Jackson CunniNgham

Guitar Raffle 2024

The Handmade Music School at The Floyd Country Store and Southwest Virginia luthier Jackson Cunningham are announcing another chance to win one of Jackson’s beautiful custom-made guitars.

The Guitar

This year’s guitar was built from a special selection of tone woods collected over the years from local luthiers, wood cutters and musicians around Southwest Virginia. The guitar was brought to life in Jackson Cunningham’s workshop in Grayson County, Virginia in the Summer of 2024. It is a faithful recreation inspired by the classic steel string models from the pre-war era. It is a versatile guitar masterfully built with responsive tone. It is very adaptable to playing many styles of music from flat picking bluegrass, sweet jazz voicings, to fingerpicking folk and blues, and is a wonderful guitar for backing up an instrumentalist or accompanying vocals.


The guitar is a gorgeous 12-fret small body guitar, boasting the finest quality tone woods and a stunning Sweet Tea Sunburst varnish finish. Inspired by the classic steel string guitars from the early 1930’s, it is very adaptable to playing many styles of music and equally suited for fingerstylists or flatpickers. It is also a wonderful guitar for backing up an instrumentalist or accompanying vocals.

The old growth Appalachian Red Spruce top wood was harvested, seasoned, and air-dried for over ten years and generously donated by the Hampton Brothers Wood Company to Jackson for the build. The choice top wood is precisely graduated and voiced for a brilliant and articulate tone. Delicately carved braces produce a natural responsiveness and are made of Appalachian Red Spruce sourced from The Grayson Highlands in Southwestern Virginia. The 12 frets to the body neck is carved from premium old stock Honduran Mahogany to a comfortable rounded “C” shape. It’s 1 3/4 nut width and 14” fingerboard radius creates a satisfying vintage feel and fits the modern players hands effortlessly. A carbon fiber rod reinforces the neck and contributes to the guitars lightweight feel. The headstock veneer, fingerboard, and bridge are of strikingly beautiful straight grained old growth Brazilian Rosewood. “The Cunningham” logo was hand-engraved in Mother of Pearl by fellow Virginia luthier, Greg Galbreath at Buckeye Banjos, and is paired nicely with the MOP nut.

Another distinctive feature of this guitar are the Rickard Cyclone High Ratio Banjo Tuning Pegs, with a 10:1 gear ratio they are the most precise tuning machine available and are customized with exquisite Mother of Pearl buttons. These woods and materials are all brought to life with a beautiful French Polished Spirit Varnished “Sweet Tea” sunburst finish, reminiscent of the classic steel string guitars of the 1930’s. Once again, Virginia’s Harptone Case Company has donated a high quality Classic hardshell case that protects and displays this guitar perfectly.


  • Old growth Appalachian Red Spruce top donated by The Hampton Brothers Wood Company.
  • Old Growth Honduran Mahogany back, sides and neck
  • Internal braces made of Grayson Highlands Red Spruce
  • Solid Honduran Mahogany linings/blocks
  • Brazilian Rosewood Finger Board, Bridge and headstock veneer
  • 12 frets to the body
  • The Cunningham” Mother of Pearl script logo, hand engraved by Greg Galbreath
  • Rickard Cyclone High Ratio Tuning Pegs with Mother of Pearl buttons
  • Mother of Pearl nut
  • Celluloid bindings
  • French-Polished Spirit Varnish finish
  • 24.75 scale length
  • 1 3/4 nut width
  • 2 5/16 saddle spacing
  • 14” FB radius
  • Carbon fiber neck reinforcement bar
  • Bone saddle
  • Antique Acoustics bridge pins/end pin
  • Nickel/silver frets
  • Professional hardshell case made in Virginia and donated by Harptone Case Company

Anyone who follows my work knows that I like to use locally sourced tone-wood, and woods that have a story or history behind them. The Virginia mountains are home to some of the most prized tone woods, and the Virginia mountains also have been home to generations of old-time music makers. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to think some of these trees have grown up in the presence of the very music they will make when they are built into fine instruments. I felt it was very fitting to use these timbers for this years Handmade Music School/Cunningham guitar fundraiser raffle. The HMMS continues to focus on teaching and encouraging regional music and dance, and a big part of the music in SWVA has been its strong tradition of instrument making.


Jackson Cunningham

Jackson Cunningham

Jackson Cunningham Handmade Musical Instruments is based in Grayson County, Virginia, USA.

Jackson grew up in a home where music and woodworking were a way of life. His father was a master craftsman and these skills were passed down to him at a very young age. Through the years he began building musical instruments full time with the generous help of many local luthiers around Southwest Virginia. His driving inspiration has always been to recreate the instruments his musical heroes played and performed on.

For over 15 years, his shop has remained a one-man operation and handwork is still the foundation of each build. From selection of tone-woods, construction, and to the final fit and finish, Jackson ensures each step is taken with meticulous care. His instruments are sought after by musicians, collectors, and enthusiasts all around the world. Jackson’s instruments have also been featured at some of the industries premier instrument retailers, including Gruhn’s Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee and Folkway Music in Ontario, Canada. All inquiries are welcomed and encouraged.

Contact Jackson
All are inquiries welcomed and encouraged.


SW Virginia has a rich tradition of instrument making, and within this tradition Jackson learned to build first hand under the generous guidance of Audrey Hash Ham, daughter of pioneering fiddle maker Albert Hash. Working with Audrey inspired Jackson to pursue building instruments full time and led to visits with other talented local luthiers including Floyd County banjo maker Mac Traynham, Grayson County guitar maker Wayne Henderson and Floyd County fiddle maker Arthur Conner as well as many others.

$30 Per Ticket

On sale August 19th, 2024

A winning ticket will be selected on October 4th during the Friday Night Jamboree.

Our Goals

To feature the beautiful craftsmanship of Jackson Cunningham; Celebrate and perpetuate the traditions of instrument building from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and beyond; To sell at least 1500 tickets and raise funds for Programming and the Share the Music Scholarship Fund at The Handmade Music School.

All proceeds will benefit programming and the Share The Music Scholarship Fund at the Handmade Music School at The Floyd Country Store. The Handmade Music School is a nonprofit institution dedicated to teaching old time, bluegrass, and traditional music and dance from Floyd County, Virginia and throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Raffle Rules

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