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Work Samples

Lady Luck 12 String.jpg

"Lady Luck"--12 String Guitar

Dark Angels

Dark Angels Crankie


"Femme Fatale" Cello

Bless My Tools.mp3

"Bless My Tools"--original song


About Lee

Baltimore City

For most of history "folk music" was played on "folk instruments", not instruments built by specialists or in factories. Since 2004 Lee Connah has been building guitars, banjos, and other stringed instruments from salvaged lumber, construction debris, found objects, and various repurposed and unorthodox materials, and decorating them in imaginative ways. He also writes and records original music, and makes crankies--scrolling panaramas that tell stories.

Dark Angels (Crankie)

This backlit scrolling panarama (with shadow puppet cameos) was created to accompany the song "Dark Angels" written and recorded by my late uncle Whit Connah. Completed in 2017. The crankie box was made from a vintage suitcase for this project.

"Lady Luck" Home Made 12-String Guitar

Resophonic 12-string guitar made from salvaged/recycled lumber and a large holiday cookie tin. Central decoration features a young and padded Annette Funicello (from a "found" early '60's album cover) being swarmed by sperm in a womb-like setting. the neck and top are all hand made--not taken from factory-made instruments!

Youtube video or this piece being played at:

  • Lady Luck 12 String.jpg

    Lady Luck 12 String Guitar
  • 12stringtin

    Annette--archetype of innocence and lust being mobbed by, er, you know....
  • 12stringhead

    Veneer from an old door panel for the head plate, inlaid with tumbling dice and the Virgin Mother.
  • 12stringfretdots

    Found vintage bingo chips for fret markers.
  • 12stringheadback

    Stud from an old Baltimore row house split and quartered for neck stability. Note the stained nail holes. Brazilian cherry floor wood for center spline.
  • 12stringback

    Detail of back construction featuring cookie tin with added spruce back.
  • "Lady Luck" being played.

    Sean Lally demonstrates several styles of music on the 12-string guitar.

"Bless My Tools"--original song

Bless My Tools is a simple song describing the life, struggles, and hopes of a working man. It has a gospel-and-blues feel and features several well known Baltimore-based musicians including Michael Raitzyk, Jamie Hopkins, Melissa Sharlat, and Rodney Parks.

"Femme Fatale" Cello--2015

Made largely from salvaged materials and found objects, Femme Fatale is a fully playable cello with onboard speaker and output jack. The fingerboard was originally a porch column stave, the tailpiece was fashioned from a spoon, the peg was a paint roller handle, and the soundboards are a stain Luan plywood from a 1960's-era closet door. Spray paint sunburst and gloss clear coat, with glitter paint F-hole accents, complete the simple finish.

"Ring of Fire" 12-String Guitar--2016

Made largely from salvaged and recycled building materials, this guitar features frets made from copper electrical wire, a neck from surplus handrail stock, and plywood body. The headstock detail is an hommage to the artwork of my late uncle Whit Connah.

"Mermaids" Bass Guitar--2016

"Mermaids" is an upright electric bass guitar made mostly from salvaged construction materials and found objects. The frets are made from copper electrical wire, the neck from a section of handrail, the tail piece is a bottle opener, and the soundboards are from old paneling. The bass can pivot around the curve at the tails to be played horizontally if desired.

"Natty Boh Satellite" Resophonic Guitar

The scrap wood used in this guitar--luan plywood, ordinary 2X4, and an unknown tropical hardwood used for the fretboard--all came from construction sites in the Baltimore area. The guitar features six 'Natty Boh' cans as the resonating chambers, oven knobs, and a spray paint sunburst finish.

"Nebraska Skies"--Original Song

All the usual suspects: Ginger Rogers in pinstripes, Paris Texas, 12-string guitar and harmonica, loss of innocense. What's not to love?

Lee's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.