Cigar box guitars in the blues business

Black Owl Guitars made in Eastern North Carolina

Cigar box guitars in the blues business

RIVER BEND - David English is not your typical garage band rocker.  He builds his own instruments, and they are not you're usual Fender or Les Paul guitars.  He makes his out of cigar boxes and tobacco sticks.

"They sound great.  It has a real old, rough and nasty sound, but it's that authentic sound that we are looking for," said English.

License plates and metal lunchboxes are also in his inventory.  The wooden necks are stained with Trent River mud and sealed with bee's wax from Pamlico County.  He can make the guitars acoustic or electric.

Cigar box guitars date back to the late 1800s.  Blues legends like BB King got their start on a cigar box guitar.

"BB King was playing on a cigar box guitar with a broom handle neck and one string," said English.

What started as a hobby has now turned into a full time living for English, and his Black Owl Guitars are custom built just like the people who play them.


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