Video: Barr Brothers' Brad Barr Demonstrates Tackle Box Guitar, String Bow Technique

Brad Barr of The Barr Brothers, a Montreal-based quartet built around a classical harp (often run through a fuzz pedal), stopped into the Guitar World offices recently to talk about the band's new self-titled album, which came out September 27 via Secret City Records.

He also showed us his unique tackle-box guitar.

As you can see -- and hear -- in the video below, Barr also employs a unique string bow technique, where individual threads are attached to guitar strings and pulled through his fingers to create a static, quivering sound.

You can look forward to my complete interview with Barr; in the meantime, let's check out this tackle-box guitar.

Barr described the instrument as he played some stellar slide riffs that resonated throughout the room.

"I seem to get asked about this thing all the time," Barr said. "It's so brand new to my repertoire that I'm still kind of figuring it out. But it's a really good talking piece. My ex-girlfriend gave it to me for Christmas. It was made by Hobo Nation, this guy named Kim White in Armstrong, British Columbia. She introduced me to him and asked him to make me a guitar. It's the nicest gift I've ever gotten. Hobo Nation does a lot of cigar-box guitars.

"Plugging it in, it sounds like no other instrument I've ever heard. The way the box resonates, it's kind of clunky, there's no sound hole, you know, so it's somewhere between a Dobro, a banjo and an electric guitar. It's real punchy. You're welcome to try it out!"

Be sure to check out the video, the photo gallery -- and The Barr Brothers' new album, which features guest appearances from Elvis Perkins, Liz Powell (Land Of Talk) and Jocie Adams (Low Anthem). It can best be described as old, weird Americana, folk, blistering blues and far-out African rhythms. It was recorded over the past three years in a Montreal boiler room.

Nylon describes the album as "halfway between Mumford & Sons and The Head and The Heart." My Old Kentucky Blog calls it "dazzling," KUT in Austin, Texas, calls it "a bold debut album ... new sounds and new ideas."


For more info, check out The Barr Brothers online -- and don't forget Hobo Nation.

Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World.

Awesome iPhone 3GS photos: Damian Fanelli

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.