Lone Granger | Desert Dreaming

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New Age: Ethnic Fusion Blues: Slide Guitar Blues Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Desert Dreaming

by Lone Granger

Four song EP. Inspired, original 3 String, Cigar-Box, Dobro, guitar music from a southwest musician. Atmospheric music textured with Bansuri and Native American flute and drums.
Genre: New Age: Ethnic Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Soaring
5:12 album only
2. Shamans Dancing
6:20 album only
3. Dry Rio Blues
4:25 album only
4. Thunderheads On Blue Skies
3:36 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Cigar box guitar music. This unique Cigar box guitar has a brass resonator built into the body similar to a Dobro guitar. It's unique swampy sound harkens back to an earlier, more simple time in our history when folks made instruments at home often from broomsticks, wires, washtubs, cans and of course cigar boxes. The CBG has roots in the African Banjar or stringed gourd instruments as you can read below.

Lone Granger is the project of Native American, "Southwest World" musician Randy Granger out of the New Mexico Desert along the Rio Grande river. Check out his music here on CDBaby.com/all/lonegranger. Granger combines the hypnotic sound of the CBG with drums, Native American and Bansuri flute and vocals on "Shamans Dancing." The result is a transportive, hypnotic EP of original, inspired music to float away to or leave on while doing other things like dancing.

This custom CBG is hand crafted by Frank Harter from Utah. Under the banner of Raven Wing Flutes Frank makes many unique and fine flutes, guitars etc.

The Story of the Cigar Box Guitar
Historically, the origins of most cigar box guitars performers are found in poverty... CBGs were made and played by Depression-era jug band members who specialized in making instruments out of anything. Follow in the footsteps of Blind Willie Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Bill Broonzy and many other old-time blues legends -- it has been documented that all of these legendary old-time folks rocked on a cigar box guitar at one time in their career!

It's now a forgotten part of our history, but when enslaved Africans were brought
to this country before the 1800's, they came without possessions, but not without
their culture. In their memories, their customs, and their ways of looking at their
world, they carried their cultural arts with them enslaved to America. These arts
would enrich the New World, as Africans and Europeans mixed together and
began to build the American way of life. African music, rooted in a distinctive
musical tradition, was one of the most important of these cultural arts. The
majority of their music was based on simple stringed instruments such as their
"banjar"{a gourd with a neck and strings from Africa} which is thought to be the
precursor of the American stringed guitar the "Banjo". The best known written
accord of this early guitar is probably that of Thomas Jefferson in 1781: "The
instrument proper to them {i.e. the slaves} is the Banjar, which they brought hither
from Africa." But because enslaved people didn't have access to their native
instruments they quickly adapted and built their own.

At the time the basis of this guitar was the cigar box. The use of a stringed instrument was also a necessity
because slaves had many gatherings that called for and involved music. The cigar
box guitar was used as an integrated part of there "cakewalk" celebration.{a
common religious slaves event were one would put a cake in the middle of the
floor and dance around it to music, the best dance would win the cake; an
expression that transpired into the American expression "easy as a Cakewalk" i.e.-
to be easy or fun or "take's the cake" -to win} The use of this stringed guitar
slowly after time made its way into the mainstream of our Southern culture. Being
spread from plantation to plantation it eventually evolved into and led to the
creation of "The American Banjo". This in turn at the same time in popularizing
the use of the steel-string guitar in our culture. This was a fad that slowly spread
eastward to the cities and streets of American big cities and clubs (referred to as
"parlors" at that time) It helped create the basis of guitar and eventually
musically transformed itself again and led to the rise and use of the "Parlor
guitar". At this time the cigar box guitar was influencing all types of folk music
which was sweeping thru underground American culture. In the "Root's",
however, at the same time as the guitars popularity slowly rose in America,
without money or true freedom, a slave, sharecropper, or impoverished person
living in the countryside couldn't simply go down to the store and buy a guitar.
Thus recreating the cycle of need to make your own guitar. Making a "home-
made" guitar was the only choice for the impoverished. This tradition continued
for decades among the poor for most of the late 1800's up till and thru the 1930's
Depression Era.

