Tour of Smiles-jo, 2017

Still in progress, this specific instrument is currently being created and hand crafted to commemorate the “Tour of Smiles”, a now 23+ year and still ongoing journey that began with a declaration to my wife as she lay dying from cancer. The moniker, “CanJoe*John”, was bestowed by her on one of her toughest days during her illness.

Herschel R. Brown (deceased), the official originator of the earliest design of these instruments, had given one of the very first of his then newly created instruments and that he’d personally made, to me. Using that same instrument to entertain her on that very tough day she was experiencing, it was noticed that even in the worst of times of her suffering, the music from that instrument automatically brought a smile to her face. It was upon that discovery that both the name, “CanJoe*John”, and the “Tour of Smiles” originated. The many embellishments added to this specific instrument are symbols commemorating the journey. Updates and more detailed descriptions, as well as more of the related history surrounding this instrument being created will soon follow. ~ CanJoe*John







About CanJoe*John

CanJoe*John began making and marketing the authentic 'canjoe' instruments from their origin. Introduced to them by their creator, Herschel R. Brown, in the early 1990s, John, from the beginning, helped Herschel manufacture them in Herschel's shop. John relocated back to his home state of TN in 1993 and continued, initially with Herschel's direct assistance, to make and market them, establishing the licensed sole proprietorship, the CanJoe Company, in 1994. As a professional musician CanJoe*John became billed as the "world's most unique musician, playing the world's most unique musical instrument, the canjoe" (aka, canjo). Always with his own personal canjoe instrument in hand he was awarded the adult "2007 Male Bluegrass Instrumentalist of the Year" by the North American Country Music Association International (NACMAI), and now having the distinction of being the first and only canjoe picker to ever perform on the Grand Ole Opry, has literally taken the one-stringed thing to the outer limits! CanJoe*John is a master craftsman and artist who designs, creates and crafts these instruments as custom works of musical fine art for those who respect and require the best of the best, truly genuine, original one-stringed musical instruments. He can be reached via email at, or by phone at 423-612-4320.
This entry was posted in All ABOUT CANJOES. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply