The Juggernaut Jug Band is celebrating 50 years of continuous entertainment from the birthplace of jug band music, Louisville, Kentucky.
The band was formed in 1965 in Anchorage, Ky. when the sixties folk craze was in full swing. John Fish, (not to be confused with Mister Fish – two different guys) who lived in Anchorage founded the band and came up with the name. Fred Glock, my brother Steve Helm and shortly after the first rehearsal I attended, Don Oswald was the first version of the band. Don authored “Waitin’ for that Chicken Pie to Cool”, “All night Drive-In Show” and “Cowboy” among other tunes that are still a part of the band’s repertiore today. When brother Steve and Fred Glock went off to school, we added Steve “Mister Fish” Drury and later Mark Ohlson, (“Something Elemental Has Gone Wrong” and “Wash Your Face and Leave”) a great song writer in his own right. We learned mostly Memphis jug tunes from Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band on the Vangaurd label before we discovered the rich heritage of Louisville jug bands. The band is still rolling. It survives because of the love, the fun and enthusiasm it still has for jug band music.
Playing a mixture of traditional and homemade instruments, Steel City Jug Slammers plays Blues, and Old Time Jug Music that hearkens back to the juke joints of the early 1900’s. The band has recently earned the title of “Jug Band Champions” as well as recently appearing on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion”.
The Gallus Brothers are a country blues duo based in Bellingham,WA. Initially brought about through a series of chance encounters involving pancakes, spoons and a guitar, the brothers have now spent the last decade performing and making music together. Generally you will find Devin Champlin fingerpicking his heart out on the guitar while Lucas Hicks holds down rhythm with a suitcase full of tomfoolery. They are both known to sing, bust down some fiddle/banjo duets, and occasionally jump on a table, stand on each other and juggle while playing a good ol’ tune from way back.
The Side Street Steppers are a page from Americas past, playing rare and popular music from the 1920s and 30s. Dubbed the Golden Age of Gramophone Recording, the two decades between 1920 and World War II saw the rise of jazz and the birth of the blues, the demise of ragtime and the emergence of hillbilly music that would become known through the world as country music. The Side Street Steppers present a pastiche of this transformation of the American musical landscape, performing on vintage and homemade instruments. Get ready for plenty of hip-shaking, foot stompin’, caterwauling and croonin’.
The Ever-Lovin’ Jug Band plays original music inspired by the jug bands of the 1920s & 30s, plus many songs and instrumentals by the Memphis Jug Band, the Mississippi Sheiks, Harry Choates, and more. They feature great vocals and vocal harmonies, banjolin, guitars, fiddle, kazoos, cello, jug, and washboard, in various combinations. They’re based in Ontario, Canada.
Bones Jugs N Harmony, a band from Urbana, Illinois, features bones, jug, xylophone, steel pan, banjo, resophonic guitar, upright bass, trap kit, all sorts of percussion toys, conch shell, donkey jaw and more to create their unique sound. The group offers a musical experience that can be enjoyed on street corners, in corn fields, on the beach, in a living room, amplified in a club, and just about anywhere else. A frenzy of frivolity. A marvel of merriment. A 21st century throwback to 1920’s ragtime, a new-agey jugband twist, an inland-calypso-shake-up. In short, it’s just loads of fun.
The Cincinnati Dancing Pigs are Cincinnati’s premier Jug Band. They have been around since the early years of the Rolling Stones, have lasted longer than the Beatles and have more living members than the Grateful Dead. In the Cincinnati Enquirer they were once compared to the Julliard String Quartet, although not favorably. They have played at every Tall Stacks, at the Cincinnati Bicentennial Celebration, for the runners in the Flying Pig Marathon, many times in the summer concert series at the amphitheater in Eden Park, for the Art Museum, for a sit down dinner on the observation deck of the Carew Tower, and in many bars, back yards and living rooms throughout the area. From country club weddings to pig roasts to 4th of July parties, they have shamelessly wound up audiences at every variety of event.
The How Long Jug Band has been performing traditional blues, jazz and ragtime music in Portland, Oregon for five years. They’ve released two albums and numerous YouTube videos, and are a driving force behind Portland’s monthly jug band jam and annual Jugapalooza concert. Guitar, kazoo and jug player Arlo Leach has attended every Jug Band Jubilee except one, either as a fan, a workshop coordinator or a performer. The band also consists of Nick McCann on harmonica, banjitar and jug, Anna Sandys on fiddle and mandolin and Giued Hatch on washboard and bucket bass. They’re excited to visit the birthplace of jug band music and hear all the great bands at the Jug Band Jubilee.
It used to be when you went to pick up your bourbon you brought along your jug. Turns out those jugs were good for more than just holding your liquor. A jug “with music in it” made a mighty fine sound to build a band around – the Louisville jug band sound. The music of the Bourbonville Buskers harkens back to the day when musicians around the city took to the streets to play some tunes, with their empty liquor jugs in hand and mischief on their minds. From our friendly township of Bourbonville we continue this tradition of song and tomfoolery. The Bourbonville Buskers small batch sound is crafted with a bill of jazz, blues and old-timey music, with overtones of humor and innuendo that precede a sweet, yet peppery kick.