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Jazz And Blues Legends. By incorporating all manner of homemade instruments, jug bands were hugely popular in America during the s and early s. With an unparalleled vibrancy this 'do it yourself' and often overlooked approach to music was highly influential in the history of the blues. The original jug bands had their origins in the s amongst African-Americans, and were then known as 'spasm bands'.

Jug Band and Pre-War Blues Songbook

This 'do it yourself' approach to their instrument-making gained immense popularity in America during the s and early s, and became closely linked to the development of the blues. The jug could be earthenware or glass and was played by buzzing one's lips into its mouth from about an inch away, thus creating a sound somewhere between that of a tuba or trombone.

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The swoop sounds that could be made gave the impression of sliding notes and a good player could get two octaves out of a good-sized jug. Incorporating all manner of homemade instruments, early jug bands were typically made up of African-American vaudeville and medicine show musicians and played a mixture of blues, ragtime and jazz music with a strong backbeat. These bands developed out of the country blues and songster traditions and created an upbeat and comic sound perfectly suited to entertaining crowds, and far removed from the raw sound of the Delta blues.


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This allowed them to play all manner of places from street corners to vaudeville stages and saloons. The Memphis Jug Band recorded under several different names for various labels including the Picaninny Jug Band, the Carolina Peanut Boys and the Memphis Sheiks and produced more sides than any other pre-war jug band including the featured classic 'Stealin', Stealin'' which was subsequently recorded by the Grateful Dead.

Jugband Blues

Often referred to as a training ground for musicians, many fine performers passed through the ranks of the Memphis Jug Band including Memphis Minnie who is accompanied here by her own jug band on 'Grandpa And Grandma Blues'. Although Memphis became synonymous with the jug band craze the first jug bands to record were in Louisville, where their sound was much more rooted in the jazz influences that came by riverboat from New Orleans, and used the jug more for its novelty value.


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They were old school professionals who didn't improvise but needed some notes on paper before attempting anything. Barrett left the studio and Norman Smith wrote an 'improvisation' for the sessionists and didn't get mentioned as co-composer on the sleeve notes.

Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues

Economically speaking this was a very stupid thing to do as he lost millions that way. Read more at: Hurricane over London.


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    The Hesitation Blues: Jug Band/Blues Songbook Demos

    I concur. I also believe the TRUE underrated album is piper.

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