PurgAtory Hill

pat mAcdonald spells his name with only one capital letter. In the 1980s he was half of the duo known as Timbuk3. Now he’s half of the duo known as PurgAtory Hill. The other half is melaniejane which is all one word and all lower case. The group name comes from the Purgatory Hill Harp cigar box guitar made by John Lowe of Memphis, Tennessee.

The Purgatory Hill Harp is a unique instrument that most people who know anything about just call a Lowebow. It came about when John Lowe and Memphis street musician Richard Johnston put their heads together to build a monster that allows one musician to play bass and guitar at the same time.

pat mAcdonald was so taken by the instrument that he took on the name PurgAtory Hill. And he’s created some fine music with it.

Here’s a video of PurgAtory Hill by Ron Smith aka Cuzn Wildweed:

More about PurgAtory Hill:

Wisconsin Public Television recorded a 30 minute performance program featuring pat and you can watch the whole thing online at:

And here’s some information from Memphis Flyer about John Lowe who builds Lowebow guitars:

About Max Shores 88 Articles
I'm a media producer at the University of Alabama. This is where I play with stuff in my spare time. You can find out about my work at MaxShores.com.