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Escape The Floodwater Jug Band - Whiskey Will Fix It

Whiskey Will Fix It

Escape The Floodwater Jug Band

Super Amigos Records

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com)

The title alone gives a good idea what to expect: lotsa jug, lotsa good times, lotsa swozzled singin' 'n playing', and lotsa laffs. This band is everything that the first days of the indie revolution was about: lo-fi, handmade, unique, and down-home. In the old OP magazine days, this sextet (3 guys, 3 girls) would've been perfectly grooved. Hopefully, the new era of super-polished sound from just about anyone with enough shekels to plop down for a small mixing board will not completely clear away efforts like this one, as there's actually a minor history and niche this is treading rather nicely.

Folk music per se was the domain where one needn't be conservatory trained in order to be a musical artist, or even to just give it the old college try, no matter what emerged. Escape The Floodwater illustrates exactly what that means, being a collective of jes' folks playing so traditionally that various of their instruments are handmade, preserving an elder style in the way it was meant to be produced. Ya jes' cain't get much more down in the hog-waller than that, Jedediah! They wryly adopt a number of covers, including a tune Tiny Tim made famous, Tiptoe Through the Tulips and a coolly bizarre choice in Rod Stewart's Young Turks. What you hear is a result Dan Hicks and Jim Kweskin were a bit too hi-tone for, right down to the belches, the snarky background puns, the snorts, and the wolf calls.

Washboard Nina actually plays a washboard and glockenspiel all the time, and Saw Slingin' Wade is pictured with his omnipresent saw, while Corn Tanglin' Kate plays a real jug! Lordamighty, but that's eggsackly what the doctor ordered. Toss in kazoo, ukes, gee-tars, Washtub Mark's washtub, and Gawd only knows what else, and the listener comes away with a grit and likker, hoots 'n hollers, sooey the pigs extension of Appalachia.

Even the disc's presentation is singular: a handmade naughahyde case, sewn by band member Banjo Kellie and sporting a burnt-wood tip-in of a whiskey jug, into which a surreal mini-jug-comic is inserted (drawn by another band member, Old Man Brandt), the whole affair sealed not with customary shrinkwrap but a piece of twine. Talk about DIY! Everything about this CD is a throwback and a reminder that we may well be spending too much time on spit and polish when the whole idea is to just have a good time whenever possible.

Track List:

  • Jug Band Music (Memphis Jug Band)
  • Mississippi Mud (Cavanaugh / Harris)
  • Snake Train
  • Fond of You
  • Ukelele Lady (Whiting / Kahn)
  • Whiskey Business
  • Auntie's Old-Time Whiskey Baby
  • Tiptoe Through the Tulips (Dubin / Burke)
  • Guitar Tom
  • Evolution Mama (Even Dozen Jug Band)
  • Young Turks (Rod Stewart)
  • Come on In (Even Dozen Jug Band)
Songs written by the Escape The Floodwater Jug Band except as noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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