It’s is amazing that one string and a baked bean can sings out to everyone that hears it.
Strike the string, place your slide down and find those familiar notes and you’re away, playing the blues in a simple and pure form. Our Diddley Bow road trip around the Wangaratta Rural City’s district has so far visited 10 schools plus 2 community workshops and there are several more stops yet.
So far we have built, or help build almost 300 instruments, and we may well hit 400 before we are done. We have built a number of sample and demo versions along the way including a special Captain Match Box Whoopee Band model made for Mic Conway. Recently Mic paid the city a visit to celebrate 40 years of his famous Wangaratta Wahine song, Mic was delighted to be presented with an authentic Wangaratta-made Diddley Bow.
Our aim is to round up as many instruments as we can for our world record diddley bow ensemble attempt on October the 11th down by the river in Wang. The kids are fast getting adept at playing along with the song we’ve selected to play on this auspicious date. David Godkin and I have been a good team, Dave is retired art teacher and a veteran at the Paper Mache caper, whilst I am the music guy on the project, he has improved his music skills and I have got a handle on the best ways to pimp your Diddley Bow.
The kids and teachers alike have got into it with lots of enthusiasm and some kids get the knack of playing their simple instrument very quickly and then move on to making them look funky. If we can spark some interest in music and art in just some of our participants than we will have ticked a lot of boxes in my book.
The blokes at the men’s shed have being a big part of the project, a lot of timber and steel has been cut and drilled. I also include our fantastic community minded sponsor Ovens and King Builders, and the Festival, in the huge team effort.
Don’t be surprised if I bring along Diddley Bow converts to play on a couple of songs when my band, The Recycled String Band perform at the new Hume Bank Gardens Stage on the festival Saturday. Somehow I don’t think it would be proper if we don’t give them a run, considering the many we have being working on. Hope to see you there over the weekend of the festival or at our world record attempt on October 11.
Cheers Luke R Davies
Image: David Godkin, Mic Conway, and Luke R Davies at Wangaratta Library 18/08/15, Photo: Cassandra Pollock