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Shane Speal is the self-proclaimed King of the Cigar Box Guitar. He created the Internet forum that brought cigar box guitar enthusiasts together and has served as the pied piper and chief motivational speaker for the cigar box guitar revolution.
As Bill Jehle says in Songs Inside The Box, "Shane Speal is absolutely necessary for the modern resurgence of the cigar box guitar."
Shane has recorded many CDs exhibiting a wide variety of musical styles while encouraging others to make their own instruments and play their own songs. He works as a marketing director in York, Pennsylvania.
Shane's website: www.shanespeal.com
Bluesboy Jag is the stage name of Bill Jagitsch from North Little Rock, Arkansas. After playing guitar for years, Jag discovered cigar box guitars through a Make magazine article on how to build one. Like most people who get involved, he couldn't stop with just one and he has been building instruments ever since.
He plays guitar in several bands and performs as a one man band with his cigar box guitars. He has created a DVD on how to play a cigar box guitar and has published a number of videos on YouTube.com which show off his beautiful instruments and award-winning talent. He works as a computer salesman and repair technician.
Jag's website: www.jagshouse.com
Kirk Withrow is a head and neck surgeon from Birmingham, Alabama. Many of his patients have cancer and he wouldn't encourage them to smoke, but he likes to hang out at his favorite cigar store and purchase their empty boxes for his instruments. Originally from Kentucky, Kirk started out playing banjo but found that building his own instruments gave him the ultimate creative outlet.
He learned about cigar box guitars from a patient who told him about the Cigar Box Guitar Extravaganza. After attending the event, he dove right into the hobby. He builds instruments, writes songs, and records in his own home studio.
Kirk's MySpace: www.myspace.com/kwithrow
David Williams is a research scientist from Telford, Pennsylvania. He built a cigar box guitar for around twenty bucks and was amazed at just how much fun he could have with it. His fun multiplied when Shane Speal led him to recordings by Eddie "One String" Jones. That's when Williams' alter ego One String Willie came into being. The first public performance by One String Willie is documented in Songs Inside The Box, but Willie seems to be the most outgoing of the two personalities now and he's developed his own website!
Williams has recorded several CDs of his music and makes various public appearances including playing religious music at his church.
One String Willie's website: www.onestringwillie.com
Bill Jehle is a guitar builder from Decatur, Alabama. He made a DVD on how to build a cigar box guitar which has helped many people with their building projects. He has also done extensive research into the history of instruments made from cigar boxes.
Bill has a unique gift for taking things that other people have thrown away and turning them into parts for his instruments. Following production of Songs Inside The Box, he became curator of the National Cigar Box Guitar Museum (the collection begun by Shane Speal) and he plans to develop a permanent exhibit open to the public.
Bill's website: www.bellyjellymusic.com
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"I got me a cigar box... and got me a tune out of it. I kept my tune and I played from then on."
Texas Blues Musician
Songs Inside The Box
a documentary by Max Shores
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