Jim Kweskin Live and Pickin’
Submitted by Don Graham
Jim Kweskin is not a household name but in the music world the folks he has influenced with his music and jug band style has been a huge influence on modern music. Rock critic Ed Ward has listed The Jim Kweskin Jug Band as one the most important bands of the early 1960s, a list that included the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Byrds.
Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band was the original “Americana” band, the original “roots” band. The first incarnation consisted of Kweskin, Fritz Richmond Geoff Muldaur, Bob Siggins and Bruno Wolfe, starting out in Boston in the 1960s. Maria D'Amato who married to Geoff Muldaur and became Maria Muldaur. Muldaur, a former member of the Even Dozen Jug Band, joined the band in 1963. The Kweskin Jug Band were together for five years merging the sounds of early American rural music, playing a mix of classic blues , hillbilly country, ragtime, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll.
With the folk surge of the ‘60’s the timing was perfect for their unique brand of music. They influenced a lot of musicians looking for a unique sound and The Lovin’ Spoonfu drew a lot from the Jug Band and an another notable evolution was a band that became the Grateful Dead with Gerry Garcia. The Jim Kweskin Jug Band had a style and enthusiasm that couldn’t be matched. In Jim’s words “We didn’t sound like anybody ever sounded before. What we were doing was taking the old styles and building new things out of them. We were ourselves all the time.”
Jim Kweskin created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Boy Fuller to the more complex chords of pop and jazz. He has maintained a remarkably consistent musical vision since his jug band days, and in recent years he and Geoff Muldaur have often revisited and expanded their Jug Band repertoire as a duo, performing at festivals, folk clubs, and appearing on A Prairie Home Companion.
Fifty years down the road, Kweskin, Keith, and the Muldaurs have separately kept making music in myriad configurations but the Jug Band is where they started and there is a special magic when they come back together.
Jim Kweskin will be bringing his unique style to Hugh’s Room as a solo act on September 22, 2016. “I’ll be there as a solo act but there will be folks on stage with me, jamming and just having a great time and playing the music we love.”
For more visit www.jimkweskin.com