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"The kings of 100% acoustic folk-skiffle-swing holiday highjinks"



Christmas Jug Band CD Reviews:



Reviews of "Jugology - Greatest near Misses (Best Of...)":   [More Info - Order Here]

Chris Spector, Midwest Record
CHRISTMAS JUG BAND/Jugology: Not to be confused with ISP's Jugalos, this bunch of Bay Area merry pranksters finally decide it's time to make their first greatest hits set since their inception in 1986, and they include the bonus unreleased tracks just like the big kids do. A wild ride of hokum powered by some of the all stars you've been digging in the background all these years, they aren't kidding about being a jug band if you've been so far unexposed. A gasser for anyone with a sense of humor, this isn't a novelty record but it sure is a one of a kind collection. Trust me, almost every house needs this in it's Christmas music collection. Killer stuff from the hippie/beatnik left field.
Paul Liberatore, Marin IJ
Press Play: 'Jugology,' best of the Christmas Jug Band

Marin's perennial Christmas Jug Band has just released "Jugology," its first "best of" collection of holiday chestnuts from its albums "Mistletoe Jam," "Treeside Hoot," "Rhythm on the Roof," "Uncorked" and "On the Holiday Highway." "Jugology," subtitled "Greatest Near Misses/Best Of," features 19 classic seasonal songs from 1986 to 2009 led by the festively funny "Santa Lost a Ho," and including the classics "Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit," "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," "Rudolph the Bald-Headed Reindeer," "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," "Hey Santa" and "Santa Don't Do It." As a bonus stocking stuffer, the Globe Records collection includes two tunes previously unavailable on CD, LP or download: "Santa Claus Is My Main Man" and the Marin drought inspired "I'm Dreamin' of a Wet Christmas."

Described as "the kings of 100 percent acoustic folk-skiffle-swing holiday high jinks," the musicians, some of the Bay Area's finest, perform on washboard, drums, guitars, percussion, kazoos, slide whistles, jaw harp, washtub bass, jug, accordions, autoharp, harmonica, piano, tenor sax, soprano sax, alto sax, baritone sax, clarinet, chromatic harmonica, recorder, trumpet and mandolin.

The lineup: Gregory Leroy "Duke" Dewey (Mad River, Country Joe & the Fish), Tim Eschliman (Etta James, Commander Cody, Rhythmtown-Jive), Austin deLone (Elvis Costello, Fabulous Thunderbirds), Dan Hicks, Paul Wenninger, Nicholas Q "Notjoe" Dewey, Ken "Turtle" Vandermarr, Paul Rogers (Those Darn Accordions), Blake Richardson, Jim Rothermel (Van Morrison), Lance Dickerson (Commander Cody & Lost Planet Airmen), Nik Phelps, Ken "Snakebite" Jacobs (Kinky Friedman) and guests, Norton Buffalo, Angela Strehli and Maria Muldaur.

If you're tired of eggnog-sweet Christmas music, then you need "Jugology" under your tree and in your ears.
Dan Macintosh, Country Standard Time
Many times when tracking holiday albums, artists will include either a funny or overtly religious Christmas tune, right along with the usual familiar aural wrappings. Christmas Jug Band, however, has taken the Weird Al approach to tracking their seasonal album, as all of these songs are either fun or funny. The disc is mainly a collection of previous released holiday tunes plus two previously unreleased songs.

A dead giveaway about this album's fast and frivolous tone is the presence of Dan Hicks. He sings lead on six songs, including the accordion-laced, call-and-response approach of "Christmas Time Is Here." Also, unlike the majority of holiday albums where the song choices are mostly retreads and reruns, there are very few overly familiar tracks on this disc. One finds "I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas," which has appeared on a few country Christmas albums of late, and a new take on Rudolph's story with "Rudolf the Bald Headed Reindeer." But for the most part, this should be a lot of new music for most.

This group is stocked with like-minded musicians that like to throw a little swing into their season. For instance, Maria Muldaur boogies and woogies with "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus." This music is so lively at times you may even forget you're listening to a Christmas album. And maybe that's the whole point. Why do people need to suddenly act all holy and righteous during the Christmas season when they're usually not that way at all the rest of the year? If you want to laugh and dance your way into Dec. 25, Christmas Jug Band's "Jugology" is your golden ticket.
Rhetta Akamatsu, blogcritics.org, Seattle PI
Many people, when they think of Christmas music, think of the same traditional, well-loved but well-worn songs we hear year after year. Other lucky people think of The Christmas Jug Band.

