Now this is some righteous jug, y'all! Everything about it is absolutely on the mark: recorded live, high nasal vocals in backwoods splendor, group harmonies straight outta the county seat, toe-steppin' highkickin' rhythms, and no dang end of whatall. With six members and three sit-ins, the sound is full and lively, banjos plinkin' away, fiddle sawin' an' singin', and loping jig tempos plumb fulla no end of bluegrassy flavor.
It's impossible to get enough jug, and there are too damn few bands to provide it, so Lake of Stew is a sound for sore ears. Break open the applejack and tell granma to git her dancing shoes outta the attic, 'cause the whole family will be grinnin' and hoppin' all over the place when this hits the speakers. Wellllllll, there are a few laidback tunes—The Sioux, I Am Violent (a grrrreat almost a cappella cut), and such—so's you can catch yer breath, but don't sit down, brother, cuz you'll be back up on yer feet before you know it.
Lotsa chuckle-inducing lyrics in a passel of all-original tunes, as in Down, Down, Down and elsewhere—and, uh, that earlier recommendation about the whole family joining in? Er, ya might wanna preview a cut or two; I'm all fer a spate of high spirited cussin', but the younguns can wait a bit for that, I guess…though I'll be damned if'n they don't already know the catalogue of blue vocab from the schoolyard. As I'm always at pains to point out, my current fave-o-rickle jug band is the Escape the Floodwater gaggle (here), but Lake of Stew now joins 'em as a perfect evocation of what jug was always meant to be. Pass the moon, grab Lil Abner, tell Boss Hawg to fetch his jaw harp, and we'll all mosey on down to Snakepass Hollow for a hootenanny of a backwoods rave-up.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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