Will JEB Dermady's Award Winning Boat Oar Guitar!

Will JEB Dermady's Award Winning Boat Oar Guitar!

C. B. Gitty presents the winner of the 2024 New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Build-Off, Will Dermady of JEB's PoBox LLC. We asked him all about his wild instrument and himself. Here's his story in his own words. 

I started making cigar box guitars in 2016 with parts and pieces I’ve collected thru the years. The first one was originally made to just hold wine and hang on the wall. I took it apart 8 times to make it a playable bass. Losing heart, I stopped making them. 

After visiting Clarksdale, this rekindled my interest in making them. The history, folk art and gritty expression of life inspired me. 

It wasn’t till a chance stop in Natchez I became motivated to make them to share. I’ve been told sometimes you have to go back to go forward. You get caught up in your present and forget that past that makes you “you”. 

A broken tackle box houses the electronics

I was raised by parents with the depression era mindset. You make do with what you have and make the best out of it. Less can be more by enjoying the simple things that make you happy. I am very thankful to amuse others one cbg at a time. It is fun to wonder and then actually make one out so many things. 

The cypress oar was found at an antique store with a broken handle. I used a bed slat from the garage parts bin and nails cut for the poplar fretboard. A broken tackle box houses the electronics and a paddle cord is the guitar strap. It’s has parts from CBGitty as well as [other sources]. 

Making cbgs is an incredible joy of mine especially after hearing their unique voices and even more so sharing them. 

Finally, thanks to you Shane for spreading the word about cbgs. Thanks to CBGitty for feeding my addiction. And thanks to Del Puckett for giving a righteous perspective on making cbgs thru the builders forum. 

-Will JEB Dermady 

JEB’s LesPoBox LLC

22nd Feb 2024

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