Not only don’t they make ’em like this any more, we’re not sure anyone else ever did make ’em like this! Of course, it could just be the way the pickup has aged, with over seventy years since this thing was assembled, but this is the rawest, most earthy, most alive sounding lap-steel we’ve ever heard.
Sure, you can get it to make regular Hawaiian sounds, or polite country backgrounds, but, hell, listen to that soundfile – this amazing piece of Australian instrument building is mysteriously jam-packed with deep southern voodoo tone and a nasty, nasty rock edge. These sounds would have fitted right in on any of the super cool southern soundtrack albums that were released from the True Blood television vampire series.
A British Empire Product
We can’t tell you much about the Cressy brand, as we’ve been able to track down very little information. ‘A BRITISH EMPIRE PRODUCT’ appears below the Cressy name on the headstock, and the original volume pot was an Australian-made Duco. A Provisional Patent number is stamped on the sides of the big horseshoe magnet, but a Patent Office search for details produced no result.
There is a Cressy township in Tasmania and one in Victoria, but the name may have had no connection at all to a town. Maybe there was a Bob or Jim Cressy out there somewhere in the late 1930s or early ‘40s, with a little radio repair shop, tinkering around with early electrified music instruments, inspired by the massive popularity of Hawaiian music at the time. The Hawaiian Club sticker on the headstock was apparently related to a venue in Sydney, (the Trocadero Ballroom). We have seen photos of an identical instrument, bearing the name MAXI, and an unbranded version with dark green paintwork, so there’s obviously stories, but they may be slowly disappearing through the cracks.
Truly amazing tone
What we do know is that this is a solidly built lap-steel, with great punch and truly amazing tone. It’s all original, other than we had to change the volume pot, (the original Duco pot will be included), and we presume there would have been an original Amphenol screw-on connector, replaced with a regular jack, clearly many years ago. (See pic # 8)
Original owner's notation
As with our recently sold Maton double-neck steel console, we have left the original owner’s notation, (pics 5 and 6), as-is. On the Maton, it was written on old masking tape, here it’s in red ink, directly on the paintwork along the neck.
The devil's music
Play our soundfile again. Imagine you’re out on the back porch of some tarpaper Appalachian hillbilly shack, scattering your blues out across the rolling hills. Or rolling down Route 61, Duane Allman or Don Helms from Hank Williams’ band in the back seat, noodling away at the devil’s music as the miles roll by outside.
Free courier delivery
Again, as with the Maton, there is no case, but the instrument will be extremely well packed and 100% ready to plug in and play the minute it arrives. FREE COURIER DELIVERY is included to any address in Australia. ($100 airfreight to New Zealand, $175 to the US, Canada, UK and mainstream European countries. International freight added at checkout)