Since I’ve been involved with the homemade musical instrument community, I’ve noticed more and more coincidences in my life. I’m not sure if they’re happening more often or if I’m just more attune to them, but I’ve noticed increased synchronicity over the past year or so. Here’s another fun coincidence that happened recently. I wanted to share it with the Cigar Box Nation.

About a month ago, a book about jug bands showed up in my Amazon feed. I’ve always thought jug bands were interesting, but never really took the time to learn the history of this music style. I decided to buy the book and it arrived a couple days later. I set it on my bookshelf not sure when I’d get around to reading it. As luck would have it, I had plans to visit a buddy in Phoenix the first weekend in September. I brought the book, Louisville Jug Music: From Earl McDonald to the National Jubilee by Michael L Jones, along to help pass the time.

I finished the book that weekend and it was a really good read. I did not realize how much jug music influenced other American musical styles or where it came from. Not only did I learn a lot about the past, present, and future of the genre, I also discovered there is a National Jug Band Jubilee which takes place in Louisville, KY every year. Coincidentally, the event was happening the following Saturday, September 14. I told my wife about this string of coincidences and she said, “It’s a sign. You need to go.” I made some quick travel arrangements and before I knew it, I was on my way to Louisville. I arrived at the Jubilee shortly after the first band took the stage on Saturday.

L to R: washboard, cigar box ukulele, dobro, bass, jug

The first thing I did was visit the merchandise table to see what kind of swag they had for sale. After purchasing a T-shirt and a bumper sticker, I noticed Michael L Jones - the author of the book I mentioned above - was sitting at a nearby table eating lunch. I walked over and told him about the series of coincidences that brought me to Kentucky. He grinned ear to ear, signed my book (which I just happened to bring with me), and welcomed me to the festival. I sat down in the grass and watched a handful of artists deliver some lively performances. The musicians played instruments like banjos, kazoos, washtub basses, washboards, guitars, and, of course, jugs. I even spotted a cigar box ukulele on stage.

At 4:00 PM the music paused and there were free jug band instrument classes. Led by known performers, these sessions focused on the basics of playing the jug, bones, kazoo, and washboard. They all appealed to me, so I had a hard time deciding which one to attend. I ended up at the jug playing workshop led by Arlo Leach. After one class and a little bit of practice, I’d say I’m still a novice jug player at best. Regardless, it was a lot of fun and I learned something new. At the conclusion of the classes, all the students took the stage and performed a song for the audience. I thought about how many coincidences led to this moment. Just one week ago I knew virtually nothing about jug music, and yet here I was playing a plastic milk jug on stage at the National Jug Band Jubilee. It was quite an experience to say the least.

That's me playing the jug (circled in red)

As the sun dropped towards the horizon, I watched the rest of the performances and found myself consistently entertained. The musical acts were great and so were the festivalgoers. The crowd was a mixture of folks from all age groups and walks of life, but everyone was in a good mood. It was an uplifting day and one I won’t soon forget. After returning home, I found myself digging through the recycle bin looking for empty milk jugs or water bottles I could blow into. I spent the latter part of yesterday checking my local antique shops for vintage whiskey jugs. I chuckled a bit when I realized I’m probably the first guy to come back from Kentucky and look for empty whiskey containers. I’m sure that doesn’t happen every day.

See the full album of Jug Band Jubilee pics here: https://cigarboxnation.com/photo/albums/national-jug-band-jubilee-9...

Views: 95

Comment

You need to be a member of Cigar Box Nation to add comments!

Join Cigar Box Nation

Comment by Kigar on September 23, 2019 at 8:44pm

Very cool story, funny how some of life's curves turn into a nice twisty road. Also remember some of the best jugs come in pairs!

Comment by KOOL DOG HOOCH on September 22, 2019 at 10:02am

Thanks for sharing, very interesting story. Here's something you may want to see.Bottle Boys

Comment by the anonymous pick on September 18, 2019 at 4:05pm

You opened Pandora's cigar box ;-)

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Forum

Volume/Tone Pots

Started by Brent Kasl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Poorness Studios 11 hours ago. 3 Replies

CONTEST CANCELLED: We Need Your Photos!

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Alex Fong yesterday. 2 Replies

Mods to CBG kit

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by James Pobog on Wednesday. 4 Replies

s/s lm386 draw amp,

Started by GARAGE HERMIT in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Paul Craig on Wednesday. 8 Replies

Back Angle

Started by Brent Kasl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Paul Craig on Monday. 4 Replies

Blog Posts

Mag pickup help

Posted by Fantacone Box Works on December 1, 2019 at 7:26pm 5 Comments

Tupelo Tenor kit

Posted by Craig W.Solomon on November 21, 2019 at 6:51pm 4 Comments

Hello from new member

Posted by Morgan L. Scoggins on November 16, 2019 at 9:52am 8 Comments

Latest Activity

3 String Guitars posted a video

Aviator Cigar Box Guitar - For Sale - Red Dog Guitars

This guitar will be for sale at the website https://www.3-string-guitar.com - or Goggle Red Dog Guitars
16 minutes ago
BrianQ. liked Dave Lynas's photo
22 minutes ago
Tim Pannabecker replied to Tyler Garrett's discussion How did I get here? in the group Introduce Yourself!
"First if the title is a reference to the Talk Heads song, well played, brought back great…"
1 hour ago
Joe Caruso and john kendall are now friends
1 hour ago
Tim Pannabecker replied to Harvey Bernstein's discussion Hola Desde Mexico in the group Introduce Yourself!
"It is contagious, enjoy"
1 hour ago
Tim Pannabecker replied to Terry's discussion Kiwi Guitarist in the group Introduce Yourself!
"Someday they may thank you for learning.  If you catch the building bug, that may test the…"
1 hour ago
Tim Pannabecker replied to John Bartlette's discussion New to CBG in the group Introduce Yourself!
"Awesome share John, I’m glad you are musical, it feeds the soul"
1 hour ago
Tim Pannabecker replied to Paul schofield's discussion New boy in the group Introduce Yourself!
"Welcome, you are a player, do you want to build also? Tim"
1 hour ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Cover of Bob Dylan's You Ain't Going Nowhere

"Thanks, Stephen, Pick & Dave. Me too, Stephen.   "
1 hour ago
Uncle John commented on Anthony Insetta's video
Thumbnail

December 5, 2019

"Thanks, Stephen, Pick and Dave.  Me too, Strphrn.  Cold sunny and brisk here."
1 hour ago
Uncle John commented on Shane Speal shanespeal.com's group Introduce Yourself!
"Welcome!"
1 hour ago
Doug Noren liked Poorness Studios's video
2 hours ago

Music

Loading…

© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->