They are kind of peculiar looking instruments, carefully crafted out of somewhat common items.

String contraptions, Russ Welington can make sing.

It's a type of guitar his good friend Gary Herget introduced him to a couple of years ago

"He said he had heard that I played guitar and I said well do you play guitar and he said no I build guitars. And so at the moment I was like what? Well cigar box guitars," said Wellington.

He was hooked and now Russ doesn't just play cigar box guitars.

He's also building them.

It's a hobby that's required some trial and error, but each guitar plays a little better than the last.

Each one another piece of art.

The cigar box guitar is an instrument that dates back to the civil war.

"They took the boxes and put a broom handle through them and then go to the screen door and pull out one wire out of the screen door attach to the broom handle to the box tighten it up a little bit and you had a cigar box guitar."

Like most things it's popularity faded but there's been sort of a modern day revival.

"It's amazing what you can do with just three strings and a box."

And it obviously struck a chord with these two.

The 4th annual St. Louis Cigar Box Guitar Festival is Saturday June 4th from noon to six at Highway 61 Roadhouse in Webster Groves.

It's free to attend and is going to be so much fun. The guys will even have guitars for sale.

To learn more go to or call 314-968-0061.