This double album collects most of the best tracks from the Jim Kweskin Jug Band’s 3 albums for Vanguard records: Self-Titled (Unblushing Brassiness), Jug Band Music, and See Reverse Side for Title. The title is a little misleading, because the band never got on any charts, and were only starting to get noticed by a larger audience by the time they disbanded.
This era of the Jug Band predates the 1967 version, so it does not have fiddler Richard Greene, and as a result is a little less musically adventurous. Nevertheless, they were about the most adventurous folk act of the 60s, re-arranging all kinds of songs into a remarkably diverse palate of jug band tomfoolery. They resurrected a variety of standards and obscurities, from old blues and jug band numbers to tin-pan alley songs and novelty ditties to early rock and roll songs. And not only did they put their own instantly recognizable stamp on every song they played, but they utilized endless creativity in their arrangements so all the songs retain their uniqueness and the album never feels repetitive.
For anyone who is suffering from an overdose of soft-spoken, self-centered, navel-gazing, musically impotent, Greenwich Village “folk” singers or singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s, this album is the antidote! One listen to “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me,” should be all anyone needs to realize that there is more to good folk music than introspective boys living in their parents’ house and strumming non-descript guitar lines to alleviate their whining vocal delivery. This music equally dispells any notion that the early boisterous groups of the folk scare (Kingston Trio, Brothers Four, Chad Mitchell Trio, etc.) had any musical value, showing that acoustic music can be fun, up-tempo, and humorous without being 2-dimensional.
All ranting about the fey “folk” aside, this is a really good album, very rich in moods and textures. You will also see these arrangements of these songs being covered by virtually every other jug band since them. More about them can be found in my previous posts.
Jim Kweskin & The Jug Band – Greatest Hits
take the antidote. (is now posted as cd rip at Merlin in Rags).
my rip (vinyl, cleaned) | mp3 192+ kbps vbr | with cover | 124 mb
Jim Kweskin – Guitar, Vocals, Comb
Fritz Richmond – Washtub Bass, Jug
Geoff Muldaur – Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals, Washboard
Maria D’Amato – Fiddle, Kazoo, Vocals
Bill Keith – Banjo
Mel Lyman – Banjo, Harmonica
Bob Siggins – Banjo, Vocals
Bruno Wolf – Harmonica, Vocals
and get Jim Kweskin & The Jug Band – Jug Band Music at Broke Down Engine
and several other Kweskin albums at Merlin in Rags
& Jim Kweskin with Mel Lyman & Fritz Richmond – Relax Your Mind also at Broke Down Engine