~ Early American Folk & Blues music~

There is a long forgotten fact in America, that is that in the 1880's this type of music was NEVER played on Fenders or Gibson or any of those store bought guitars, not only did they not exist, but at that time if you lived in poverty, there was no way to buy a nice guitar, so most people made there own. If you want to see that absolute most authentic Delta Blues & Slide guitar, watch this complete video above. It is played with simple home made 3 string guitars, these are the real thing, there is no mass market music store guitars, this is Primal Americana, this is the Delta Blues!

A few words about this site

About this site, my name is John McNair. I love American History and Folk Music. I really enjoy learning about not only the music, but the instruments the people made it on. One thing I've noticed in my research of the 3 string guitar, is that there is a rich and long history in America. It has come in many forms over the years, but there is not much information out there on these guitars. For many years now I have struggled to obtain answers to all my curious questions.

Since there is not much information or any books on the subject about these instruments, I have tryed to gather and record as much as possible of the history of these wonderful and often quirky instruments and its players.

If you would like to learn more on this subject, check out my other site Red Dog Guitars.com

If you are reading this and wondering just "What's all the Hub Bub Bub with a Three string guitar???" I could ramble for days and show you countless photos that would dazzle your senses, but like they say, "If a photo is worth a 1000 words" than surely a video is worth a million???

If you only ever see one video of a 3-string cigar box guitar in action, watch this one, watch it till the end WITH AN OPEN MIND before you decide if you like the type of sound a primitive 3 stringer will produce. I promise it will change everything you thought you knew and it will explain the truth about the origin of the Delta Blues.

Like most people, I am sure your first thought is "Why use only 3 strings, isn't adding a 6 string neck better???....You're going through all the effort of building a guitar, why not just put on 6 strings??" Well, when you add a 6 string neck, it sounds like a regular guitar no matter what you do or how you play. You'll never achieve that dirty south, raunchy Delta sound on a 6 string guitar or with a 6 string neck.

If you are bored with playing a regular guitar or tired of the continued invasion of Chinese made products and just can't seem to have fun making music, then what you need is to go back to the roots of how music is made. Try something simpler. This form of guitar will take you back to the lost early days of Blues and Folk music.

If you would like to play Delta Blues it's "airiness" that you hear comes from the music's simplicity, it is STRIPED DOWN, I am sure you have heard you only need 3 notes in a chord???? well, that's not true for Blues, you only need 2 notes! ...they only need to blend well (such as A and E) and most Blues music is based off one note at a time (most often slide guitar is one note ringing, everything else dampened)... Folk music is not suppose to be complicated, over refined, lickity split fretted notes, complicated jazz chords and scales, beefed up or masked with computer effects...it's just strum'n acoustic slide or plug n' play with lite power on a small amp....plus, for the guitarist, what more could be easier than playing simple slide guitar with a pluck here and there??? It's basically one finger guitar! Just connect the dots up and down the strings as you play, add slide and you've got that sound you've been after all those years but just couldn't ever find it no matter what 6 string guitar you've played.

That is the key and link to the Delta Blues that has long been forgotten in the mass market guitar world.

Cigar Box Guitars & 3 string Americana


If you enjoy authentic Delta Blues and cigar box guitar music from the late 1800's and early 1900's, this CD album is full of long lost sounds from Americas past. This is old time Delta Blues and Southern Bottleneck cigar box guitar that has been recorded on 3 and 4 string homemade guitars. If you liked the movie Crossroads or the guitar playing from Ry Cooder, you will enjoy the vintage cigar box guitar playing that has been recorded on this album.

   To record this album, I've played 3 string Resonators, Acoustic cigar box guitars, Electric 4 string cigar box guitars and old and vintage tube amps from the 1950's and 60's that were naturally overdriven.....and of course, I've used the legendary "Pignose" amp to record several songs to get that old time Southern BottleNeck gritty sound.
 I also recorded several songs with some old Retro "Radio Guitar Amps." They were antique radios from the 30's, 40's and 50's that have been converted and turned into guitar amplifiers that record with a really unique and vintage tone. The music and songs are all sounds that are southern in flavor, perfect for study if your trying to learn early Americana Bottleneck slide guitar, or just enjoy it as a relaxing way to step back in time.

Trying to 'explain' what something sounds like is like trying to describe a color....so, instead of me trying to explain music, you can hear some of the music right here right now.

  This item checks out for purchase thru Paypal with " Buy It Now." The shipping is a flat rate price and the same cost no mater how many items you buy or where you live. It's 2.15 world wide shipping.
After checkout, Paypal will bring you back to this page.

~Cigar Box Americana CD~

$14.35 USD

shipping worldwide $2.15 USD
yes! anywhere in the world same price, 2.15!
Shipping in the USA (8 to 12 days) First Class Mail
Overseas & Worldwide (14 to 21 days) Stamped "Air-Mail
Questions??? email  john@reddogguitars.com