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!


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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,

Why cigar box guitars?

So how did I get into cigar box guitars? Probably the same way as many of you. I saw a youtube clip and said to myself, what the hell is this amazing instrument? The CBG instantly intrigued me because it produced a sound like nothing else I’d heard.


Being a musician, this was a surprise for me and I thought, I gotta build myself one of these. I was still a sparky doing my job day in and day out, playing some music at night and on the weekends and getting in some travel every now and then. (Music and travel have always been my favourite things to do). So, I built one, then two and it went on into double and then triple digits. In 2012, my wife, Margie, and I (with our two young kids) were about to go to Europe – taking my cigar box guitars with us. It came down to decision time. Stay in my job or take a leap in the direction of our dreams? We took the leap and we haven’t looked back. We love the cigar box guitar blues n grooves so we travel around Australia spreading the good vibes. We feel incredibly lucky to do this.

Womadelaide – the world festival

To say Womadelaide is an amazing festival would be a massive understatement. The world music vibe is where it’s at. I saw some Hawaiian slack key guitar, a Mongolian band, Hanggai,  Jeff Lang, Coloured Stone, Carminho (Portugese blues/folk songstress) and many more. And people loved the cigar box guitar – from 5 year olds up to your grannies and grandpas. We even had Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil pop in for a play! Will be back next year if they’ll have me (Margie said I can’t leave her and the kids behind next time – I know my 4 and 7 year olds would love it).

Peter Garrett on the cigar box guitar!

Peter Garrett on the cigar box guitar!



Recent gigs and Byron Bay Bluesfest

I’ll be at the Byron Bay Bluesfest again over Easter with my cigar box guitars. If you haven’t been, it’s a festival to be experienced at least once in your life! And as usual it’s an amazing lineup of acts.

I’ve also been really happy to play some gigs recently from Dubbo to Wollongong and in Brisbane. Here’s a few pics.

At Lefty's Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane

At Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane

With Scottie B on drums at the Beetle Bar, Brisbane

With Scottie B on drums at the Beetle Bar, Brisbane


How-to-play ‘Wild Thing’

Here’s a vid for how-to-play ‘Wild Thing’ on your cigar box guitar…an oldie but a goldie from my youtube channel. I’ll also be doing some new how-to-play vids after Bluesfest so if you have any requests, drop me a line.

Free how-to-play cigar box guitar lesson with every online CBG purchase

I’m offering (and will continue to offer) a free how-to-play CBG lesson with every online CBG purchase. It will be tailored to your level whether you’re a complete beginner or advanced. I want to make sure you are not only happy with your CBG but can go out there and impress your friends and family (and yourself).

Just a reminder that I’m also offering lessons to everyone via Skype or in person in Brisbane.

If you need any information about cigar box guitars or want to provide some feedback, drop me a line.

Viva la cigar box guitar revolucion!

McTrustry Cigar Box Guitars

Travelling minstrel

In the last week or so I’ve travelled about 3000 kilometres from Brisbane north to Agnes Waters and then back again and down to Adelaide in the south of Australia. Both trips have been for festivals. The first, Agnes Waters Blues and Roots Festival, is a great little festival that packs a punch. I love performing there with my cigar box guitars. The crowd really gets into it. Plus, watching the sun set from the east coast of Australia is a real treat.
From our campsite right on the beach
Morning walk
On stage with ‘Jimi’


I’m now down in Adelaide for a festival I’ve never been to before – WOMADELAIDE. It kicked off last night and I have to say, that it’s shaping up to be one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended – amazing acts, great stalls, awesome people. I’ll be here at my stall until Monday night so come down if you are in the area and have a go at the cigar box guitar. I promise that it’s fun and addictive!
It’s a great lot of nothing when you’re driving across Australia. Beautiful nothing.
Some of my cigar box guitars at WOMADELAIDE
You say you want a CBG Revolution! Original 68 pressing of Revolution by The Beatles – Hey Jude on side A, now a scratch plate come resonator

Wollongong gigs and exhibition

From Adelaide, I travel to my old home town of Wollongong to see family and friends and play a couple of gigs. I’ve also got an exhibition of my cigar box guitars at the Howlin’ Wolf Bar in Crown Street from Wednesday, 12 March to Sunday, 16 March so pop in to check them out:  I’ll be playing the cigar box guitar blues at the Howlin’ Wolf Bar from 7.30pm on Friday, 14 March and at the Corrimal RSL on Saturday, 15 March if you want to check out how they sound.

