TRADITIONAL HANDCUT & GROUND BOTTLENECKS
Acoustic & Electric Glass Bottleneck Guitar Slides
HISTORY OF SLIDE GUITAR
The unmistakeable sound of slide guitar resonates across the globe, popularised by numerous film soundtracks and television advertising. The sound of glass on steel chills the spine of mortal beings. The origins of slide guitar as we know it can be traced back to traditional West African tribal instruments consisting of a gourd resonator and one stringed bow which musicians would drag a bone or metal object over the strings to produce music.
The influx of slaves into America also brought African influenced musical styles and culture into the southern states around the Mississippi Delta region, where, shortly after the civil war, many emancipated slaves migrated. The richness and depth of the Delta Blues tradition has led some to speculate that the region was the first to produce the blues as we know the form today. The first ‘Blues’ to be documented was heard by WC Handy in 1895, while he was in the town of Tutwiler, Mississippi.
“A lean, loose jointed Negro had commenced plunking a guitar beside me while I slept. His clothes were rags; his feet peeped out of his shoes. His face had on it some of the sadness of the ages. As he played, he pressed a knife on the strings of the guitar in a manner popularised by Hawaiian guitarists who used steel bars. His song, too, struck me instantly. ‘Goin’ where the Southern cross the Dog.’ The singer repeated the line three times, accompanying himself on the guitar with the weirdest music I had ever heard. The tune stayed in my mind.” (Handy)*
Since 1900, Delta blues has continued to influence the music culture of today, in its widest forms.
Slide guitar technique has remained a mainstay of popular culture for over a century and is here to stay as long as the blues pioneers and their music legacy remains to be heard on recordings from the 1920’s and ’30s
At the beginning of a new millennium, players continue to embrace the power of slide guitar, in an age of ever increasing musical instrument sophistication and technology, the sound of a slide over strings remains the best digital effect.
*Passage from Blues from the Delta
William Ferris Jr. 1970
Original Glass Slide (circa 1920)
Bluemoon Bristol Blues Bottleneck (circa 2003)
Handmade in the UK by Bluemoon Bottleneck Company
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