You would be forgiven for thinking that the cigar box guitar is nothing more than a modern fad, but actually the first known example of such an instrument dates from the mid 1800s.
Originating in the Deep South, these primitive instruments were born out of necessity - civil war raged and money was scarce, but folk still had music in their soul. And what you cant buy, you make, right?
It is one of the human races greatest traits - somehow, we always get on and make the most of what we have, even when we got nothing.
Thankfully, smoking cigars was also a popular throughout the 1800s, so when the cigar companies switched to shipping their wares in smaller boxes, it was only a matter of time before someone put a neck and a string on it!
True, the 'neck' may well have been a discarded fence post, the string a 'borrowed' length of twine or fencing wire, but they worked just fine. And by using a length of bar or a glass bottle as a slide, they could play damn near anything on that one string diddly bow.
Its worth noting that many of the 'greats' were brought up on cigar box guitars. Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson, Bo Diddly, John Lee Hooker - in fact, practically all of the blues legends - and, more recently, Seasick Steve and Jack White.
Over time, the popularity of the cigar box guitar declined. More disposable income, technological advancements and a guitar shop on every corner meant that the humble box and a stick was soon forgotten....
Fast forward about 150 years to 2003, and to one man who had a vision.
Setting up a website to the cause, and playing a home made 3 string cigar box to anyone who would listen, Shane Speal, the self declared 'King Of The Cigar Box Guitar', set out to save the CBG.
Now, 6 years on, the cigar box revolution is in full swing, with builders and players all over the world.
Want to be a part of it???