Lessons – playing your cigar box guitar

I’m getting lots of inquiries about how to play your cigar box guitars. Check out my Facebook page ( and Youtube channels ( for some free tips and videos to get you started. I’ll be putting up some more in the near future so keep an eye out.
I have also started one-on-one lessons in Brisbane and via Skype. The Skype lessons are going really well so distance doesn’t have to be a problem! Contact me for further info if you’re keen.
Nigel McTrustry

Take your CBG playing to new heights with lessons

I’ve been making and playing cigar box guitars for about five years now and over that time I’ve had numerous requests for cigar box guitar lessons. Well, I’m finally getting around to it. I love the CBG and helping people get on with picking out a tune is one of the things I love most about doing what I do.

I have a few spots left for lessons at my home in Brisbane. Lessons are $45 for 45 minutes. If anyone is keen, we could try a Skype lesson…

So, if you need some extra help with your cigar box guitar playing and skills, contact me to schedule a lesson.

Performing at Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Festival 2013

Performing at Mitchell Creek Rock n Blues Festival 2013


CBG Festival – ‘Get Rooted’ CBG Festival

Cigar box guitar enthusiasts from near and far came to the 2nd ‘Get Rooted’ Cigar Box Guitar Festival at the Royal Mail in Goodna, Queensland. I kicked it off with my how-to-play cigar box guitar workshop – thanks to all those who came along. And there were a few of you! It’s amazing to see how much people love cigar box guitars and the blues. Here’s a clip of the end of the workshop when the participants, Scottie B (on drums) and I played ‘Spoonful’.

I also had the privilege of performing at ‘Get Rooted’ along with MoondogsGypsy BluesBand. What a blast! With Scottie B. on drums and Troy Pierce on bass. Here’s Hoochie Coochie Man


How to play cigar box guitar workshops and lessons

I really enjoyed the workshop at the CBG festival and plan on holding more of them over the coming year. Watch this space – I will hold them in various locations around Australia in 2014. I’m also starting one-on-one lessons in Brisbane for anyone interested and nearby. Contact me for details.


The Royal Mail at Goodna

The Royal Mail at Goodna

How to play cigar box guitar workshop

How to play cigar box guitar workshop

With Scottie B on drums

With Scottie B on drums

Cigar box guitar t-shirts

Back by popular demand – I now have Extra Large and Large tees back in stock. Can be purchased from my website or at any of the festivals I attend. Also available in Medium, Small and Extra Small. $30 including p&h in Australia.

tshirt  black white tshirt

Woodford Folk Festival

It’s that time of year again after all the Chrissy cheer has been enjoyed – Woodford Folk Festival where about 100,000 people converge over 6 days to enjoy music, street theatre, workshops, food, activities and festivities. I’ll be there again with my stall so if you are heading to the festival be sure to pop in and have a strum.

Crowds entering on the first day

Crowds entering on the first day

Finding some shade and cool in the summer heat

Finding some shade and cool in the summer heat

Meanwhile back at the stall...

Meanwhile back at the stall…

The World Music Forum

The World Music Forum at South Bank was also a great event!

I literally met people from all around the world and there were fantastic performances.

We also had a pretty impressive storm that hit just as i was to start my second set!

On stage with Scottie B ready to perform at the World Music Forum

On stage with Scottie B ready to perform at the World Music Forum

Cigar box guitar photos

Cigar box guitars


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