Coochie Island Blues and Roots – Australia Day long weekend Sunday session

I’m really excited to announce the Coochie Island Blues and Roots Sunday session, Australia Day long weekend 2015. Coochiemudlo Island is lies in Moreton Bay, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast and, although only 5 square kilometres in size, boasts more than four kilometres of beautiful, safe beaches.



Great beaches for the kids

Great beaches for the kids

On Sunday, 25 January 2015, talented musicians will converge on the island at the Community Hall and put on a Sunday session that will, I’m sure, be remembered for a long time to come.

coochie poster for post

Special mention goes out to The Coochiemudlo Island Events Association for its support – thanks everyone!

Woodford Folk Festival – 27 Dec – 1 Jan

It’s that time of year again…Woodford Folk Festival, a definite must-do on the festival circuit. I’m back again with my cigar box guitars, cigar box basses and cigar box one-string diddley bows so come along and have a play.


I think I’ll plug this guitar in 🙂


Cigar box guitars on display cbg1

New how-to-play Shake ’em on Down vid

Here’s my latest how-to-play cigar box guitar video – Shake ’em on Down. Hope you enjoy.

Drop me a line to let me know how your CBG journey is going.

All the best,



Nigel McTrustry

McTrustry Cigar Box Guitars


Festival fever

Great Southern Blues Festival – Narooma, New South Wales

It’s been another few months full of festivals. We drove down the east coast of Australia from Brisbane, via Byron Bay, Yamba, Evans Head, Sydney and Wollongong, all the way to Narooma for another great year at the Great Southern Blues Festival. Music, madness and cigar box guitars! And, of course, the Blues. I performed in Ferny’s Juke Joint and on the main stage with MoondogsGypsy BluesBand. Great fun!


Beautiful Narooma – crystal clear water



At Ferny’s Juke Joint




Getting ready to go on stage

 Mud Bulls and Music – Jimna, Queensland

I’ve just been up at the Mud Bulls Music Festival at Landcruiser Park, near Kilcoy in Queensland. The last time I was at an event that involved bulls was Pamplona in Spain. This little country gem of a festival had great music and great people. There’s a lot of country rock happening at the moment and people really loved the cigar box guitar.


mud2  mud5


mud4  mud6

From crab racing to bull riding, this festival had it all and everything in between. Rodeos, 4WDs and music … but more dust than mud. That just about sums it up. Shame it was the last one.



14 kilometres of this road in and out of the festival

Village Blues, Dunoon, New South Wales

Mid-October I was at the Village Blues in Dunoon, northern New South Wales. It was great to see the cigar box guitar in action with The Hoochers and Two Rivers. Dunoon is a great spot in the hinterland behind Byron Bay – and the sports club was a top venue.

Upcoming events

For some cigar box guitar blues n grooves, come along to Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall in Caxton St, Brisbane, Thursday 20 November from 9.30pm.



Woodford Folk Festival – Xmas/New Year’s

I’ll be back again this year at Woodford Folk Festival with my cigar box guitars. Yes, it’s hot but there really is nothing else like it on the festival calendar. Come along and check it out!


wood1     wood3

Latest how-to-play cigar box guitar video

Here’s my latest video on how to play Folsom Prison Blues. Check it out and leave a comment!



Thanks again for following me on this cigar box guitar journey.


Nigel McTrustry

McTrustry Cigar Box Guitars




Festival time

It’s Spring time here and I’ll be taking my cigar box guitars and diddley bows out along the east coast of Australia for a number of festivals over the next month or so. This weekend, I’ll be at Redfest in Cleveland, Brisbane (Fri night 7th to Sunday 9th). If you have yet to play a cigar box guitar, want to have a strum and live locally, come and find me at the Cigar Box Guitars Australia stall. For more information:

The following weekend is the inaugural Coochie Music Festival on Coochie Mudlo Island in Moreton Bay. If you haven’t visited this jewel, jump on the ferry and come along to see Ed Kuepper, Swampfish and others from 10am to 6pm on Saturday, 13 September. It’s an all ages event. I’ll be playing cigar box guitar blues n grooves at the stall. For more:

Coochie Mudlo –


From 17-19 September, I’ll be at the Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues festival (near Gympie). Get ready for Dallas Frasca, Sandi Thom, Nathan Kaye, Stonefield, and The Hillbilly Goats to name just a few. I’ll have a stall and will be performing with Scottie Burke on drums on stage:

Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Festival is in a top spot –


We’ll then travel down along the east coast of Australia to Narooma, about 5 hours south of Sydney, for the Great Southern Blues Festival. We’ll have our Cigar Box Guitars Australia stall there from 4 – 6 October 2014:

And here are some of the Cigar Box Guitars I’ll have with me:

yellow2      key5     road3    goin3

Pickups and how to choose the best one for you

I’ve had a few questions lately regarding the pickups I use in my cigar box guitars. The three main pickups I use are the humbucker, the single coil and the 3 pole hand wound pickup. Check out my youtube channel for what they sound like (

The Humbucker –  for that grungy/dirty blues sound.


