Off subject again....but I have to do that because I have nothing really valid to contribute to cajun accordians yet !
Anyway...I like figuring things out and making things...sometimes more than the actual using of them when they are complete.
Couple years ago I started reading and researching old blues instruments and what even came before them.
Tried to duplicate some of it.
I wrapped and burned wine bottles...cracking them on cement to get slides...Made guitars out of 2x4's and wire and cigar boxes .sometimes with a can or tub attached for resonance. I tried to duplicate whatever they did with just the tools they had available
Had some limited success...but the coolest part was appreciating what these old guys had to work with. Mostly becasue of lack of money, they had to make what they could. And then make music with it.
Not sure if it applies to cajun music...but when I see a guy scrapping a metal washboard ... I gotta believe it has a lot in common.
Since I am a big fan of the old Mississipppi Delta blues I have to believe you had a lot of fun with your expierments. I just love the sound of those old metal body resonator guitars and believe that they would sound good with a cajun accordion. The scruboard is a zydeco music thing however.
I use a wooden body resonator guitar as rythm guitar in our band. It gives the rythm a good punch and sounds good along with the accordion. You may listen to a few examples in the link above.
Sounds like a good learning experience. A couple winters ago I found a a hollow, round, oak burl while I was cutting wood. I put it off to the side, thinking "I might want to make something outta that".
I ended up fashoning a "neck" and inserting it into the burl, then I streached baby goat hide over the open side, carved a little bridge, put on strings (I used tuning pegs from a broken guitar I came accross". Presto! Banjo! I don't play banjo but I have had fun playing around with it. Also play it in an open tuning w/ a slide for some really funky sounds. I find this instrument to be a winter time instrument, as the natural hide gets nice & tight when in the same room as the wood stove (kitchen). In the summertime, the high humidity loosens up the hide quite a bit, & the instrument reminds me of thumping on wet cardboard. I suppose warming it up over a candle or something before playing would take care of this. ---Tommee
I bet you remember Lois Hornbostle (sp?) playing mountain dulcimer at many Augusta jams. She sometimes even brings a little battery operated amp. I recall she might have even played with Jesse in a little workshop or concert. She's a great dulcimer player and she loves the Cajun music!
Gene... Yes I do remember Lois... in fact if I am not mistaken she was spotlighted at the Augusta Concert and made her second home on the porch during the evening jams sessions... an interesting instrument and a grand lady that had her instrument mastered.
I think many of the local musicians that were indigenous to the areas of W.V. were pretty interested in the Cajun Week ... many, out of couriosity for the style of music that took place... it's good to see some cross-over musicians join in.
Another person that was interesting was a guy that did some sort of rhythm stomp box / wooden platform thing that he sorta tap danced on while sitting in a chair.... he hanged more towards the old time music.
Gene.. as I recall you also play stand up Bass beyond accordion and guitar..right? I enjoy the low thumping vibrance of acoustic bass, it's cool. Have you ever experimented with a one string wash tub bass?