Many of the people who built these curious guitars went on to become American
best know Blues and Rock stars of the day. Rock 'n Roll pioneer Carl Perkins
reminisced about his childhood cigar box guitar that he made with a box, stick and
baling wire. Years later, he would take the knowledge he first learned on that
down-home axe to create "Blue Suede Shoes." That sure got Elvis to stand up
strait the first time he heard that, after that HE WAS HOOKED on the BLUES!!!
,"Beans" Hambone, Blind Willie Johnson, and Charlie Christian, are actually
some of the people who have been known to even record with this amazing
instrument. Not only that, because most of these basic guitars usually didn't have
frets, the po' folk needed a way to play them......That is what is thought to be the
creation of slide guitar in the Southern Delta.

The precursor to the cigar box guitar as an instrument was the diddly-bow. It was a one stringed instrument where you
would take a Coke bottle or Rum neck and run it up and down a string to achieve
the tone you’re after. Those crude instruments along with the cigar box guitar is
what melded into the form of slide guitar were familiar with today. From Son
House, Robert Johnson, to Muddy Waters and Elmore James they were all
influenced in some way by these instruments following in there career as slide
players. That’s where the blues and slide guitar truly started at. On those
plantations and cotton fields the cigar box guitar and 'field hollerin' went hand in
hand. Blues players didn't play Gibsons, Resophonic or Weissenborn! They
couldn't afford them. B.B. King growing up a poor Cotton sharecroppers son
dreamed of buying his first guitar from the Sears catalog, After going to the local 5
and Dime his father knew he didn’t even have enough money for even food much
less $2 for a used Stella guitar, His only option was to "hit" the shed, and it's
well documented he made his son's first guitar from a simple cigar box. It's also
been quoted that a schoolmate of the Legendary Blues guitarist Charlie Christian,

"[Charlie] would amaze us at school with his first guitar - one that he made with a
cigar box. He would be playing his own riffs...but they were based on
sophisticated chords and progressions that Blind Lemon Jefferson never knew."
-Ralph Ellison, schoolmate of Charlie Christian.

Taken form a direct quote from Lightin' Hopkins was;
"So I went ahead and made me a guitar. I got me a cigar box, I cut me a round
hole in the middle of it, take me a little piece of plank, nailed it onto that cigar box,
and I got me some screen wire and I made me a bridge back there and raised it up
high enough that it would sound inside that little box, and got me a tune out of it.
I kept my tune and I played from then on."
-Lightin' Hopkins

This story about what would make a poor person use a cigar box for a guitar in
the first place began in the mid 1800's .....The Cigar boxes that were familiar
with didn’t exist prior to the 1840’s. Prior to then, cigars were shipped in larger
crates containing 100 or more per case. But after 1842, due to exploration of the
"West" cigar manufacturers started using smaller, more portable boxes with
only 20-50 cigars per box. In the Old West, Cigars were extremely popular in
the 19th Century, Card games, Saloon'n and Of coarse those great Mississippi
Paddleboats spread them throughout the south, because of the widespread
popularity of smoking in those days, many empty cigar boxes would be just
laying around . Unlike times are today, the 1800’s was a simpler time for
Americans, when necessity was truly the mother of invention. Being that most
American music was based off of stringed instruments, using a cigar box to create
a guitar, fiddle, or a banjo was an obvious choice for a few crafty souls.

The earliest proof of a instrument made from a cigar box that has been found is an
etching of two Civil War Soldiers at a campsite with one playing a cigar box
instrument as another tired soldier relaxed near by to listen. Those humble
beginnings are what eventually gave the Cigar box Guitar a home in music
history....Now even the Smithsonian Museum In Washington D.C. has an early
homemade Cigar Box Guitar on display c.1861 to show Americans true pride and
the roots of all our guitar-playin' Soul--- Now that’s the Cigar Box Blues Baby!



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