Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival in January in New Orleans

The New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Festival, which debuted in 2016, returns to the Crescent City Wednesday, January 15, through Saturday, January 18, with a new name. Guitar whiz Samantha Fish is partnering with the fest, given her affinity for the instrument. The new name is The Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival – New Orleans 2020.


The first two nights — Wednesday and Thursday — will take place at New Orleans’ top Americana club, Chickie Wah Wah. The action moves to The Howlin’ Wolf Friday and Saturday.

Samantha Fish explains her decision to partner with the festival:

“I have included the Cigar Box guitar on a song or two on most of my albums (including my last single ‘Bullet Proof.’ 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 noted this:

“The partnership of Samantha Fish and the New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar Festival is a marriage made in roots music heaven. 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.”


Samantha Fish’s Stogie Blues cigar box guitar

The focus of the event is to celebrate the great music and rich cultural history of the Cigar Box guitar and similar homemade instruments.Historically, western pioneers, Civil War soldiers, rural farmhands, street singers and other resourceful musicians found ways to build these expressive devices from household items and random hardware. Many musicians throughout the world are currently using them to record and perform live, making the unique instruments and their sound a staple of today’s Americana music scene.

The festival will also feature top homemade instrument performers April Mae & the June Bugs, Sugarcane Jane, John Nickel, Cigar Box Serenaders, Steve Arvey, Cash O’Riley, and others. Workshops, demonstrations and interviews will comprise the educational component of the event. 

In addition, the festival will host special sets, including the legendary John Mooney, New Orleans icon Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, Jonathon Long, Waylon Thibodeaux, Johnny Sansone, Damon Fowler, Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers), and more. On Friday and Saturday, Samantha Fish and guests will be performing, closing both nights at The Howlin’ Wolf with a special concert.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the New Orleans Blues Society.

Fish will be on Jam Cruise sailing out of Miami January 7-12, and in February and March Fish will headline a  23-date European Kill or Be Kind Tour.

Samantha Fish

Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival


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