The single coil – cleaner tone but can be dirtied up through the amp.


The 3 pole hand wound – I get some pickups made specifically for the 3 string cigar box guitar – the sound produces clean, warm tones.


New how-to-play cigar box guitar video

Check out my youtube channel ( or Facebook page ( for new how-to-play cigar box guitar lessons and videos.

Drop me a line if you have any questions.

New videos – how to play songs on the cigar box guitar

I’ve had time to put together some new videos for how-to-play songs on the cigar box guitar. Here are some links below:

‘Back in Black’:
‘Get Back’:
‘Voodoo Chile (slight return)’: 

And just to throw in something a little different, here’s a vid with images from gigs and my workshop:

Let me know if there are other songs you’d like to learn and I’ll get onto it!


I’ve been playing the CBG at venues around Brisbane and the Byron Bay area in the last couple of months. Here are a few pics.

Lefty's Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane

Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane

Brunswick Hotel

Brunswick Hotel

The Joynt, Brisbane

The Joynt, Brisbane

West End (Davies Park) market in Brisbane

It’s winter in Brisbane and the 4.30am starts required to set up a stall at West End market on a Saturday morning are nearly killing me – but worth it. It’s a great, grassroots market that has some amazing buskers, great food and interesting characters. I’ll be down there the next couple of Saturdays and then the last couple in August. Come down to have a play – or if you want to just hang and listen.

At Davies Park market

At Davies Park market

Upcoming events

I’m heading out to the centre of Queensland for Gemfest from 7-10 August. I’ll be playing my CBGs on stage, as well as having a stall. I’d love to see you there (if you’re out that way!) It’s gonna be a blast.

Leftys Old Time Music Hall, Caxton St, Brisbane, 9pm, 21 August

Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Festival, 19-21 September, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

I’ll be performing at this festival located in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. I’ll also have a stall so come and check it out!

For tickets and more info:

Grotto Fest, 1 November, Marburg, Queensland

Recent builds


cbg1 cbg2 cbg3

Bass String Bertha

Bass String Bertha


Nigel McTrustry

McTrustry Cigar Box Guitars


Byron Bay Bluesfest wrap up


Another year of sunshine, great music and cigar box guitars! Bluesfest is always a highlight on the calendar for me. One hundred thousand people descend on a field for 4 days near one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia to listen to blues, roots, and rock n roll.  Bluesfest never disappoints. My personal musical highlights included Michael Franti and the Mississippi All Stars.


The gates are yet to open on the first day.

The gates are yet to open on the first day.


Sun is shining and the gates are open!

Sun is shining and the gates are open!


blog3                           blog10   

The campsite.


And then there are the cigar box guitars. This year saw me being at Bluesfest with my cigar box guitars for the fourth time. I’m always excited when someone comes in to tell me they’ve visited the stall every year for a jam. It makes me feel like the cigar box guitar is a real part of the Bluesfest experience and I’m just lucky enough to tag along for the ride.
Matt Taylor from Chain on CBG
The Wailers are on!


We’ll be back next year for more jams and music. Meanwhile, here’s some vid from Bluesfest to keep you going until then.



Recent builds

Here are some of the latest ones from the workshop.
‘Midnight Rambler’


‘You Gotta Move’


New how-to-play cigar box guitar videos

I’ve finally had some time to do some more vids: How-to-play Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) and Get Back on a cigar box guitar. Drop me a line if there’s a song you want to know how to play.




Upcoming events

Sunday, 4pm – 7pm, 25 May, The Joynt, South Brisbane (with Caroline Hammond band)


I’m playing a few gigs around the Byron area at the end June. If you’re around, I’d love to see you there!
Friday 7.30pm, 27 June – The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Heads
Saturday, 7.30pm, 28 June – The Nimbin Hotel, Nimbin
Sunday, 7.30pm, 29 June – The Byron Bay Brewery


I’m also performing at the Childers Festival in Childers on 26-27 July and will also have a stall there on Sunday, 27 July.


Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Festival is also shaping up to be a must-go event on the festival calendar. I’ll be performing there in September, as well as having a stall.
All the best,

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