Looking for a super cool holiday gift for yourself or the guitarist in your life? You must check out the Bohemian Boho Series guitars. These guitars are breaking new ground by bringing this rare, retro “gas station” concept to the mainstream. Plus, they are a steal at $299!
The team of “Community Ninjas” (as they call them) at Bohemian Guitars reached out to Six String Soul recently about their new line of oil can guitars and sent us one of their models (the Motor Oil) to us for a review. You’ve likely not seen something like this before outside of Bo Diddley’s cigar box guitar, but these guitars are making their way onto stages with artists like G. Love, Samantha Fish, Hozier, Kongos and more.
Bohemian Guitars was co-founded by Shaun Lee a little over two years ago in his parents Georgia-home basement. He states that they were inspired by the ingenuity of street musicians in South Africa who were making guitars out the materials they had at their disposal. One thing led to another, and Shaun and his team at Bohemian Guitars began creating these incredibly cool oil can guitars. Here’s a little background about the company and the guitars they build.
Shaun Lee, Co-Founder of Bohemian Guitars
Introducing…the Motor Oil!
The Motor Oil guitar is made of a recycled metal hollow body (oil can) with a removable back panel and basswood frame to help amplify the tone and provide a strong structural foundation for the instrument. The neck is made of maple and is a through-body neck. The dual humbuckers, rosewood fretboard, 21 frets, 1 11/16″ nut width, Tune-o-Matic bridge, 3-way toggle switch, volume and tone knobs help give the guitar appeal and familiar playability…especially for Gibson fans. There’s even rubber feet on the guitar so that it can stand on its own…and standing on its own is something it truly does well.
The Tone of Motor Oil
When you think of motor oil, you probably think of thick sludge. Extract the sludge and you’re left with the basis of the Bohemian Motor Oils’ tone…thick. Think down-south rock. Think blues. Think fat! Let’s hear how it sounds.
At first, the Motor Oil takes a little getting used to. It doesn’t quite sit in your lap and play as ergonomically well as a typical guitar that you’re used to, but it’s easy to get past this with a few minutes of playing. When striking the first chords, you notice how much the humbuckers influence the tone of this guitar. They are bold and fat, ready to rock.
The Motor Oil Rocks with Slide
I recorded a quick ditty with the Bohemian Motor Oil guitar using slide and open E tuning. Pardon the playing, but notice the tone! I kicked in a Bearfoot Honey Bee mid way through to show what the guitar sounds like with an overdrive pedal. This was recorded through a vintage blackface Fender Princeton Reverb and a Sennheiser e609 with some basic mastering in Logic Pro X. No other effects added.
You can tell the Motor Oil packs a punch, and the pickups take pedals well. I was surprised that I didn’t hear more of the metal body in the tone. It sounded closer to a normal guitar than I expected, but it felt comfortable to play once I got the hang of it on my lap. I found that using a strap helped to keep it in place where it felt comfortable on my lap, and the included strap buttons are handy for bedroom, studio or live usage. The Volume and Tone knobs have a lot to offer as well, and can help you sculpt your tone whether you want to cut back on the gain or roll off some of the high end.
Cost & Where to Buy
The Motor Oil and its kin in the Boho Series sell for $299 each. That’s a steal. The Vintage Series models are a bit more high-end and run in the $450-$500 range. You can buy these guitars on BohemianGuitars.com. They offer free ground shipping on all orders over $50, which ensures that your Motor Oil will ship for free. They also have a number of other intriguing models in both the Boho Series and Vintage Series (higher end models). Here’s a few video clips of the other models in the Boho Series.
Boho Surf Wax
Get Yourself a Bohemian Guitar
This is an excellent gift for yourself or for the guitarist in your life to add to their arsenal. Head over to BohemianGuitars.com to browse their full line of oil can guitars and choose the one that suits your fancy. Jam on!