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Shane Speal (born May 20, 1970) is an American musician, historian, and instrument builder who calls himself the King of the Cigar Box Guitar. He is the author of the D.I.Y. musical instrument book, Making Poor Man's Guitars (2018, Fox Chapel Publishing) and is a writer for Guitar World Magazine.
Speal is recognized as the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. He is the creator of Cigarboxnation.com,. Speal is the central figure in the Max Shores documentary, Songs Inside the Box, which spotlights the cigar box guitar resurgence.
Speal built his first cigar box guitar on July 3, 1993. He used a cardboard Swisher Sweets cigar box and a plank of oak from his farm after reading an article about Carl Perkins. cigar box guitar in a 1976 issue of Guitar Player magazine. Speal said that his inspiration was to find an instrument that would give him music "deeper than the Delta blues."
In the next six years, Speal built over 200 more cigar box guitars under the brand Catfish Music Works, perfecting a crude poplar stick-thru-wood box design. He received endorsements from Warren Haynes and Allen Woody.
Speal would sell his instruments in consignment stores and cigar shops along with having the first known website for cigar box guitars in 1998, www.catfishmusicworks.com.
In 2003, Speal created a one-page GeoCities website for cigar box guitar enthusiasts with plans for building a cigar box guitar. He created a Yahoo! Group for Cigar Box Guitars to answer questions in a public forum. After reaching 3000 members in 2008, Speal moved the forum to a Ning.com network format under the domain, Cigarboxnation.com. Cigar Box Nation is an archive of cigar box guitar history, instructional videos, building plans and social network
In addition to promoting the art of cigar box guitars online, Speal is a full-time musician who performs exclusively with cigar box guitars. He has released over 10 albums. Speal has been featured in Premier Guitar Magazine and Make Magazine. Several of Speal's cigar box guitar videos have gone viral after being featured on www.BoingBoing.com.
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- Mark Frauenfelder at 9:56 am Fri, Aug 28 (2009-08-28). "Shane Speal's cigar box guitar lessons". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- Mark Frauenfelder at 8:14 am Thu, Apr 9 (2009-04-09). "Shane Speal plays Guitar Rag played on cigar box guitar". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- Mark Frauenfelder at 4:04 pm Wed, May 13 (2009-05-13). "Shane Speal plays "Blue Raga" on cigar box guitar". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2012-10-23.