Big Stan's the Man for grassroots

MAKE IT MUSIC: Guitar maker Stan Ceglinski plays one of his instruments.
MAKE IT MUSIC: Guitar maker Stan Ceglinski plays one of his instruments. David Nielsen

BLUES enthusiasts relished the sweet sounds of the city's inaugural cigar box guitar festival - Get Rooted - on Saturday.

The beer garden of the Royal Mail Hotel was transformed into a buzzing scene reminiscent of the 1930s jug bands in the streets of America.

Musicians and guitar builders travelled interstate with their instruments constructed using cigar boxes, biscuit and dog food tins and garden stakes.

Woodworker and musician Stan Ceglinski, known on the roots scene as Big Stan, brought his stall of homemade guitars, finger boards and necks from Byron Bay to share with the Ipswich audience.

His "band" is a wooden box with an old rubber thong attached to its side which thumps at the control of a piece of string tied to his toe. His guitar is made from a biscuit tin.

"On the docks in Portugal, they unpacked the ships by hand and they would sit around at lunch time on boxes, playing them," Mr Ceglinski said.

"I've attached an old thong to the back of mine so I can use it as a stomp box and it becomes a drum accompaniment.

"Coupled with a harmonica and a cup of tea nearby and you've got an action-man kit."

Mr Ceglinski has been making instruments since he was 17.

"I love making music and turning junk like this 1964 hub cap into a guitar," the 58-year-old said.

Ms Nelson said the festival was all about fostering a sense of community while bringing the roots movement to Ipswich.

"I spent a couple of years waiting for someone else to do it and no one did," the Camira resident said.

"We hope it will be an annual event. You can make an instrument out of anything - poly pipe, cardboard anything. Music is all about capturing vibration and controlling it."