Another summer music festival: National Jug Band Jubilee

Since the Washboard Festival won’t be around again until next year, here’s another one that looks to be its rival. The National Jug Band Jubilee in Louisville, Kentucky on August 23 is a gathering of jug bands from various states.

Why Louisville? The jug band was founded here more than 100 years ago.

Back then, clay jugs were used to hold bourbon whiskey. When the whiskey was gone, there was an empty jug in need of a use. Blow some air across the mouth in just the right way, and there’s music. The first band appeared in 1903.

Festivals like this one give me the idea that I like people. I actually do like people, which is one reason why I travel, but washboards and jug bands are happy music–perfect for summer. Perfect for creating the feeling that people are neat.

I mentioned this festival to someone who I met who lives in Louisville and she swore that this was a well worth it event, and one that gets rave reviews. She did admit she’s been out of town each time it has occurred, but still swears by it–and she’s a music sort who travels in the circle of people who know something about music.

In case you think you might go, Friday night at the Frazier International History Museum, there’s a jug band concert featuring the Juggernaut Jug Band and the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs. Afterwards there’s a showing of the documentary, “Chasin’ Gus’ Ghost” that traces the history of jug band music.

The Dirdy Birdies Jug Band will be performing. If their music is anything like the video on YouTube, I’d say you’ll be in for a good time.

Washboard Festival: Impressions of a New Jersey jug band

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in a New Jersey jug band, tootling the roads to Ohio for the annual Washboard Festival in Logan, Fender’s Excellent Adventure video will do the trick. I loved this. It starts out in Jack and Joe’s RV and goes from there. These two are members of the Dirdy Birdies Jug Band. Evidently, if you play a jug, it’s no match for a washboard. The captions of audience members are a hoot.

In the midst of the funny stuff is excellent footage of the music at the festival, the dance the Charleston, and a tour of the Columbus Washboard Factory. Stick around for the credits. Since the festival is happening this weekend, I’m passing this onto you. Seriously, this is mini-documentary quality. Very, very good.