Transcending the Jug
The JJB should be granted landmark status. Not only has the Louisville group put out seven incredibly entertaining albums, but they are keeping alive the innocent playfulness of jugband music. If there were a Mount Rushmore for jugband music, I would nominate these guys, although seeing their faces that large could cause serious psychological damage to children.
There's no damage done on their latest CD, You Mean We Get Paid for This?The band brings their "skewed point of view" to a new collection of oldies, goodies and the title track, an original from band member Mr. Fish.
That song stands out, not only because it upholds the JJB's standard of excellence, but it is also the only explicit laugh-getter on the CD. In the past, the JJB has usually included a few chucklers on each album, but on Paid for This?the band has taken a step in a more serious direction.
That's neither a criticism nor a complaint. While previous albums have drawn more attention to the lyrics of the songs, on this latest effort the words are only background scenery for the true star of the show, which is the stellar musicianship of the band. While the sound of a jug or a slide whistle might invite the word "novelty act," make no mistake: the JJB are accomplished musicians and makers of art.
Everything from the guitar to the washboard to the nose flute are used on Paid for This?and the band has never sounded better. They even tackle their first classical piece, "Sabre Dance," and improve upon the original as only a jug band can.
Get the vibe at www.juggernautjugband.com. Bring your kazoo.