Justin Johnson's newly released cigar box guitar double album "Smoke & Mirrors" celebrates the past, present, and future of handmade American Roots instruments.
The "Smoke" album highlights the builds of modern luthiers, and was recorded at the legendary Sun Studio, the “Birthplace of Rock & Roll,” using the studio’s combination of vintage equipment and modern technology to showcase the corresponding qualities in the 18 modern roots instruments featured.
The "Mirrors" album is a historical retrospective that showcases American Roots instruments, through acoustic recordings on 8 pre-WWII relic instruments from Bill Jehle's Cigar Box Guitar Museum. These acoustic field recordings took place at the authentic Crossroads of Blues legend, and at Shack Up Inn on the historic Hopson Plantation in Clarksdale Mississippi, “The Birthplace of the Blues,” with engineers from Sun Studio, who stayed on for this second half of the project.
Two enclosed full-color 24 page booklets are packed with photos of the journey, and of each of the instruments used in the recordings, along with detailed descriptions of the modern instruments featured on the "Smoke" album, and the stories behind the museum relics that shine on the "Mirrors" album.
Get back to your Roots! Learn the songs, techniques, and musical styles that molded our American Musical Traditions.
People have been crafting musical instruments from found objects for thousands of years. These instruments spawned the musical roots of Blues, Traditional, Folk, and Gospel genres in a very literal way, because the original innovators of these genres generally started playing on homemade instruments like the One String Diddley Bow and 3-String Guitar. Because of this, roots instruments informed the approach that these musicians took... So if you want to play roots music, you need to learn how to play roots instruments!
For centuries music was passed down from one person to another in the folk tradition. One person would play and explain a song, riff, or style, imparting the knowledge needed to perform the piece to another. Learning in this traditional way improves the student’s ear and gets them thinking about music as MUSIC, not as notes on paper. This is the approach that Justin takes to teaching the songs, riffs, and techniques in this DVD Series. In other words, you will learn music the way that the Roots music pioneers learned... person-to-person and note-by-note!
Justin, do you ever play anywhere in southren NJ or in Philly Pa? Let me know, I would like to come out and see you perform. You do some really Nice Playing and thanx for the friend invite. I am Glad to be one.!!!