Back in 1999, I was quite poor, living in a small apartment and dreaming of owning awesome gear such as a metal bodied Dobro. One sleepless night, I got up and went out to WalMart, the only business still open at 3am. I challenged myself to find materials to build a musical instrument with the $10 I had in my wallet.
I saw a bunch of cheap $4 mailboxes in the hardware section and the idea of building my own dobro sprang forth. I got a mailbox and some sheet metal screws… and I still had a couple bucks left.
I took some poplar 1×2 pieces to create crude bracing inside the mailbox and then sacrificed an old Kay acoustic guitar for its bolt-on neck, bridge and tailpiece. Within 4 hours, I had my dream dobro.
This instrument was used extensively in my band, Jug Fusion and is the lead guitar on my remake of Blind Willie Johnson’s song, “Jesus is Comin’ Soon.” It’s also the main guitar in the opening track, “Red Letter.” (Album available for download purchase here). When I do interviews, this is the one instrument all writers gravitate toward. It’s my dream dobro.