Review: The Jake Leg Jug Band – Next Stop!

Posted on: Friday, Sep 12, 2014

The Jake Leg Jug Band.jpg

The Jake Leg Jug Band -Next Stop!

(Lake: LACD330)

Recorded around one microphone in the studio, this CD may lack a jug but there is precious little else missing – there’s even a musical saw to complete that 20s and 30s ambiance! Next Stop! is the wonderfully good-natured second album from this five piece band from Staffordshire.

They do play the blues – there is a large influence from the likes of The Memphis Jug Band and The Hokum Boys, and Bo carter’s ‘My Pencil Won’t Write No More’ is given an exquisite treatment by the band’s guitarist and mandolin player Neil Hulse – with lovely detours into vintage jazz (try the version of Fats Waller’s ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’, sung by Purcy Harmonica), old-timey music, the latter best represented here with the lovely ‘Alabama Blues’, originally by bluesman Robert Wilkins, and ragtime with a couple of fine banjo workouts in the style of Reverend Gary Davis by Andy Anderson.

Esther Brennan conjures up the spirit and sound of Bessie Smith on ‘Sugar In My Bowl’ and of Sophie Tucker, “The Last Of The Red Hot Mamas”, with the latter’s theme song, ‘Some Of These Days’. For those a little worried though by all the hokum, high spirits and general hilarity, they should take a listen to the convincing ‘Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker’, based on Charley Patton’s version and with superb counterpoint vocals by Esther – and the musical saw has never sounded so spooky!

These guys are well worth looking out for… and this CD is well worth hunting out.


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