Donate to the Grapevine

Express your thanks by leaving the pirate a tip!

February 18, 2008

Cannon's Jug Stompers - Best Of


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)
Label: Yazoo
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.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alas, file deleted by Gigasize.
any chance for reup, of maybe a repost for jugband music?
thanx in advance

Stefan said...

I love this blog. Amazing range of music featured here. I always wondered about Cannon's right eye in the Crumb drawing. Seeing the original photo, I'm guessing it must be a glass eye.
I'd love to see this one reposted....
Thanks for the music.

Andy said...

Hi, this is the first time I've posted, but I've been combing through this blog for the better part of two weeks now and I have to say, you have completely altered the landscape of my musical horizons. I have found more unbelievable music on this site than anywhere else, so Thank you so much. However, this link has gone dead, is there any chance that it could be re-posted at some point? Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The Irate Pirate said...

at some point, yes. right now, no, since i'm away from home and thus don't have access to the files. but the jug band will live on!