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About Me


It all started with an empty cigar box, a plank of wood from the family barn and three used guitar strings.  That was back in 1993 when Shane Speal build his first cigar box guitar.  Music hasn't been the same since.

Shane Speal is a performing blues rock songwriter who plays a primitive guitar made from an empty cigar box and a stick.  He is also the leader of the modern Cigar Box Guitar Revolution, a growing fanbase of cigar box guitar builders and players who congregate at Speal's website,  Speal has performed concerts throughout the country and has been featured in many TV, newspaper and national magazine features.  He is also the central figure in the Max Shores' documentary on cigar box guitars, Songs Inside the Box.

Speal has recorded and released more than 10 cigar box guitar albums, including his latest, the self-titled "Shane Speal" cd.  Speal's music is a loud, gritty blues-rock style, performed live with the sole accompanymant of his right foot stomping on an electrified floorboard.  Mike Argento of the York Daily Record newspaper states, "The best way to describe [Speal's music] is to take blues and gospel and country and Hawaiian and ragtime and put it through a meat grinder that's missing some teeth."   Bill Jehle, curator of the Cigar Box Guitar museum says, “Shane sounds like Motörhead in a jug band!”  In addition to his own recordings, Speal has also appeared on releases by Crow Tongue, By The Way and The Presidents of the United States of America's frontman, Chris Ballew.

Few artists are as committed to expanding the boundaries of such a primitive instrument as Speal does.  Speal says, “a Cigar Box Guitar is quirky and appears ‘broken’ from the start. They just don’t look like they should play any music. I love to see jaws hit the floor when I shove a socket on my finger and wail away."  (from Premier Guitar Magazine, August 2009)

Somewhere, today, Shane Speal is engrossed in a cigar box guitar project, whether performing a concert, recording a new album, expanding the reach of the instrument or just out in his woodshop, building a new guitar from a box and a stick.