The Ramblin Jug Stompers Head to Bridge Street Theatre Tonight
It's a Sadie Hawkins Day Extravaganza featuring refreshments, photos, and the musical stylings of the Capital Region's favorite Washboard Band, the Ramblin Jug Stompers. The party begins at 7:30pm on Saturday, July 2nd, and ends in plenty of time for you to head out to Dutchman's Landing for the annual Catskill fireworks display.
Celebrating its first decade, Ramblin Jug Stompers play 78 rpm Music for the 21st century. With banjo, mandolin, guitar, washboard and more, the popular Albany, NY jug band "Stomperizes" every song it touches, pulling the beat back to "ramblin speed" and adding comic flourishes, sharp musicianship and Spike Jones-like looniness to each tune it plays-whether from the songbag of Roger Miller, The Memphis Jug Band, Louis Armstrong or Doc Watson.
Ramblin Jug Stompers are represented with two albums, the live set "Crooked Songs", recorded at the legendary Caffe Lena, and the studio disc "Hobo Nickel". The all-star combo is also featured, with its funky American string band take of Uncle Dave Macon's "Old Plank Road," on the compilation "Jugs Across America."
Ramblin Jug Stompers are a favorite at nightclubs, festivals, colleges and concert venues, including: The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Caffè Lena, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, Berkshire Harvest Festival, First Night Saratoga, Albany Tulip Festival, Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Club Helsinki, The Kirkland Arts Center, The Howland Cultural Center, The Egg and The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) among others.
Tickets for the Ramblin Jug Stompers Sadie Hawkins Day Extravaganza are $15, $10 for patrons age 21 and under, and go on sale at the door one half-hour prior to the performance. For more information, visit BridgeSt.org or call 518-943-3818.
ABOUT THE RAMBLIN JUG STOMPERS:
BOWTIE (Banjo, Vocals) Full disclosure #1: Bowtie kissed international celebrity Phyllis Diller on national television. That's the kind of raw sexual energy and animal magnetism that the Ramblin Jug Stompers' banjoman exudes. And what more can you say about a man who spent his youth hopping freight trains, traveling the sea as a merchant seaman, bartending in Greenwich Village, working in a lumber camp in Montana, acting as guide and protégé of a blind blues singer and leading a coal miners strike? Sadly, Bowtie did none of these things ...but has still mastered them all from watching black and white documentary films! Bowtie grew up Detroit and Virginia, and started playing 5-string banjo in high school. His first band, The Canterbury Trio, won their high school talent show by singing the "naughty" song Ah Woe Ah Me. Bowtie quickly learned the value of taking the low ground, and has laid claim to it ever since. Moving forward, Bowtie was a founding member of both the Star Spangled Washboard Band and Blotto, and vows not to repeat the same mistakes (or songs) in RJS. He toured for many years and has appeared everywhere from NYC punk landmark Max's Kansas City, to Disney World, to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and...to MTV. Bowtie's favorite Jug Stompers song is "Mornin Blues", which, coincidentally, he sings. If he had his way, the Stompers would be transported back in time, and find themselves playing old-time country radio shows with the Stanley Brothers and Uncle Dave Macon. Full disclosure #2: Bowtie has never lived in the country or on a farm. INFLUENCES: The Kingston Trio, Flatt & Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Stanley Brothers, Uncle Dave Macon, Billy Faier, Grandpa Jones, Stringbean, Jim Kweskin.
