Monday, February 25, 2008
Homespun jammers setting sail for fame
At first blush, Jugtown Pirates of Lake Champlain seemed to be on course for a shipwreck. The band's heroin-sheik dirty wardrobe also made its musicians look as if they needed a good scrubbing while following a Phish tour across the United States.
But after few minutes of being drawn to this frantic, Appalachian-inspired sound, I was convinced that it was the result many hours of serious practice. The notched-up pace of otherwise slow hick tunes sounded something akin to bluegrass on LSD. The noise was addicting.
I happened upon this upstart band playing a street festival last spring along Route 66 in downtown Albuquerque, N.M.
The precision was remarkable on such homemade instruments as a washtub bass and washboard. They tossed in a regular stand-up bass and a kazoo and pulled together one of the most creative sounds that I have laid ear to in decades.
All the guys need to do is hit the Laundromat between gigs.