The Christmas Jug Band has included many musicians over the years. This collection lists 23 in the credits. Seventeen of the 19 songs included come from the albums Mistletoe Jam, Treeside Hoot, Rhythm On The Roof, Uncorked, and On The Holiday Highway, recorded between 1986-2009. The other two songs are new, never available for download or on CD. These two new songs are "Santa Claus Is My Main Man" and "I'm Dreamin' Of a Wet Christmas," and they fit into the fun and funny mode of the rest of the Jug Band's stuff.

The musical style here is typical jug band, a sort of jazzy swing. The lyrics are playful, funny, and sometimes slightly naughty. For instance, one of this reviewer's favorite Christmas songs of all time is the suggestive "Santa Lost a Ho," with vocalist Dan Hicks singing the irrepressible tune. It tells the tale of how Santa suffered an unprecedented loss. ("He never had a doll go AWOL once he had her in the sack.") That's as naughty as it gets, so if you can handle that you can handle The Christmas Jug Band. Other favorites here include "Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit," "Hey! Santa," and the band's unique take on "Carolin'." Then there is "S.A.N.T.A. (Gloria)," which you may recognize as the raver by Van Morrison and Them from back in the day. You will never hear it the same again.

There are a few less deliciously silly moments, like a dynamic version of "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" with vocals by Maria Muldaur, and a relatively straight rendition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." "Jug Band Romance" is a sweet little song about a Christmas Eve Jug Band romance in the '20s. Then there is the certainly silly enough "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," which just does not work as well when sung by grown men.

I firmly believe that even Scrooge before his ghostly visits would have had to laugh along with The Christmas Jug Band. It's the perfect holiday record unless your friends are incredibly uptight. And why would you have friends like that? Get this CD and get ready to sing and dance along all the way to Christmas day.
[More Info - Order "Jugology - Greatest near Misses (Best Of...)"]

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Reviews of "On The Holiday Highway":   [More Info - Order Here]

Carol Swanson, ChristmasReviews.com
Ladies & gentlemen, get ready for well over an hour (73 minutes!) of jug-infused revelry. The incredible Christmas Jug Band made merry with prior holiday releases (Rhythm on the Roof and Uncorked); now here comes the CJB with its brand new, fresh-off-the-presses On the Holiday Highway, and it's a hootin', hollerin' shot-in-the-pants. In fact, the very first track is appropriately Shoot 'Em in the Pants, not exactly your traditional entree into a holiday album, but there you have it. A honky-tonkin' romp that comes complete with the accordion, kazoo, slide whistles, and washboard! Just because these guys are having way too much fun, never mistake the shenanigans for poor musicianship. The CJB is talented every which way, and these live performances (recorded 2006-08) make it amply clear that their audiences recognize and greatly appreciate the CJB's entertaining talents and free-spirited creativity. Count me on that list--I'm a believer!

On the Holiday Highway is crazy good; the songs are cross-genre wonders blending rockabilly, jazz, salsa, and the kitchen sink. Every track caught my attention; the CJB delivers innovative new compositions and perfect parodies, pumping holiday themes into old classics like "My Blue Heaven." The ambiance is whimsical, bluesy, and perhaps a little boozy, and everything clicks with first-rate, folksy professionalism.

This music is fantastic and fun; my toes were tapping throughout. Bored of routine, done-to-death, Christmas music drivel? Crank up your audio system and give the CJB's On the Holiday Highway a whirl. What a ride!
Paul Liberatore, Mercury News
It isn't Thanksgiving yet, but the Christmas Jug Band has already fired up its musical sleigh to deliver this year's hilarious holiday CD.

The purveyors of 100 percent acoustic seasonal skiffle, Santa-swing and jingle bell rockabilly are heading for your chimney with this live CD, recorded during seven shows at four different venues from 2006 through '08.

Spanning almost 73 risible minutes, the 16 tongue-in-cheek tunes that grace "On the Holiday Highway" include "Santa's Going Crazy This Year," "Santa's on the Mainline," "Christmas in the Bottle" and "Dirty Claus Rag." For stocking stuffers, they throw in chestnuts like "High Stack O' Presents," "Christmas Iz Comin'" and the hearth-warming "Shoot 'Em in the Pants."

features the usual suspects: Dan Hicks, Austin de Lone, Tim Eschliman, Jim Rothermel, Paul Rogers, Turtle Vandermarr, Blake Richardson, Gregory Leroy Dewey, Ken Jacobs, Anthony Paule, Bowen Brown and who knows who else. Special guests this year are Country Joe McDonald, Mike Duke, Dan Hicks' Lickettes and the late Norton Buffalo.

