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modern blackface

Devine’s Jug Band

Review by J. Darren Lee

Serving up a nice piece of Southern Americana pie, Devine’s Jug Band brings the listener back to the heyday of Southern jug/blues music that was prevalent in the 1920s, and 30s when bands such as The Memphis Jug Band played wherever they could find a place to sit down and play. Hailing from San Francisco, California, Devine’s Jug Band plays tribute to this African-American band, as well as many others that were popular among both black and white fans in a place and time not known for its racial harmony. Devine’s Jug Band’s cover of “4th Street Mess Around” by Memphis Jug Band is beautifully, and artistically done giving homage to a time and place mostly forgotten in American history.

Featuring the talents of Pete Divine on jugs/washboard, Bill Foss on banjo/mandolin, Mayumi Urgino on fiddle, Jacob Groopman on banjo/mandolin, and Meredith Axelrod on guitar, Devine’s Jug Band began in 2007 with founding members Pete Divine, and Bill Foss. The band has gotten quite a name for themselves with appearances from the 2007 San Francisco Jug Band Festival to more lucrative spots on NPR’s “West Coast Live” and even NBC News.

Classics such as ‘Terrible Operation Blues” originally by Thomas A. Dorsey also known as Georgia Tom, and “Ted’s Stomp” by Howard Armstrong and Ted Bogan are given new, fun and energetic life by the incredibly talented and gifted musicians of Devine’s Jug Band.

Even if you are not necessarily into American Blues, and Folk music, or even jugs, you will love Devine’s Jug Band. They are fun to listen to, and delightfully uplifting. If you have the blues, this jug band definitely has the cure.

Devine’s Jug Band has many upcoming shows Davis, Felton, and San Francisco, California-area and even one at the National Jug Band Festival in Louisville, Kentucky on September 19, 2009. For more information on dates and times of where this extremely talented troupe of musicians will be playing next, please go to Devine’s Jug Band Myspace site at myspace.com/devinesjugband.


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