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The Christmas Jug Band - On the Holiday Highway

On the Holiday Highway

The Christmas Jug Band

Globe Records - GLO-040

Available from Globe Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Kick out the jugs, motherfu…oh wait, I think the MC5 were referring to something else. Hey, jug is always good for what ails ya, right? I mean, who the hell can be sad when a jug band's around? No one, brethren and sistren, and so, in this dark period of governo-corporate shenanigans, your best bet for a health care plan leading to a happy mind and body is exactly this kind of music. Lucky for you, it just so happens that the Christmas Jug Band, which issues only one disc a year, is here to supply what Doctor Feelgood prescribes. You may not have been too aware of them in the past, but Dan Hicks is a member, and his Lickettes join in along with Norton Buffalo, Mike Duke, and Country Joe McDonald, all of whom who have been digging this San Fran group for a while now.

With titles like Santa's Going Crazy This Year, Shoot 'Em in the Pants, and Evathang Gonna be All Right, you know you're not exactly in for a high holy Mass, so loosen up them suspenders, Jeeter, grab a beer, and mosey over to the sofa or dance floor for some hijinks inside some what they call 'Seasonal Skiffle-Swing and Jug-Infused Revelry'. At a long 73 minutes, you're in for a treat replete with kazoo, washboard, slide whistle, and all the genre paraphernalia. Along the way, expect lampoons of standards chockablock with a lotta new shtuff.

The entire gig is live and would be right at home opening for a Jimmy Buffet tour. As the band numbers a dozen members, there's always a full sound and plenty of barrelhouse, boogie, and N'awleans sassafrassin' lifting the likker jar right beside jug(gernaut) numbers. A lil' perky SF soul makes its way into Oh, Saint Nick and a few other cuts, and one of the liner snaps has the crew looking like a cross between a fire brigade and Devo!! Not odd enough for ya? Then also expect a kazoo/clarinet inclusion of Duelin' Banjos in Jug Band Romance. Can't have Xmas without that!

Track List:

  • Shoot 'Em in the Pants (trad)
  • This Christmas Night (Paul Rogers)
  • Carolin' (Tim Eschliman)
  • Santa's Going Crazy this Year (Austin de Lone)
  • Jolly Ol' Soul (trad, a parody of "My Blue Heaven" by Dan Hicks)
  • Christmas in a Bottle (M. Duke)
  • Oh, Saint Nick (Paul Rogers)
  • Evathang Gonna be All Right (Tim Eschliman)
  • Jug Band Romance (Austin de Lone)
  • Dirty Claus Rag (MacDonald / MacDonald / Marsh / Barthol)
  • Christmas Iz Comin' (Tim Eschliman)
  • Santa, the Man (parody of "Song for My Father" [Horace Silver] by Dan Hicks)
  • Under the Eye of Santa Claus (Paul Rogers)
  • High Stack o' Presents (parody of "High Blood Pressure" [Huey P. Smith] by Tim Eschliman)
  • Xmas Anonymous (Austin de Lone)
  • Santa's on the Mainline (trad, a parody by the Christmas Jug Band)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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