Musical styles: Blues, Rock, Punk, Americana, Roots, Originals
Handmade instruments played: Cigar box guitar, Chugger, Mailbox Dobro
There would very likely be no modern cigar box guitar revival without the work of Shane Speal. In 1993 Shane saw an article on Carl Perkins in an old issue of a guitar magazine. He was excited by the primal nature of Perkin’s instrument, made from a cigar box and a broom stick. Shane set out to build an instrument using a cigar box of his own with a wooden plank from the family barn. This was the beating wings of a butterfly that would lead to a tsunami.
For the next six years Shane built and sold his cigar box guitars locally while performing his own brand of raucous blues-rock on his handmade instruments. In 1998 he started the first known internet site for cigar box guitars. In 2003 Shane started an online community for cigar box guitar builders that ballooned to 3000 members by 2008. Later that same year he started what is now the largest community of cigar box guitar builder and players, CigarBoxNation.com.
To add to his already impressive list of credits, the King of the Cigar Box Guitar, as Shane is widely known, has also:
- Founded a cigar box guitar museum in his home state of Pennsylvania
- Has been featured in a documentary about the CBG revolution called Songs Inside the Box
- Helped to establish C.B. Gitty Records; a label that features artists who build and play handmade instruments
- Has been featured in many cigar box guitar festivals across the United States
- Created the documentary, Chasing Steam, about musical history in York, PA
- Has played on stage with Mike Watt of Minutemen and Firehose, Horace Panter of The Specials, and Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America
- Is a regular contributor to Guitar World magazine, with articles focused on DIY instruments and the people who build and play them
Shane continues to encourage and inspire cigar box guitar builders the world over with his unending appetite for people to build, and most importantly play, their cigar box guitars.
You can find Shane at: http://www.shanespeal.com.
3 thoughts on “Shane Speal”
I knew that when I watched my first building video featuring Shane, and he was wearing a New Alexandria Demolition Derby t-shirt, that I was going to like this guy! Some of the most fun I ever had was going to the Lions Club Demo Derby New Alex.
Don’t have those in South Florida.
Don’t feel bad, I’m new to this, and don’t know where C, D, G, or E are, let alone trying to find the middle of any of them.
I guess I’ll figure it out at some point because after building these, I guess I have to tune them! 😉
I’m having a blast building them!
I’m new at so you could probably say what you will and I’ll probably believe it. I’m a 70 year old retired finish carpenter and am currently building my first cigar box guitar. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and I’m constantly looking for info and different techniques. Looking forward to your emails. Thank-you.
P.S. I don’t know where middle C is