Natchitoches native Mike Snowden, a singer-songwriter who has handcrafted and sold over 1,400 cigar box guitars, will be featured on the episode of A&E’s “Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour” scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15.
In its second season, the show stars heavy metal rock icon Ozzy Osbourne and his son Jack. They travel around the country in a van visiting various historical sites (Osbourne is a history buff), tracking down musicians and searching out unusual adventures. “I totally freaked out when the producer initially called me,” said Snowden, son of Fraser and Dian Snowden of Natchitoches. Ozzy wanted to visit Snowden’s workshop in the basement of his home in Marietta, Ga., to interview him about his cigar box guitars and to film a segment for the show.
“The tough part was that I could not say anything to anyone until after they came to the house for the shoot. I signed a confidentially agreement.” One of Snowden’s first musical influences was Osbourne. “One of the reasons I started playing music was because of Ozzy. I loved his music as a teenager and continue to today, so to have him in my house was incredible.” When he was 16, one of the first concerts Snowden attended was an Ozzy Osbourne one at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport. “I still have the ticket stub from that show. The price was $14.50 plus a 50 cent service charge.” Prior to Ozzy and Jack’s arrival, Snowden built a one-string diddley bow as a gift for Osbourne with a photograph of his dog, Rocky, on the back. “The cigar box I used was a Rocky Patel brand cigar box. He really dug it.” During the shoot, Osbourne and Snowden jammed, with Osbourne playing the harmonica and Snowden strumming one of his cigar box guitars, and Ozzy bought a guitar with the Snowden Guitar logo on the front. Snowden was not disappointed by his musical idol’s visit. “He was just unbelievably nice to me and my family,” said Snowden. In recent years, Snowden has become a leading figure in the resurgence of interest in cigar box guitars. In addition to frequent performances in the Atlanta area, he has performed in England, New York and Austin at the South by Southwest Music Festival.
He has been featured on Georgia Public Broadcasting, CNN, Fox News in Atlanta and on the CBS radio show “The Osgood Report.” He has six albums of original songs performed on his handcrafted guitars. Kristian Bush of Sugarland, actor and musician Jeff Daniels, Joe Perry of Aerosmith and actor Khary Payton, who plays the role of King Ezekiel on “The Walking Dead,” all own Snowden guitars. Snowden’s music videos on YouTube have over one million hits. His most popular song, “Chicken Coop Blues,” has over 300,000 views. For further information, go to www.snowdenguitars.com.