Saint Blues Guitar Workshop announced today the launch of the Woogie Board, the first production electric washboard in partnership with Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.
The Woogie Board has been developed together with Cody Dickinson. Cody is the son of legendary producer, Jim Dickinson, who worked with artists such as the Rolling Stones, the Replacements, and Bob Dylan. “I had been playing guitar, drums, and piano, then one day my father literally hung a washboard around my neck, and said ‘Son, you’re going to play the washboard’ ”, says Cody. Although it was his father’s love of roots, blues, and folk music that introduced Cody to the washboard, electrifying it and marrying with traditional guitar effects, was all Cody. “The electric washboard, which is utterly Cody’s instrument, is a thing unto itself” Cody’s father Jim, said. “That wah-wah pedal does something to it that God never intended. There’s something really, really vulgar about what the wah-wah pedal does.”
Saint Blues and Cody have taken this home grown, roots instrument and made it a true gig-worthy instrument. It is handmade in Memphis from solid Mahogany, and finished with a hand-rubbed tung oil. The Woogie Board features enclosed dual-Piezo pickups, with a three-way switch for pickup selection, volume control knob, and a high quality output jack all housed in a tele control plate built into the leg. “The electric washboard is taking things to a whole new level. It’s never been done before, it’s completely unique, and there is tradition, so it kind of has all the makings of a juggernaut” says Cody.
The sounds and effects the new Woogie Board (woogieboard.com) can create outside of an amplified traditional washboard have to be heard to be believed. “When I plugged it into a wah-wah pedal and a delay, and realized it sounded like Jimmy Hendrix, it blew my mind. It’s psychedelic, it tickles that part of the brain.” Saint Blues and Cody are currently working on custom effect pedals designed for new players to create these sounds if they don’t already own these effects. “To me, there’s something irresistible about taking a familiar instrument, and a familiar chord pattern or musical structure, and doing something just completely innovative with it, like Hendrix did. It gets harder and harder to do, but clearly the Woogie Board is doing it” said Jim Dickinson.
Saint Blues has a long history of working with Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians on their instruments and sound. “Working with Cody and the Dickinson family to build a unique and new instrument is an opportunity we couldn’t turn down. It’s not just the connection to our Memphis roots, but a partnership with an innovative musician and friend that is licensed to hold the torch.” said Brian Halley, Director of Sales and Marketing for Saint Blues.
“I’m no purist, by any stretch of the imagination, but at the same time I understand the responsibility of keeping tradition alive –whatever part I can play in keeping it alive I’m proud to do it. The idea that it’s going away is ridiculous, and the fact that it’s going to change is inevitable” – Cody Dickinson
The Woogie Board is available to purchase through the Saint Blues website at saintblues.com, or directly at woogieboard.com/.
About Saint Blues Guitar Workshop
Originally launched in Memphis in 1984 by one of Schecter’s early founders, Tom Keckler, Saint Blues (saintblues.com) quickly became one of the sought after boutique guitar brands in the mid and late 80’s, but closed the production line in 1989. The line was restarted in 2006 with Tom Keckler back involved. The artists that played, or still play, original Saint Blues are a who’s who of rock and blues legends including Albert King, Billy Gibbons, Joe Walsh and Billy Squire to name but a few. The Saint Blues line features the original Bluesmaster (61 South, Mississippi Bluesmaster, B-II and B-IV), the Bluescaster (BC-IV) and the King Blues Bass.
Based out of Memphis, Tennessee, Saint Blues’ line of vintage-style guitars and basses are available for sale at over 175 independent dealers in 19 countries and online.
About Cody Dickinson
Cody Dickinson is widely known for his role as the indefatigable drummer, keyboardist, and electric washboard maestro for the North Mississippi Allstars (NMA), and most recently the front man and guitarist for his own band, Hill Country Revue. His brother, Luther Dickinson, is currently playing with the Black Crowes when he is not touring with the NMA. Cody is the son of famed and legendary producer, Jim Dickinson. Cody has three Grammy nominations with the North Mississippi Allstars and has professionally contributed to multiple movie soundtracks. Cody has recorded with such artists from John Hiatt to John Spencer to Robert Randolph.