Make no mistake, the Jug Band may be jokey, but its venerable members are some of the best musicians in the Bay Area and beyond. This could very well take its place with "Mistletoe Jam," a previous CD, as Midwest Record Recap's "alternative Christmas record of the year." Whether your naughty or nice, you'd be wise to put "On the Holiday Highway" on your wish list.
Kathe Davis, Victory Review
Seasonal/Holiday Music/Jug Band

OMG if you are planning a raucous party that needs canned music for the Holiday, this is the CD for you. With notable greats from the SF Bay area including Country Joe McDonald and Dan Hicks to name just a couple. Funny, groovy, rockin', anything but reverent, this mix was recorded live to rambunctious crowds of Jugband lovers. It catches the essence of jug music AND the holidays. Who'da thunk it was possible?

You will laugh at the corny jokes and be amazed at the instrumental ability of these fine musicians. With titles like "Shoot 'em In The Pants", Santa's Going Crazy This Year", "Christmas In The Bottle", "Dirty Claus Rag", and "High Stack of Presents", well, you get the idea what you are in for. Some kinda fun.
Lewis Wallace, Wired, Underwire, "The Beat Goes On"
...Twisted traditional tunes and loads of witty originals about boozy holidaze, elfin insurrection and the pressures of being Santa Claus in the run-up to Christmas Eve's big show. (Is this the first band to rhyme isthmus with Christmas?.... One song, the hilarious "Santa Lost a Ho" from the 2002 record Uncorked album, made NPR's All Songs Considered Holiday Music Mix '09.
Mark S. Tucker, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
Kick out the jugs, motherfu...oh wait, I think the MC5 were referring to something else. Hey, jug is always good for what ails ya, right? I mean, who the hell can be sad when a jug band's around? No one, brethren and sistren, and so, in this dark period of governo-corporate shenanigans, your best bet for a health care plan leading to a happy mind and body is exactly this kind of music. Lucky for you, it just so happens that the Christmas Jug Band, which issues only one disc a year, is here to supply what Doctor Feelgood prescribes. You may not have been too aware of them in the past, but Dan Hicks is a member, and his Lickettes join in along with Norton Buffalo, Mike Duke, and Country Joe McDonald, all of whom who have been digging this San Fran group for a while now.

With titles like Santa's Going Crazy This Year, Shoot 'Em in the Pants, and Evathang Gonna be All Right, you know you're not exactly in for a high holy Mass, so loosen up them suspenders, Jeeter, grab a beer, and mosey over to the sofa or dance floor for some hijinks inside some what they call 'Seasonal Skiffle-Swing and Jug-Infused Revelry'. At a long 73 minutes, you're in for a treat replete with kazoo, washboard, slide whistle, and all the genre paraphernalia. Along the way, expect lampoons of standards chockablock with a lotta new shtuff.

The entire gig is live and would be right at home opening for a Jimmy Buffet tour. As the band numbers a dozen members, there's always a full sound and plenty of barrelhouse, boogie, and N'awleans sassafrassin' lifting the likker jar right beside jug(gernaut) numbers. A lil' perky SF soul makes its way into Oh, Saint Nick and a few other cuts, and one of the liner snaps has the crew looking like a cross between a fire brigade and Devo!! Not odd enough for ya? Then also expect a kazoo/clarinet inclusion of Duelin' Banjos in Jug Band Romance. Can't have Xmas without that!
Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville
Sometimes Holiday albums can be a dime a dozen. How many ways can Rudolph win over his friends, or the Three Wise Men come to town bearing gifts? Sometimes, Christmas albums need to be a little different. Enter this disc, recorded live in Northern California, that just might be one of the more eclectic albums of the season ever released. Featuring some kazoo (yes, you're reading this right) work from Commander Cody's Tim Eschliman, it will definitely get your toe tapping.

Another highlight of the album is the groovin' "Carolin," which adds to the party scene on the album with some fun vocals from Eschliman. One of my favorite ones is the bluesy "Santa's Going Crazy This Year," as well as the hilarious "Jolly Ol' Soul" and the somewhat tacky yet fun "Christmas In The Bottle."

