Jug Bands

Here is a look at some of the groups that led the jug band revival in the early 1960s. These groups provide a direct link back to jug bands from the 1920s like The Memphis Jug Band and Cannon's Jug Stompers. 

Jim Kweskin Jug Band 
The Jim Kweskin Jug Band formed in the early 1960s in Cambridge, MA. They played a combination of old time folk, jazz and blues tunes with a special emphesis on the material of the jug band of the 1920s. Kweskin was the nominal leader of the band, though Geoff Muldaur was usually heard on lead guitar and vocals. The band also included Bill Keith on banjo, Mel Lyman on harmonica, Fritz Richmand on jug and washtub bass, Richard Greene on fiddle and Maria D'Amato on vocals and kazoo.

Maria married Geoff and went on to a successful solo career under her married name (Maria Muldaur), fiddle virtuoso Richard Greene joined Blues Project and then Seatrain, Mel Lyman formed his own authoritarian religion and Kweskin became one of his converts.

Kweskin recorded Over Seas Stomp (also know as The Lindy and The Lindberg Hop), Minglewood and Viola Lee Blues. Most of their albums are out of print and some are rather hard to find. Here is a brief discography.

  • The Jug Band - Vanguard (2158) 1963 
  • Jug Band Music - Vanguard (79163) 1965
  • Relax Your Mind - Vanguard (79188) 1966
  • Garden of Joy - Reprise (6266) 1967
  • Jump for Joy - Vanguard (79243) 1967
  • See Reverse Side for Title - Fontana (6080) 1967


The Even Dozen Jug Band 
Another loose outfit of early 1960s folk and blues revivalists playing jug band music. Only two albums were produced and they may actually be the same material released by two different labels. Here is the lineup.

  • Maria D'Amato - Vocals
  • Stefan Grossman - Guitar, Vocals
  • Steve Katz - Guitar, Vocals
  • Joshua Rifkin - Piano
  • John Sebastian - Guitar, Vocals
  • Peter Siegel - Guitar, Vocals

Maria D'Amato (Muldaur) has the destinction of being in both Kweskin's band and the Even Dozen; Stefan Grossman was a student of Reverend Gary Davis and fine acoustic blues guitarist; and of course, John Sebastian went on to form the Lovin' Spoonful. David Grisman may have also been a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band, or at least played on these recordings.

The Even Dozen Jug Band recorded Over Seas Stomp and On The Road Again. Here is a list of recordings.

  • Even Dozen Jug Band - Elektra (7246) 1964
    Jug Band Music/Rags of the Southern Mountains - Everest (339) 1964
    Jug Band Songs of Southern Mountains - Columbia (119)

The Lovin' Spoonful 
Probably the most popular of the early 1960s groups playing jug band music. I just noticed that on their first album, entitled Do You Believe In Magic?, is a song called On The Road Again. I'm not sure if this is the same song, but it seems reasonable to assume so.