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Arts & Culture

Roots Music And The Cigar Box Guitar

Justin Johnson playing cigar box guitar
Justin Johnson Music


North Carolina Musician Justin Johnson has always been drawn to stringed instruments. Starting with the beat up, one-string Stella guitar his mother handed down to him, Justin has played music with any band that would take him.

So when he was handed a homemade cigar box guitar at a show a few years ago, he was instantly drawn to the sound and feel of the unique instrument. Ever since, he's been making and collecting homemade instruments to play on the road.

His latest album, Smoke & Mirrors, is a collection of pre-WWII songs played on a collection of antique homemade instruments from The National Cigar Box Guitar Museum in Alabama and recorded at the iconic Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee and at an old sharecropper's shack in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Justin also recently released a three-part instructional DVD series, Roots Music According to Justin Johnson, about how to build and play traditional roots instruments.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Justin Johnson as well as Kirk Ridge and Bobb Head about roots music, cigar box guitars, and their upcoming appearance at the Celebration of North Carolina Songwriters at The ArtsCenter on Sunday, November 9th at 7:00 PM.

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