Visit the Cigar Box Guitar Museum
1850 Lion's Club Rd
New Alexandria, PA 15670
Tuesday- Saturday, 3pm - Midnight (or later)
The museum is free and open to the public.
Note: the museum is located inside Speal's Tavern which serves alcohol. Under 21 not allowed after 10pm.
About the museum:
Shane Speal's life work as the leading cigar box guitar researcher is on display in this unique, and free museum. The walls of Speal's Tavern have been transformed into a unique display of handmade cigar box guitars, historical photos and art. One customer called it "New Alexandria's homemade Hard Rock Cafe." The collection of over 80 cigar box guitars and homemade instruments displayed at Speal’s Tavern were built by craftsmen all over the country and range from simple, one-string primitive instruments to complex, electrified guitars with frets, double-necks and whammy bars.
The centerpiece of the museum is a 102 year old cigar box guitar from 1910. The rare find was a donation from John "Reddog" McNair, a New Orleans instrument builder and historian who currently resides in Puerto Rico. It's crude form features only a single string and is very similar to instruments performed in Vaudeville theater at the turn of the Century.
Other instruments include double neck cigar box guitars, instruments made from license plates and a solidbody guitar made by the luthier behind the guitar in John Sayles movie, The Honeydripper.
The museum also welcomes CBGitty.com as a major sponsor of the exhibit. Along with promotional support, CBGitty.com has donated a vintage Ludwig drum kit to the Speal's Tavern stage for use during the Thursday open mics and Friday blues jams.
Cigar box guitars are the first instruments played by many blues and rock legends such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Carl Perkins and even Jimi Hendrix. The legend is told when poor folk wanted to play guitar but could afford an instrument, they would craft one from an empty wooden cigar box, a discarded stick and baling wire for strings. This poverty instrument is witnessing resurgence in modern times with the success of old time music such as O Brother Where Art Thou and the do-it-yourself spirit brought on by the Recession.