Articles From The Press

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Articles From The Press 2017-07-31T16:09:00+00:00

The Juggernaut Jug Band: More than just a sense of humor and cool names

By | July 27th, 2015|Categories: Articles From the Press|

A club owner in Bloomington, Ind., hired the Juggernaut Jug Band because she felt her customers wanted a break from the "heavy" music they'd been hearing. Those customers – if they've been force – fed the Curt Kobain – influenced whining that inhabits much of today's popular music – likely will be caught completely off-guard by the Juggernauts' retro look, the array of tools with which they attack their craft and their generally positive outlook. "We are a good-time group," explained Gil Fish, who plays bass and a handful of other instruments and has been a Juggernaut since 1968. "So much music nowadays is such a downer. It's full of angst, and this is good-time music." Ditto for fiddle player Tin Pan Alan. "So much happens to make you sad. It's not that we're trying to block that out – we're just trying to provide a vacation from it." And [...]

New headstone to honor early blues guitarist

By | July 26th, 2015|Categories: Articles From the Press|

Martha Elson, melson@courier-journal.com1:53 p.m. EDT July 20, 2015 Pioneering Louisville blues guitarist Sylvester Weaver — promoted as “The Man with the Talking Guitar” when he recorded in the 1920s in New York — will receive an encore tribute Saturday. Member of the Kentuckiana Blues Society and organizers of the annual Jug Band Jubilee waterfront festival held each September in Louisville will hold a public dedication ceremony for a new illustrated headstone for Weaver (1896-1960) on his birthday, July 25, at Louisville Cemetery. Weaver, who grew up on Finzer Street in the Smoketown neighborhood, also “discovered” Louisville jazz singer Helen Humes and recorded with her, says Keith Clements, a Blues Society leader. Humes went on to become a famed jazz vocalist who was a featured soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra. While Weaver’s achievements were not widely known after his initial splash, local blues aficionados have sought to recognize him in [...]

How Louisville Made Jug Band History

By | July 26th, 2015|Categories: Articles From the Press|

By ASHLIE STEVENS September 28, 2014 Louisville journalist and author Michael L. Jones has established himself as something of a jug music expert with publications on the subject in LEO, Louisville Magazine and The Courier-Journal. Jones wrote his most recent book, “Louisville Jug Music: From Earl McDonald to National Jubilee,” as a way to celebrate Louisville as the heart of a musical tradition that dates back to turn-of-the-century America. I  interviewed Jones recently about the often misconstrued origins of jug music, its influence on current tunes, and how it continues to be an enduring part of our city’s music scene. You mention in the book that “the main purpose of this book is to liberate jug music from misconceptions surrounding it.” What are some of those misconceptions? In the 1920s, when the recording industry started, the record companies segregated white and black artists. Music by black artists was marketed as “race [...]

Jug bands play music from down home

By | July 26th, 2015|Categories: Articles From the Press|

story & Photos by Philip Scott Andrews / Special to The C-J10:07 a.m. EDT September 22, 2014 The smell of grilled meat and beer and the gently amplified acoustic music of a jug band filled the air during the National Jug Band Jubilee in Louisville on Saturday. People gathered on the banks of the Ohio River at the Brown-Forman Amphitheater for the 10th annual celebration of a unique form of folk music. Bones Jugs N Harmony band member Charlie Harris belted out songs for the crowd while playing the upright bass. Other bands included Maria Muldaur & Her Garden of Joy Jug Band, the Juggernaut Jug Band and The Hokum High Rollers. Jim Watkins of Urbana, Ill., was learning to play the washboard. "It's a fabulous event," he said, "This is the first year I've learned of it. I will be back."


By | July 26th, 2015|Categories: Articles From the Press|

Never listened to a jug band?  Bet you didn’t know that Louisville is the world center for jug band music.  While bluegrass and country music are more commonly associated with Kentucky, another genre with deep roots in the state is jug band music. Many music historians cite Louisville, where jugs abounded due to the city’s bourbon distilling industry, as the birthplace of this light-hearted musical form that spread up and down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers around the turn of the 20th century. The music has come full circle, with the seventh annual National Jug Band Jubilee in Louisville set to celebrate the genre’s origins on Sept. 15, 2012. Nine of the country’s best bands will play from 1-11 p.m. at the free festival at the Brown-Forman Amphitheater in Waterfront Park, on the banks of the Ohio River near downtown Louisville. The acts will include Louisville’s Juggernaut Jug Band and [...]

Rollin’ on the River

By | July 2nd, 2015|Categories: Articles From the Press|

June 29, 2005 12:01 AM Once upon a time, Rod Wenz was one of the most respected public relations professionals in the city. He and Randy Neely started Wenz-Neely in 1971, built it into a successful firm without borrowing money, and eventually sold to a British outfit named Shandwick. Things came full circle when former Wenz-Neely employees bought the company back and named it New!West LLC a few years ago. Old PR guys never die, they just find new projects, and for Wenz, who’s retired, the road has led him to a delightful slice of Louisville history that deserves more attention in its hometown. Hence Friday’s inaugural National Jug Band Jubilee, a Belle of Louisville cruise featuring good food and great music from Louisville Juggernaut Jug Band and The Cincinnati Dancing Pigs. While there’s no definitive proof that jug bands started in Louisville, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest it [...]