From The Desk Of Holsapple & Stamey: Matty Baratto’s Cigfiddles

There are many people who consider the first two albums by the dB’s to be just as influential as those revered early Velvet Underground releases. The singing/songwriting backbone of the dB’s was the tandem of Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, whose simpatico musical attraction was strong enough to fuel Mavericks, an excellent 1991 album by the duo. Eighteen years later, the longtime friends have released the equally stirring Here And Now. The pair has also begun recording again with the dB’s, including original bassist Gene Holder and drummer Will Rigby. Holsapple and Stamey are guest editing all this week. Read our Q&A with them.


Peter: Luthier Matty Baratto came out on the road with Hootie one year as a replacement guitar tech, and everyone fell in love with him. Besides building ace rock guitars, Matty has constructed more than 150 of his Cigfiddles, which are fully functional cigar-box guitars. You just want to cuddle them after you play them. Some are electric, some have resonators (like Dobros), some are doublenecks, no two are alike, and they all sound fantastic. These are gorgeous little labors of love, inspired originally by a visit Matty made to a Hollywood Boulevard tobacconist, where he tapped on a cigar box and liked the tone. I assume that Matty has not had to smoke the contents of all the boxes he’s utilized. When I grow up, I’m going to get a Cigfiddle. Maybe it’ll be a Ukefiddle.

Comments are closed.