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Shake That Thing!

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Album Review

Assembled to update the sound of the old Memphis jug bands of the 1920s and 1930s, the Last Chance Jug Band is led by David Evans, a scholar, field researcher, and director of the ethnomusicology department at the University of Memphis. This isn't an academic project in re-creating times past, though, but a real attempt to translate the sound of the old jug bands into a contemporary setting, which means, in a word, drums. So Shake That Thing rocks out with a wonderfully ragged and loose sound complete with jugs, washboards, and kazoos, all centered 'round Evans' slightly shaky (but very effective) high vocals. The end result is a Memphis street-corner party disc that is unbelievably fun. Highlights include "Last Chance Blues," the loopy "Who Pumped the Wind in My Doughnut," "Mississippi River Blues," and a solid cover of "Viola Lee Blues," here entitled "The Judge He Pleaded."


Formed: 1989

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s

Headed by musicologist David Evans, The Last Chance Jug Band is a modern-day incarnation of the jug bands that existed in the Memphis area during the '20s and '30s, namely The Memphis Jug Band led by Will Shade and Cannon's Jug Stompers headed up by Gus Cannon. The band consists of Evans (vocals, guitar, kazoo), Jobie Kilzer (harmonica and jug), Dick Raichelson (piano), Tom Janzen (drums) and Richard Graham (one-string bass, washboard, jug, percussion). Formed in 1989 in Memphis, the band released...
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Shake That Thing!, Last Chance Jug Band
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