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Saturday, August 6, 2011 - 5:02am

Savannah Concert Spotlights Cigar-Box Guitars

Updated: 3 years ago.
Cigar-box guitars are made using strings stretched over an actual cigar box, and they launched many blues legends, including Bo Diddley, Lightnin' Hopkins and Albert King, who all cut their teeth on such instruments. (Photo Courtesy of Steve Lodefink via Flickr.)

It's the homemade instrument that launched many a bluesman — the cigar-box guitar — and it's getting a rare turn in the spotlight at a concert in Savannah.

Just as the name suggests, these guitars are made using strings stretched over an actual cigar box. Legendary players such as Bo Diddley, Lightnin' Hopkins and Albert King cut their teeth on such instruments.

Saturday evening, three Savannah blues musicians — Eric Culberson, Georgia Kyle and Roy Swindelle — will perform using cigar-box guitars during a benefit concert to raise money for the city's Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum.

The Savannah Morning News reported that museum director Tony Pizzo became a big fan of the primitive guitars because of their deep history in Southern music.

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