The New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Festival was founded in 2016 and has grown exponentially in the years since, so much so it has now partnered with award-winning musician and blues sensation Samantha Fish to rebrand itself as the Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival.
Taking place January 15 through January 18, 2020, the newly renamed festival will stick to its original concept of celebrating the cigar box guitar and other homemade instruments used throughout history by Civil War soldiers, pioneers of the Old West, farmers, street performers and others who made do with few resources. Built using everything from household items to scrap materials, these creations have played instrumental (no pun intended) roles in Americana over the years.
“I have included the cigar box guitar on a song or two on most of my albums (including my last single ‘Bullet Proof,’ said Samantha Fish in a press release. “The instrument may look limited but there are so many sounds and styles that we haven’t discovered yet. I am looking forward to making this one of the biggest events honoring the instrument as well as other acoustic instruments that can rock.”
Festival producer Collins Kirby calls the partnership with Fish “a marriage made in roots music heaven,” adding “She’s a contemporary artist who’s fully in touch with the traditions that inform today’s music. We’re delighted to work with her spreading the word about the art and music of handmade instruments.”
In addition to performances from Fish, the 2020 Cigar Box Guitar Festival features a lineup of John Mooney, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, Jonathon Long, Waylon Thibodeaux, Johnny Sansone, Damon Fowler, Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) and more. Noted homemade-instrument performers April Mae & the June Bugs, Sugarcane Jane, John Nickel, Cigar Box Serenaders, Steve Arvey, Cash O’Riley and others will also make appearances.