December 26, 2013

101 Reel-To-Reel Tapes 30: Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band ~ ~ See Reverse Side for Title

See Reverse Side for Title  .
detail of album cover             .
detail photo by Styrous®              .

In addition to my vinyl collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes I'm selling (see link below). This is an entry about the Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band ~ See Reverse Side for Title. I have the vinyl LP version as well. Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

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Jug band music is a unique American musical style that developed in Louisville and Memphis at the turn of the 20th century. Jug bands consist of instruments like harmonica, kazoo, banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, washboard, washtub bass, and the jug (of glass or stoneware). The jug player blows across the aperture often providing a bass ostinato.

 (click on any image for slideshow)
circa 1926
photographer unknown
from San Francisco Public Library





1980's




Now, there are post-modern jug bands with new, exciting and experimental sounds that aim to stretch the limits of our experiences. 5-Cent Coffee of the San Francisco Bay Area and some of the songs by Tom Waits fall into this category. 

 The jug band, 5-Cent Coffee
performing at the San Francisco Jug Band Festival
on 16 August, 2009
 photo by 5-Cent Coffee


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Jim Kweskin was born on July 18, 1940, in Stamford, Connecticut. He is the founder of the Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band, which was active in Boston in the 1960s. Kweskin adapted the ragtime fingerpicking of artists like Blind Boy Fuller and Mississippi John Hurt but incorporated more sophisticated jazz and and blues stylings.


Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band ~ See Reverse Side for Title
reel-to-reel box cover
album cover photographer unknown
photo by Styrous®



The Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band was formed in the early 1960s in Cambridge, MA. They played a combination of old time folk, jazz and blues tunes with a special emphasis on the material of the jug band of the 1920s. Jim Kweskin was the leader of the band, though Geoff Muldaur was usually heard on lead guitar and vocals. The band also included Bill Keith on banjo, Mel Lyman on harmonica, Fritz Richmond on jug and washboard bass, Richard Greene on fiddle and Maria D'Amato on vocals and kazoo.

 Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band ~ See Reverse Side for Title
reel-to-reel box cover back detail
detail photo by Styrous®




As is the case with most jug band music, the songs are folk-sounding and performed with great, earthy feeling. My very favorite song on this album is, Chevrolet; the vocals by Maria D'Amato (Muldaur) and Geoff Muldaur on it are dynamite. They do a call and response that is sweet (links to music on YouTube below).



Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band ~ See Reverse Side for Title
reel-to-reel box cover back
album photographer unknown
photo by Styrous®



Maria D'Amato married Geoff and went on to a solo career under her married name (Maria Muldaur). Fiddle virtuoso Richard Greene joined Blues Project and then Seatrain; Mel Lyman formed his own authoritarian religion and Kweskin became one of his converts.


Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band ~ See Reverse Side for Title
reel-to-reel box cover back detail
album photographer unknown
detail photo by Styrous®



Kweskin recorded Over Seas Stomp (also known as The Lindy and The Lindberg Hop), Minglewood and Viola Lee Blues. Most of their albums are out of print and some are rather hard to find.

 

Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band ~ See Reverse Side for Title
reel-to-reel
photo by Styrous®



Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band ~ See Reverse Side for Title
reel-to-reel label detail
photo by Styrous®


Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band released six albums and two greatest hits compilations on Vanguard Records between 1963 and 1970. Kweskin produced, Jim Kweskin's America, on Reprise Records in 1971; and four albums on Mountain Railroad Records between 1978 and 1987.


Tracklist:

Side 1:

1 - Blues In The Bottle        
2 - Chevrolet        
3 - Christopher Columbus        
4 - Never Swat A Fly        
5 - Richland Woman        
6 - Downtown Blues        
7 - Turn The Record Over    

Side 2:

1 - Fishing Blues        
2 - Storybook Ball        
3 - That's When I'll Come Back To You        
4 - Viola Lee        
5 - Papa's On The Housetop   
6 - Onyx Hop
       
Credits:

Jim Kweskin - lead guitar and vocals
Geoff Muldaur - guitar and vocals
Maria D'Amato (Muldaur) - vocals


Music links:
Chevrolet on YouTube
Blues In The Bottle on YouTube
Papa's On The Housetop on YouTube
Jug Band Music on YouTube

other music links:
Tom Waits - Chocolate Jesus on YouTube
5-Cent Coffee - Guns and Balloons on YouTube



reel-to-reel listings on eBay

more reel-to-reel tapes on the Styrous® Viewfinder:
                                             reel-to-reel tape archive


The is a great album that is earthy, musically exciting and just what the 'doctor' ordered for get-down music. Thanks, Guys.


Styrous® ~ Thursday, December 26, 2013
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