It's hard to separate the throwback musical sound and hillbilly style of Junior Brown from his Michael Stevens-designed electric guitar and lap steel guitar amalgam the guit-steel. Sadly, a thief took one of Brown's custom instruments, lovingly called "Big Red," along with his wife Tanya Rae's Martin Shenandoah acoustic guitar from a rental car during the couple's stay earlier this month in a North Attleboro, Mass. hotel.
Ever since the theft was shared on Oct. 7 by the Junior Brown Fan Page on Facebook, Brown's $2,000 reward for the stolen gear increased thanks to a pair of Texas-based veterinarians.
"My wife and I are both veterinarians here in Monahans, Texas," wrote Trey Armstrong on Facebook. "I've been a big fan of Junior Brown since the first time I heard 'Highway Patrol.' I would like to add $1,000 to the reward money being offered ($2,000 by Junior Brown) for the safe return to his guit-steel and his wife's Martin guitar."
Alert! Junior’s guit-steel has been stolen. We are in North Attleboro Massachusetts. Anybody that has any Facebook...
While Brown waits for his beloved instrument's safe return, he's been playing an older guit-steel he calls "Old Yeller" on tour.
Read More: 10 Legendary Instruments in Country Music
As for the thief-at-large, it's hard to imagine anyone selling or pawning such a unique instrument without getting caught, even though Stevens Guitars sells replica guit-steel guitars.
Before starting his solo career in the '80s, Brown sharpened his skills as a guitarist with western swing legends Asleep at the Wheel. By 1993, the Arizona native's classic country music songwriting, singing and picking skills culminated with the classic album Guit With It, a Curb Records release featuring "My Wife Thinks You're Dead."