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Memphis Jug Band - Self Titled 


Yazoo Records

"As the heyday of Delta Blues carried on throughout the beginning of the 20th century, an oddly remarkable musical phenomenon was gestating in the deep South. The concept of the jug band may be considered a novelty by modern standards, but they were highly successful during the 1920s and 30s, and a reliable source of classic country blues recordings. Of them all, no jug band was more successful than the Memphis Jug Band, helmed by veteran bluesman Will Shade, and featuring a rotating lineup of musicians, which at various points included fellow blues legends such as Furry Lewis, Casey Bill Weldon, and Memphis Minnie. What further set Memphis Jug Band apart from other jug bands of the era was the strong influence they took from contemporary jazz music. Their recordings frequently took cues and drew inspiration from contemporary works from Charlie Pierce or Cab Calloway, and twisted them into a distinctly Appalachian sound, inflected with fiddles, washboard, kazoo, and Shade's own adeptness with the jug. Many of their songs, which found release across esteemed blues labels like Victor, Okeh, and Champion-Gennett, would go on to become staples of the jug band genre, and standards of country blues. Memphis Jug Band captures the band at their peak from 1927 to 1934, across 28 songs, spanning two records. The compilation features many of the group's best known classic recordings, such as ""Cocaine Habit Blues"", ""On The Road Again"", and ""Stealin' Stealin'"", perhaps their best known track, notably covered by The Grateful Dead as their first single release."