Jim Kweskin Jug Band Still Performing After 50 Years
In turn-of-the-century America, the music you could hear in cities up and down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers was jug band music. It was unconventional, raw and hugely popular.
The musicians were largely African-American and poor. Their instruments were a product of ingenuity. The jug was usually an empty liquor bottle – they called it the poor man’s tuba. The household washboard became percussion. Put them together with a kazoo, harmonica, and maybe a banjo, and you get a group like the Memphis Jug Band, which formed in the mid-1920s.
Some 40 years after that recording, the good old jug band sound was again heard across a wider swath of America – thanks in part to a man named Jim Kweskin.
Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins caught up with the group as they were preparing for a show at the City Winery in New York City.
- Jim Kewskin Jug Band performance schedule
- Jim Kweskin’s new album, “Jim Kweskin in the 21st Century”
- Maria Muldaur’s tour of the U.S. and Canada
- Lisa Mullins, host of WBUR’s All Things Considered and fill-in host for Here & Now. She tweets @ljmullinsworld.
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