Despite his namesake, Jay Shoemaker makes guitars. Really awesome custom cigar box guitars. Everything from Ashton Cigars and San Cristobals to Reyes Family Classics and a beautiful Rocky Patel Vintage box. They are all hand carved and crafted with care which can take him anywhere from a weekend to a few months to complete.
Jay brought a great troupe of friends out to showcase his badass craftsmanship. These musicians gave breath to his creations and really brought them to life. We had the pleasure of hearing Dear Black Wolf rip the slide, the ska sounds of Thomas Macbrien, some killer jamming from The Feebles and an kick ass set from Lions Barber.
We had heard promises that Neighbour Robert would perform as well. Oh you haven’t heard of Neighbour Robert? Where have you been?! Clearly he resides next to Jay and obviously his name is Robert. What you may not know is that the man slays guitars. Neighbour Rob, as his friends call him, was performing at a prior gig and was a little late to the show. Well, it was worth the wait. Just as the previous acts had come and given these little boxes life, Neigh-Rob came and properly laid them back to rest.
Aside from purchasing a few fittings that can’t be made himself, Jay constructs each of these beauties by hand. He painstakingly chips away at the bodies creating unique carvings in each and every piece. They all have their own style and personality. To further perfect their individual identities, he works with local musicians and artists to ensure the guitars put out the best possible sound. There are big plans on the blueprint pages of Deadhead Woodworks so keep your eyes peeled.
Vans was a big part of the evening and they gladly support the work Jay is doing. It was a night of sweet kicks and custom licks. Look out for more events like this in the city this summer because there is a small but growing group of instrument builders & players out there. Jay has found himself right in the middle of it all.
Mr. Shoemaker put together a great showcase for his artwork which normally finds a home hanging on the walls of Czehoski, our venue for the evening. There were a lot of good folks taking in some sweet libations and the beautifully unique sounds of Jay’s guitars. If you want to see some Cigar Box Guitars for yourself stop into Czehoski for dinner one night. I suggest you ask for a table upstairs.
If you want to be a part of the next jam session or you have some custom instruments of your own to share or you’d like to get in touch with Jay to make a purchase, you’ll find him on the Instagram @jjjjshoejjjj or Deadheadwoodworks@gmail.com and Deadheadwoodworks.bigcartel.com
“Build. Play. Repeat!” – Jay Shoemaker