This was something I had never before seen or heard of, and I have to admit that I was quite annoyed that other people who were there all knew what it was. On the other hand, I love learning about things this way, and so when I got home that evening, a quick Google search provided me with plenty of information about the stumpf fiddle. It’s an instrument popular in polka, bluegrass, and country music in the upper midwest. The only downside of acquiring all of this new stumpf knowledge is that now I kind of want a stumpf fiddle to call my own. Perhaps I should try to make one?
Stump fiddle, stump fiddle, stump fiddle. Doesn’t that sound silly? I bet Beetlejuice can play it heck out of it.
Here’s a video of the stumpf fiddle in action: