Top of the morning to you all from the Jook Joint Bands boyo’s. Bill has returned from the emerald isle, green behind the ears and with a very suspect Irish accent.
He said a visit with his 102 years young Aunty made him realise he still has a few years of Jug Band Music left in him!
The guys from the band mentioned that they often get asked the question of the type of music the Jook Joint Band plays. The answer to that is the wind. Because whilst we consider ourselves primarily as a jug band we do delve into many genres- basically any song that takes our fancy whether it be kick or country blues, folk, rockabilly or old R&B tunes.
We put our own arrangements to borrowed songs usually applying the jug band edge. So what is jug band music?
Jug band music has its origins in the 1890’s with African American vaudeville and medicine show musicians playing their home made instruments in their travelling shows. Instead of using the tuba, sax and trombone they used instruments such as the jug, wash tub bass, kazoos and fiddles. The playfulness of the instrumentation such as washboards, spoon and jug allowed for an informal and humorous rhythmically bouncy music. The type of music varied considerably but began to morph into the down homey music that underpinned the basics of old time jazz, ragtime and blues.
By the early 1900s’ the roots of jug band were firmly established in Memphis and Louisville and then continued to gain popularity across the USA in the 1920’s and 30’s. By then blues, jazz, gospel and ragtime had gone their own way and developed into separate (if not still overlapping) genres. As with all things jug bands had had their day in the sun and were overtaken by bands that played ‘real’ instruments.
The USA had a revival of jug band music in the 1960’s with the likes of Jim Kweskin Jug Band. They played a combination of folk, jazz and blues tunes. Popular bands such as the Lovin’ Spoonful and The Grateful Dead also introduced new audiences to the sound of jug band music through a number of their early recorded songs.
On the other side of the Atlantic in the UK the Brit’s were having their own jug band revival when in the 1950’s skiffle music started. This music was heavily influenced by the early US jugs bands and country blues music from the 20’s & 30’s. Lonnie Donegan stepped forward to become a best seller. The Quarrymen also had their start as a jug band (“When I’m 64” by The Beatles still resonated some years later with that jug band feel).
Jook Joint Band continues the tradition of the those early jug bands and whilst we don’t play the spoons or saw blades we do still capture the essence using the jug, kazoos, washboard, harmonica, upright bass, stand-up drums and acoustic guitars. Many of the songs we play come from the 1920’s and 30’s exponents of the genre. We also give a jug band twist to the originals we write and the latter day songs we include in our gigs.
So to get a taste of yesteryear (and the next big thing!) come along to some of our upcoming shows.
See you down on the docks at the Freo Harbour Bar on the 13 October.
Check out our web site www.jookjointband.com for full details of all our upcoming shows.
Look forward to seeing you all up on the dance floor.