October 21, 2014 · 8:00pm

No cover

Shane Speal’s Snake Oil Band


You ever hear of “steampunk?” Well, consider this band JUGPUNK!

The brainchild of Shane Speal, “The King of the Cigar Box Guitar,” this band pays respect to the old Delta blues musicians who were so poor, they had to build their own instruments. However, the Snake Oil Band isn’t content to rehash the same old music. Hell no…they take the old blues and mix it with pounding foot stomps, breakneck tempos and a stage show inspired by the shyster medicine shows of the American past.

The Snake Oil Band emerged from weekly jam sessions in the fertile music scene of York PA to become one of the area’s biggest drawing bands. It wasn’t unusual to hear Shane and the boys kick out original murder ballads, peppered with insane jug band covers of Purple Rain and Personal Jesus along with songs by Led Zeppelin, Beatles and Hendrix. They also belted out the blues icons, too: Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. No song is ever played the same way and the band rarely uses a set list. They just plug in and go.

Speaking of plugging in, audience members are usually shocked to see the presence of electric cigar box guitars, washtub basses and washboards. The instruments are pure American grit, yet they’re cranked thru blazing amplifiers. It’s a glitch in the matrix…a trip through the wormhole of the blues. It shouldn’t work, but dammit, it does.