At Cigar Box Nation, we tend to profile the blues players who are wielding cigar box guitars in concert such as Seasick Steve and Samantha Fish. However, one of the most prolific cigar box guitarists in the world today isn't blues, but a soulful alt-folk performer, Alain Johannes.
Johannes is known for performing and producing many varied acts, including Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures and Dave Grohl's Sound City studio band. His solo music is another world completely...
Johannes performs and records with numerous "CigFiddles," 4 and 8 string cigar box guitars built by Cigar Box Nation member, Matty Baratto. (We toured Baratto's shop in a previous article. You can also see more Matty's guitars on his Cigar Box Nation photo page.)
Johannes' cigar box guitar playing style incorporates fingerstyle Flamenco sweeps and flourishes and his chordal structures are lush and beautiful. His solo albums are essential listening for any cigar box guitarist.
Johannes' new album is called "Fragments and Wholes Vol. 1" and features his CigFiddles among other instruments. It is available on iTunes and elsewhere.