Back in the ’60s, when it came to jug band music, viper jazz and razmatazz spins on Piedmont blues, Jim Kweskin was top dog. New York cats like Dave Van Ronk and John Sebastian were in awe of the way that the Boston-based Kweskin’s famed Jug Band blended the styles mentioned above, and tempered the whole approach with whimsy. On key records such as See Reverse For Title and Jug Band Music, they exploded an entire movement that still has a certain impact on the folk scene today. Kweskin’s team was impressive. Geoff Muldaur was his knowing lieutenant, Maria D’Amato his gypsy thrush; both helped define the group’s sound. Fritz Richmond, Bill Keith, Mel Lyman for a little while – lots of big personalities were on board Kweskin’s trip. Put Jim Rooney & Eric Von Schmidt’s “Baby Let Me Follow You Down” on your Kindle if you need further enlightenment; it explains the labyrinth of the Cambridge folk scene. But know this: Kweskin’s troupe got the job done. Three years ago the Jug Band tickled the Rhythm & Roots audience with a full set; the duo of Kweskin and Muldaur also had blast rolling through the classics a couple years ago as well. They’re back this Labor Day weekend – a must for anyone interested in the living tradition of folk music.
Performers include Taj Mahal, Donna the Buffalo, Lucinda Williams, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin with the Guilty Ones