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  • Blountville, TN
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CanJoe*John's Page

CanJoe*John Debuts CBG

Hello CBG Folks, I have been building stringed instruments for over 20 years, mostly cool one-stringed canjoes and have personally made well over 10K of them. I was introduced to the canjoe by the instrument's creator and dear friend, Hershel R. Brown, back when he first conceived of them. He and I remained close friends and collaborators of canjoe instrument construction until he passed away at the age of 87 last year. Herschel got me started and I officially established the CanJoe Company in 1994. I also am a professional musician playing old time fiddle, the McNally Strum Stick and, of course, the authentic one-stringed canjoe. I'm the first in the history of the Grand Ole Opry to have performed on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium with my canjoe instrument, making my Opry debut on November 4, 2006. I also build cookie tin banjos and now have been commissioned to build a cigar box guitar of which I'm currently working on. For the past three years I have been on the "Tour of Smiles", a tour of specialty children's hospitals where I give away 100's of my canjoe instruments to patients for use as music therapy. More info about my instruments and performances can be found at

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CanJoe*John's Blog

The Factual History of the 'Canjoe' Musical Instrument

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 10:30am 3 Comments


Knoxville News Sentenil story about the CANJO

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 1:24pm 4 Comments

Here's a link to a detailed and superbly written story by Brian Long, staff writer of the Knoxville News Sentinel newspaper, about the accurate history of the one-stringed musical instrument called the "canjoe", and by some, 'canjo'.

“No Plaudits, No Cigars"

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 1:00am 1 Comment



Posted on December 29, 2011 at 1:00pm 0 Comments


Comment Wall (19 comments)

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At 6:32pm on November 27, 2013, Muddy Creek Guitars said…
Happy Birthday, John! Even before I saw Cigar Box Nation, I saw your website and was inspired to build 1 string canjos. Kids just love them!
At 6:12am on February 25, 2011, Dianne Woods said…
Hey CanJoe John, you have made some mighty fine builds. I think you are doing something spectaclar for the sick kids.
At 11:54am on February 9, 2011, Uncle John said…
John, I'm glad to have you for a nation friend.  I checked out your page and photos.  You are a prolific builder and promoters of canjos.   God bless you for playing for those sick kids. 
At 11:37pm on June 13, 2010, bairfoot cajun said…
hey sir canjoe john,i thought you might get a kick out of the kodak film canister build,,,,,, it only took an hour to get strings on it,but i still have more werk to do to get it looking better. it most certainly is loud and i haven't even put sound holes in it. thanks fer your comments and your interest in my work brother. by the way you can get those film canisters on e-bay fer less than 10 bucks including shipping. they are 10 or 11 inches in diameter. take care canjoe john and i,ll talk with ya mo laters sir.
At 12:41pm on June 10, 2010, colin mcgrath said…
Hello, I want to build a CanJoe inspired instrument with possibly 2 necks out of a mini keg beer can. It seems like you are the man to ask for advice on a build like that. I am not fishing for any trade secrets just some helpful/cautionary info. Thanks-colin
At 1:19am on December 29, 2009, Laurie Lee Campbell said…
thankye kindly!!!gonna watch a vid, as long as I'm here--my kinda multitaskin'1;-)
At 8:08am on December 26, 2009, Keni Lee Burgess said…
Thank you for your warm Holiday Greetings. Best of Health and Wealth for 2010. Enjoy.
At 11:26am on December 6, 2009, dg said…
thanks for the friend request canjoe john, I enjoy your vids so keep em coming you have a style all your own and I like that
At 6:25pm on December 1, 2009, Keni Lee Burgess said…
My pleasure. Who doesn't like something basic but well done. A good cup of Joe...a piece of a apple pie. It don't need to be fancy to be real satifying. Keep em coming. Enjoy.
At 6:30pm on November 27, 2009, Cogdell boy (Robert J.) said…
Just wanted to say Happy Birthday John .. Hope you have a Blessed Day !!

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