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Mike Snowden

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Mike Snowden
Born (1970-01-01) January 1, 1970 (age 54)
Occupation(s)Musician, craftsman
Known forCigar box guitars
Musical career
  • Guitar
  • bass
  • vocals

Mike Snowden (born January 1, 1970) is an American bassist, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and cigar box guitar craftsman. He is a leading figure in the resurgence of interest in cigar box guitars.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life


Mike Snowden was born on January 1, 1970, in Lafayette, Louisiana and grew up in Natchitoches, Louisiana. He played bass in several bands as a teenager and was mentored by three older musicians—Donnie Hyams, Sammy Nix, and David Dollar—who expanded his musical horizons beyond heavy metal and recruited him to play bass with them when they performed in local bars. In 1989, shortly after graduating from high school, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to pursue a career in music.

Band de Soleil


Following several false starts, Snowden was drafted to play bass in Band de Soleil with Michelle Malone (guitar, vocals) and Danny Begay (drums),[6] and traveled with them extensively. He stayed with the group from 1992 until 1996, when they broke up.[citation needed]

Cigar box guitars


After seeing a video on the internet of someone playing a cigar box guitar, Snowden was intrigued and built one for himself. In 2007, he began handcrafting three- and four-string cigar box guitars using exotic hardwoods and selling them at arts and crafts shows and from his website. In 2009, Snowden composed and recorded Summer in the Fields—Cigar Box Guitar Instrumentals, his first album of cigar box guitar music. He has since put out a number of additional records.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2012, Snowden was a headliner at the Boxstock Festival, an international meet of cigar box guitar players and enthusiasts in Manchester, England.[7] He has also given children's workshops, where participants construct one-string guitars and learn to play them.[8][9] He performs regularly in the greater Atlanta area.[10]

Snowden has come to be known as a prominent figure in the cigar box guitar movement.[citation needed] His performance style blends elements of classic blues with rock, much of his music drawing on his Louisiana roots.[citation needed] In 2010, he has been a featured artist on the Cigar Box Guitars website[11] and was profiled in Georgia Music: The Roots Issue.[12] He has been featured on Georgia Public Broadcasting[13] and FOX News in Atlanta,[14] and was interviewed by television personality Brian McFayden on HLN and CNN.[2] He was profiled by Charles Osgood on the CBS radio show The Osgood File[15] and was the subject of an extensive article titled "The Cigar Box Guitar Maker" by award-winning writer and documentary film producer Nancy LeBrun, which appeared in the summer-2015 issue of the online magazine Craftsmanship.[1] Snowden was also featured on the second episode ("Speed Demons") of the second season of A&E's Ozzy and Jack's World Detour, which first aired on November 15, 2017.[16]




  • Redemption Dream (1995 – Band de Soleil)
  • Mountain Stage Live 8 (1995 – Band de Soleil)
  • Bird on Fire (1996 – Band de Soleil)
  • Beneath the Devil Moon (1997)

Cigar box guitar

  • Summer in the Fields—Cigar Box Guitar Instrumentals (2009)
  • The Legend of Boondock Jones and His Faithful Cigar Box Guitar (2010)
  • Cigar Box Guitar Stomp (2011)
  • Cigar Box Guitar Evil (2012)
  • One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live (2013)
  • Mike Snowden Cigar Box Guitar Sampler (2014)
  • Songs of the Architect Presents: A Very Sota Christmas, Vol. 1 (2014)
  • This Is Our Town: A Collection of Natchitoches' Tri-Centennial Celebration Original Songs (2014)
  • Southern Cigar Box Guitar Thunder (2017)


  1. ^ a b Nancy LeBrun. "The Cigar Box Guitar Maker," Craftsmanship Magazine, Summer 2015 Issue.
  2. ^ a b Bryan McFayden and Natalie Angley,."Smokin' Cigar Box Guitars," Headline News (HLN), July 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Natalie Angley. "Making Music from a Cigar Box," CNN, June 3, 2015
  4. ^ "Mike Snowden's One-Man Band," Midtown Patch, April 11, 2012
  5. ^ "Cigar Box Guitarist Becoming Major Player on World Stage"[permanent dead link] Natchitoches Times, November 3, 2012.
  6. ^ John Bush "Band de Soleil", AllMusic.
  7. ^ "Band on the Wall". Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "Natchitoches Native Will Present a Cigar Box Guitar Workshop at Junior Rangers Day," Natchitoches.NET, April 8, 2014.
  9. ^ Kevin Triebsche,"Cigar Box Guitar King Mike Snowden Hosts Workshop for Kids," AXS, July 10, 2014.
  10. ^ Tripp Liles, "A True Renaissance Man," The Roswell Current, October 2011, p. 4.
  11. ^ "Mike Snowden", Cigar Box Guitars, several entries
  12. ^ "You Done with that Partagas?," Georgia Music: The Roots Issue, Winter 2010 (Issue #19), pp.7, 9.
  13. ^ "Building Cigar Box Guitars with Mike Snowden", ln This is Atlanta PBA 30 (Atlanta's PBS Station), posted on YouTube on April 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Mike Snowden 'Fox 5, Good Day Xtra' Cigar Box Guitar," Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, posted on You Tube on May 14, 2010.
  15. ^ Interview by Charles Osgood archived on "The Osgood File," Episode 1, July 3, 2015.
  16. ^ Shreveport Times article about Snowden on "Ozzy and Jack's World Detour" [1][permanent dead link]