Strange Instrument #13: The Woogie Board… The Electric Washboard!

As soon as I’ve started to listen to Blues music (it was a long time ago so I don’t exactly remember when), I got into an artist out of the standards… Washboard Sam and his tune Diggin’ My Potatoes! This Bluesman seemed out of the standards because his instrument appeared rather strange to me… a Washboard! Then I had to read about this, and thanks to Mr Herzhaft I’ve ended learning that this instrument was quite popular during the golden age of Blues music… Washboard players were all over the place. After all, you don’t need complex tool to make music… Theoretically, you just need a noisy object! The musical art is about your capacity to organize the noise following the rules you choose to apply! You can start a controversy about this statement, that’s what the comment section is all about!

I thought that just as so many musical objects, the Washboard was just kind of obsolete! What a surprise when I’ve heard about a new kind of Washboard (via the contact form of the blog)… Actually I was even more surprised to here that some dudes somewhere play Wahsboard, and that some dudes somewhere were still building ’em!! The Woogie Board is not just a plain Washboard… It is an electruc Washboard! It is made by the Saint Blues Guitar Workshop in partnership with Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. The Woogie Board features enclosed dual-Piezo pickups, with a three-way switch for pickup selection, and volume control knob. In the following video you will hear that the biggest surprise comes from the use of effects pedals that opens some very cool sound perspectives… Here is what Cody Dickinson says about his first contact with the Woogie Board: “When I plugged it into a wah-wah pedal and a delay, and realized it sounded like Jimmy Hendrix, it blew my mind. It’s psychedelic”. I let you judge by your ears, I kinda like the sound… Especially his use of the wha wha pedal!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBBNFumYoDM[/youtube]

Further details onwww.woogieboard.com.

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