Cannon’s Jug Stompers was one of the first jug bands, and one of the best. Their sound is more bluesy and archaic than some of the other, more urban and jazzy jugbands. They were kind of like the Memphis Jug Band, only a little more insane and not quite as popular. Gus Cannon was a rather remarkable musician, in that he could play the 5-string banjo and a jug simultaneously. He’s also one of the few musicians ever to play slide banjo. Noah Lewis made a mournful harmonica sound which perfectly complimented the driving jug and galloping banjo. The guitar player often doubled on kazoo. They were a major influence on the Grateful Dead, but then again…who wasn’t?
Well here you are. Some fine foot-stomping good-time ruckus.
Because there needs to be more jug band music.
The Best of Cannon’s Jug Stompers
Year: 1991 (comp)
you’ll find it here. (re-posted March 24 ’08)
nmr | mp3 256 kbps | no cover | 122 mb
here’s the AMG review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.:
When listening to blues singers from another era, many are turned off by the music’s rustic simplicity. Just a guy or gal with a guitar, singing in a whiny voice. Compared to your average country-blues singer, a band like Cannon‘s Jug Stompers is downright accessible. Equipped with a guitar, banjo, harmonica, and, of course, a jug, these folks were bona fide noise makers. If the listener happens to be a Deadhead, he or she will be familiar with songs like “Minglewood Blues,” “Viola Lee Blues,” and “Big Railroad Blues.” As one can also divine from the song titles, banjoist Gus Cannon, harmonica player Noah Lewis, and a number of bandmates stick close to the blues. There’s a relaxed laziness to pieces like “Wolf River Blues” and “The Rooster’s Crowing Blues” that separate the group from noisier, more boisterous bands like the Skillet Lickers. There’s a great version of “Walk Right In,” a song that became a big hit for the Rooftop Singers in 1963. A disclaimer on the back of the CD case mentions that it is impossible to completely clean up these old recordings. Nonetheless, considering the 70-75-year-old records Yazoo had to work with, the end product sounds pretty darn good. The liner notes include a nice long essay on the history of the band by Don Kent. The Best of Cannon‘s Jug Stompers delivers 70 minutes of traditional jug band music, offering a fine introduction to both the band and the musical style. In other words, it’s a classic.