COUSIN CLYDE (Guitar, Vocals, Second Lead Kazoo) The musical career of Steven Clyde started in New York's North Country, playing guitar, keyboards and drums and writing songs as a young man. He soon traveled south to study music at the University at Albany. As a lead guitarist, he help establish two of Albany's most original bands in the '70s-The Star Spangled Washboard Band (blue grass/jug band), and od (rock opera)-and wrote songs for both acts. Moving on to New York City, Steven toured with Richie Havens (lead electric guitar) and Buzzy Linhart (bass). Upon his return to the Capital Region in the '80s, Clyde swung with the Rockin' Dakotas, Tex Rubinowitz and the Bad Boys and Jeannie and the Hurricanes, and he subsequently ventured out with his own Steven Clyde Band. He has toured with Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, The Neanderthals (featuring Eddie Angel of Los Straitjackets), Blotto, The Lustre Kings, Johnny Rabb and the Jailhouse Rockers, The Mother Goose Jazz Band and Ed Mann's Dub Jazz Unit. Steven Clyde is a featured songwriter on recordings by The Lustre Kings. He also co-founded and wrote, sang, played bass, keyboards and percussion for Albany's Rumdummies. INFLUENCES: The Beatles, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Bob Dylan, Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, Bob Marley, Peter Gabriel and Richie Havens.
MR. ECK (Mandolin, Vocals, Jug, Jaw Harp, Ukulele, Tenor Banjo, Dobro...such and so forth) Mr. Eck took a different path to the waterfall than his jugthren. Over a decade behind his peers, he cut his teeth in the upstate New York punk scene of the early '80s before whoring himself out to dozens of Albany bands of every ilk; later pursuing a troubadour's life as a songwriter with stints in Austin and New Orleans. Given Mr. Eck's proclivities, Bowtie is convinced that the joke about a true musician being one who puts $5000 worth of gear into $500 car to drive 500 miles for a $50 gig was composed with him in mind. Mr. Eck himself mistakenly believes that knowing three chords each on a bunch of expensive toys makes him a multi-instrumentalist. Still, he's fooled enough folks to have produced; performed on; and contributed songs to a pile of recordings, including four solo albums. He's shared the stage and the studio with the likes of Pete Seeger, Patti Smith, Aimee Mann and members of 10,000 Maniacs as well as jug band heroes John Sebastian, Happy Traum, Steve Katz, Eric Weissberg and Bill Keith. Mr. Eck is also a member of Lost Radio Rounders and the Berkshire Ramblers; co-curator and host of the American Roots Series at The Linda; and a respected painter, creating portraits of iconic American folk and jazz musicians with recycled materials. Michael Eck is a featured artist with National Reso-Phonic Guitars, Inc. INFLUENCES: Patti Smith, Townes Van Zandt, Johnny Cash, D. Boon, Dave Van Ronk, Fritz Richmond.
WILD BILL (Washboard, Vocals, Harmonica, Kazoo, Nose Flute...such and so forth) Wild Bill wasn't born with a washboard in his hands-it just seems that way. He began his washboard career while still a wee lad in the suburban wilds of Buffalo, New York, as a co-founder of the Zing Kings Jug Band. He made his public concert debut with "Coney Island Washboard" at a talent Show at Kenmore West High School and went on to perform at such illustrious local venues as the Allentown Art Festival, the Pure Tear Coffeehouse and Dialing for Dollars with Liz Dribben. Since those early days, he's been a member of such esteemed jug ensembles as The South Happiness Street Society Skiffle Band (backing up famed bluesman Jesse ("The Lone Cat") Fuller, The Sunnyland Happytime Washboard Band, The Henry Graiver Jug Band, and The Star Spangled Washboard Band (whose 1976 album, A Collector's Item, on Flying Fish Records, lives up to its title). He's rubbed out the rhythm on his washboard at such diverse venues as the Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Willie Nelson's Whiskey River in Dallas, The Mike Douglas Show in Philadelphia and Disney World in Orlando. In Ramblin Jug Stompers, Wild Bill not only plays washboard, but also harmonica, kazoo, tambourine, hi-hat, train whistle, mouthbow, the Bathhouse Brass, noseflute, and other assorted toys that he frequently pulls out of his bag of tricks. INFLUENCES: Geoff Muldaur, Spike Jones, the Hoosier Hot Shots, Marcel Duchamp, Roger Miller, Harry Partch.