Saturday, August 25, 2007

If I had a jug band I'd call it Baby and the Butterbeans (and I would be Baby)

This weekend in Golden Gate Park was the official Jug Band Festival! How exciting! Gavin Newsome must have been excited as well because he officially anointed the weekend "Jug Band Weekend." As always Dani and I take our civic duties very seriously so we set out to learn as much about jug band-ing as we could. We saw some live jug band-ing in the park, where grown men make rhythmic farting noises into jugs while singing songs with lyrics like "hooray! they're going to kill my father." Even though there weren't any wax paper combs, spoon playing or wash tub basses we had a great time but weren't there for long. So, not wanting to let Gavin down we decided to see the jug band documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost." It was supposed to be about one of the original jug band-ers Gus Cannon. But it was more about Jug Band's 1960's revival- yes there was a jug band revival- who knew! I also learned that there is a huge jug band movement in Japan and that for the future of jug bands we should look to Japan.

Most notable of the the 60's jug band revival was The Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Fritz Richmond a member of the band, in addition to being an amazing jug player made startling refinements to the wash-tub bass. He developed a fretting system for the wash-tub so that it played notes. He is know as the "foremost washtub bassist in the world and was also the most sucessful professional jug player"
Some other notable participants in the Jug Band Revival of the 60's are:
Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan of Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions and later the Grateful Dead.
Jon Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful
and Maria Muldaur of Midnight at the Oasis fame
Below is the Kweskin band with Maria Muldaur, and you can see Fritz playing a mean jug.


Dani said...

i'm pretty convinced I will never get "midnight at the oasis" out of my head now.

Andy said...

maybe she's not getting married because she has gas? just a thought.

Go Leggy Go! said...

Then the whole jug band thing is just a clever ruse to hide exceptional and melodious flatulence!