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Blues n’ roots: Chicago bluesman draws his inspiration from the past

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Glenn Kaiser went searching for the root of Delta blues and what he found was some baling wire and a couple of tenpenny nails. It was the earliest of blues guitars, called a diddley bow, first built on the sides of barns. “When people had nothing else, they stick a couple of tenpenny nails, one six inches off the ground and the other as high as they could, and took a hunk of baling wire and tied it,” Kaiser said. “You could move a rock or piece of glass up and down the wire, or pluck it with your fingers or a turkey feather or whatever.”

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