Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pass the Jug

Jug band music was the 'Rock-n-Roll' of the 1920's!
Comprised of a collection of simple, homemade instruments and playing a new style of music that was a blend of Memphis blues, Hillbilly, Hokum, and Ragtime, Jug bands were the cat's meow during the 1920's and into the early 30's. Most Jug bands included washboard, washtub bass, kazoo, and perhaps a rhythm guitar or mandolin, but they had to have a jug or it just wasn't a jug band.
One of the most popular Jug bands was Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers. The Jug Stompers "Walk Right In" was so popular that it has been recorded by other's and has been popular for decades. Their "Minglewood" was a big hit in 1928 and became a standard for the Grateful Dead in the 1970's.
The popularity of Jug bands has never been the same as the Jug Band Era of the 1920's, but they never faded away. Jug bands have had periods of resurgence. They became popular again during the great Folk Scare of the 1950's. Jim Kweskin's Jug Band enjoyed the lime light during the 1970's and introduced us to Geoff and Maria Muldaur. Today there are plenty of Jug bands keeping this unique music alive and vibrant.
Here are two examples separated only by nearly half a century of time but not in spirit.

Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers - recorded in Memphis in 1927.
Pig Ankle Strut

Hogtown Stompers - recorded in the Kickapoo valley, Wisconsin in 2004.
Rag Mama


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the nice words about the band. An honor to be included in the same sentence as Gus Canon's Jug Stompers.

--Guitar Dave of the Hogtown Stompers

November 30, 2005 2:45 PM  

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