Jug Band Music anyone?

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Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby stumblin » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:03 am

Me and a few of the Red Deer lads are seriously talking about setting up a new musical outfit, we're hoping to specialise in Jug/String band type material and plenty of double entendre laden '30s Hokum, with a healthy dose of straight up blues thrown in. Expect kazoos to be much in evidence!
Anyhoo, I just thought I'd put out an APB on any chords/tabs etc. that any of you guys might have that would fit the bill. We already have five or six songs to work on, but any suggestions/advice/help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks :D
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby jeffl » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:23 pm

That sounds like great fun Andy! I've been in two jug bands..one in '67 and the guys I jam with now do jugband stuff. Even when we play rock and blues, we use a tub bass (it's a bass fiddle style with the tub mounted cross-axis.) Best wishes. Have you contacted Shane Speal at http://www.cigarboxguitar.com ? He might have plenty of music for ya'.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby david » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:05 pm

Jug Band/string band is raw, unvarnished fun. Jaw harp, washboard bass, washboard rhythm. I have an LP of Smithsonian field recordings somewhere around here and the liner notes talk about one or two people starting out with "real" instruments and soon everyone using anything that could be found to join in: combs with tissue over them, brooms sweeping a rhythm on the floor, empty tin cans, spoons, trouser legs, etc. It's more of a participatory sport than a spectator sport. Get the crowd involved and you won't be able to stop

Don't forget to check out Tampa Red for material. I think he fits right in the description of what you want.

I once read a musicology article about the transition from string band to bluegrass. It claimed that musically the main difference is that in string band all the instruments play the lead at the same time while in bluegrass each instrument takes a turn while the others play backup--making bluegrass more akin to jazz. I think the same transition is there in blues as well.

When you get something going, be sure to post some sound clips. Wish I could be there to at least stomp my foot along with you.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby jeffl » Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:02 pm

I've played jug a number of times, usually behind a tub bass, and I like doin' that. Our high school band was called "The Cretin Society" and it was during the hippy era in the 60's. We used to play frat parties for beer, and we played our school auditorium for lunch hour entertainment one time. We had one guy who wore tux and tails and a World War I flying helmet and held up a flashing sign that said "Zap" on it...that's all he'd do on some tunes, even though he was a good guitar player. I retained some John Sebastian and Country Joe tunes outa that experience. Nobody ever figured out how to play tissue and comb, but kazoos were easy. We did have a washboard but it was so dang loud we didn't use it much..it got monotonous. One of the best little rhythm tools I've seen lately is an African wood block of some kind that looks like one of those old kids toys that you used to put round and square pegs into holes . It's got about 5 different kinds of wood laminated together with a hole in each section and each section plays a different tone when struck with a mallet. It's got nice tone.Our tub bass player broke the bridge anchor on his bass last week, so he's building a new one, and he's gonna use a real bass string this time. His last bass used an aircraft wing strut wire, which was durable but hard on your fingers, even though it was plastic coated. That's the second bass he's wrecked in the last coupla years...he plays 'em hard. I'll try to get y'all a pic of his new one when it's done.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby mike932 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:14 am

The zydeco bands are now using washboard neck ties, the player wears it like a tie. It is made out of corrugated metal and played with a piece of plastic or a guitar pick. Try using wax paper with the comb. A cool drum to use is made from inner tube sections stretched over large tin cans. The jug band is a great idea.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby grumpygroo » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:13 pm

Andy,

You ought to contact this mob. Most of them are living in Yorkshire somewhere I think. Certainly the slide banjo player is. Image

http://www.thegingerjugband.co.uk/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBP0q5LsQBo

If you're interested, Andy, I've got a phone number and email address for Geoff (banjo player) I'll check that it's OK to pass it on to you.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby grumpygroo » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:19 pm

Oops, just remembered they now go under the name of the Ugly Mug Jug Band.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=164685222

Huddersfield and Leeds.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby jeffl » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:55 pm

I'd be careful listenin' to music played by a left-handed slide banjo player who uses charts,lol! Their sound bytes are indicative of some tight music though...
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby stumblin » Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:32 am

Cool, thanks. I'll check them out shortly (when I'm allowed to turn the speakers on!).
The project is coming along at a steady crawl so far, a couple of us had a practice yesterday. I even attempted a mandolin part, after roughly six hours as a player of that instrument. We got at least two of the songs down into a "good to go" form.
As Stan "The Man" Lee might say: "Excelsior"!
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby grumpygroo » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:57 pm

jeffl wrote:I'd be careful listenin' to music played by a left-handed slide banjo player who uses charts,lol! Their sound bytes are indicative of some tight music though...


Yes, it all looks a bit odd, especially the 2 slides :!: :!: but that man can belt out the blues and jug band music with the best of them. Banjo, mandolin, guitar and piano. Don't you just hate these people who can do everything and do it well :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby ricochet » Fri Mar 21, 2008 10:18 pm

Actually, I love 'em and have endless admiration for their abilities. I just wish I had a tad bit of it myself!
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby grumpygroo » Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:03 pm

ricochet wrote:Actually, I love 'em and have endless admiration for their abilities. I just wish I had a tad bit of it myself!


Yeah, well, envy is probably the word I should have have used. I do count myself very priviledged to have known, for most of my life, two great musicians. Geoff, above, is one, and the other a guy who drank himself to death a few years ago, who was one of these people who could pick up any instrument and within half an hour be playing it. Not just playing it, but composing on the thing. Just how do these guys do it? I love music, I love playing musical instruments, but it never achieves the naturalness that these people have. Just about everything I play is learnt by rote. No originality. So often these great talents seem squandered in some way.

Time I went to bed, I think, been down the pub all evening.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby jeffl » Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:56 pm

Grumpygroo: I don't have that natural kind of talent either; that stuff is a special gift, having to do with how a person processes music. I'm just happy that people with disparity in talent can get together and play the same music. Frankly, most of the time I play, I'm playing with some guys with more ability than me, and some guys with less. I would never want to play with a bunch where I was the most talented, 'cuz even though I can hold my own with better players, I prefer to have at least a couple players in the mix who can move the bar up a little.
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby papajerry » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:23 pm

If ya put hte bar to high i hit my chin on it!
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Re: Jug Band Music anyone?

Postby Uncle Medley » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:01 am

I'm in a jug band. We've been trying for years to break up to form a blues duo, but we keep getting called for gigs... so we spit in a jug and toot kazoos, and tune and retune the banjo.

There's nothin' better than jug band... and anything can be made into jug band (cover of debut albums for Lovin' Spoonful, Creedence Clearwater Revival). The key is you have to play the jug, even if just a few times a gig; we play it a lot. Right now, between four of us, we do jug, kazoo, metal resonator, banjo, harmonica, washboard (anything percussion, e.g. cardboard box, cheese grater...), bucket bass and lots of scat and hooting.

Put your ear to the tunes:
Mississippi Sheiks (my second favorite)
Cannon's Jug Stompers
Blythe's Washboard Ragamuffins
Cincinnati Jug Band
The Five Harmaniacs
Hokum Boys
King David's Jug Band
Ma Rainy and Her Tub Jug Washboard Band
Memphis Jug Band (my favorite)
Phillips Louisville Jug Band
Salty Dog Four
Seven Gallon Jug Band
Whistler's Jug Band

Contemporary:
Robert Crumb's Serenaders
Brooklyn Jug Band
Thunderpants Johnson
What Me Worry? Jug Band
Sassparilla (hot stuff)
Linebreakers
Kitchen Syncopators (awesome)
Jug Free America
Adam Tanner
The Hump Night Thumpers

And don't forget to listen to Kweskin!

:D
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