Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Memphis Jug Band

i apologize for the lack of posts recently, but to make up for it i'm givin you somethin real good. it's a self-titled compilation by the memphis jug band. this is the reissue on yazoo, the original had 28 songs and since this one was cut down to 23 songs, the album artwork was altered by blacking in bits of the 8 to make it into a 3. pretty diy and all but it gets the job done. along with the carolina tar heels and the north carolina ramblers, the memphis jug band were one of the great main jug bands of the 20's-30's. along with the "official" instruments they had like guitars and singin voices, they also used jugs for bass, washboards for percussion, and kazoos for lead solo parts. jug bands were big into makeshift instruments, akin to bluegrass bands these days using washtub basses and the washboards and such, but this is nothing like bluegrass...more like the vaudeville music of the old days. basically just their way of playin old band/vaudeville music, and they handmade the gear since they couldn't afford real brass or acoustic instruments. this particular album also has some great artwork by robert crumb, and as such would be too rare to ever find on vinyl. but if you ever do find a copy, enjoy it as much as you can ya lucky bastard.


  1. One of the greatest American bands of all time. It's a shame this type of music doesn't get more respect.

    I didn't know any bluegrass groups used washtub. Can you name any worth listening to?

  2. you know, i'm not a big fan of bluegrass music so i don't know much about it. taking turns ripping solos never really did much for me...i know of local roots revival type bluegrass groups using washtub basses and washboards and the like, but i'm not sure about the legitimate use of em in straight bluegrass music. my knowledge of bluegrass music is limited, but if you end up finding any let me know, i'd dig hearing some, and i'll keep my ears open and do the same for you.