No, this is not your grandmother's Perry Como Yuletide offering from 1962, but if you like things just a little irreverent---where the music at your gathering isn't just background music-----this one could be right up your alley, oops...I mean chimney!
Chris Spector, Midwest Record
Just what would you expect Christmas with Dan Hicks and a load of pals to sound like? Why speculate when you can crack open this old timey/hokum date of snappy playing jive and fun. Opening up with the holiday classic "Shoot Em in the Pants" and going from there with kazoos a flyin', the bay area bunch certainly give the holidays a different spin. Unyielding fun stuff that's getting my holiday season off to an appropriate and zany start. Check it out and see if this isn't the left of center holiday release you've been looking for.
George W. Harris, jazzweekly.com
Well, there are Christmas records, and there are Christmas records. Some celebrate Christ's birth, other's give tribute to St. Nick. And then there's this one with Norton Buffalo, Country Joe McDonald, Mike Duke and Dan Hick's Lickettes, which simply use the holidays as another reason for having a good time. The originals (and I mean ORIGINALS) by the Jug Band mix Skiffle with good natured Hot Club Swing. The songs were recorded between 06 and 08, mixing peppy instrumentals with sardonic seasonal greetings. Songs like Oh, St. Nick" and "High Stack O' Presents" aren't going to make you break into "O Holy Night" or look for something under the tree, but they'll sure make the office Christmas Party go a lot easier. As fun as being tied under the mistletoe.
Rudolph, mistletunes.com
The long-running acoustic-folk-swing-rockabillly-Dixieland-Americana and yes, jug band combo made up of well-known San Franciscan musicians is back for 2009 with an album recorded live over the past couple of seasons, compiling parody songs, some originals, and a fair amount of jug band jamming... Things kick off with the instrumental "Shoot 'Em In the Pants," swinging into some originals, including "Carolin'," "This Christmas Night" and "Santa's Going Crazy This Year." "Jolly Ol' Soul" features Dan Hicks taking off on "My Blue Heaven," and later "Santa, the Man," based on "Song For My Father." Tim Eschliman gets into the act with "High Stack o' Presents" based on "High Blood Pressure," plus "Santa's on the Mainline," from the song originally about Jesus. Country Joe McDonald stops by with "Dirty Claus Rag," and the crew brings us a blues boogie, "Christmas in the Bottle," about an alcoholic holiday. As an antidote, they also bring us "Xmas Anonymous." All told, another light-hearted romp from some West Coast experts in old-school American music.
Miles Jordan, Chico News & Review - In the Mix
The Christmas Jug Band's Holiday Highway is a collection of the band's live performances from the last three years. Offering what they're pleased to call "seasonal skiffle-swing and jugabilly-infused revelry," the 16 songs here (nine of them originals) definitely live up to that billing. The 12 musicians are featured in a variety of formats and on various instruments (e.g., accordion, kazoo, slide whistle, soprano sax, jug, flute, clarinet, guitar and piano) that, with the witty lyrics, conspire to ease one through the holidays.
Gerry Grzyb, Dr. Christmas' annual CD review - Applleton, WI Post-Crescent
...they've been making their brand of holiday joy and foolishness for some time. "On The Holiday Highway" is their 5th seasonal CD, consisting of excerpts from live performances recorded in 2006 through 2008. Many of the songs are originals, and all are crazy fun, so if you prefer washboard and kazoo to handbell and pipe organ, here's your CD.
Star Tribune
This is a fun, tongue-in-cheek collaboration by several San Francisco luminaries, including Dan Hicks, Country Joe McDonald and the late Norton Buffalo, trying to get their holiday jollies in concert. Dig the parodies ("Santa, the Man"), clever reworkings ("Santa's on the Mainline") and delightful originals ("Santa's Going Crazy This Year")...
Pacific Sun Best Bets: Samantha Campos
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle jugabilly! Irreverence and merriment--it's what they do. Yes, it's time for the CHRISTMAS JUG BAND--that motley crew of jugabillians and notable Bay Area musicians who, like most great American pioneers, got their start from "a Wild Turkey-inspired momentary lapse of sanity." And now, four albums and 30 years of fruitcakes later, the Christmas Jug Band is an indisputably unconventional holiday tradition of folk-skiffle-swing jug band merriment from the North Pole to Marin and beyond.
Ear Bud, East Bay Express, Kirsty Evans
Full of witty renditions of holiday-themed tunes, this album will get anyone into the true spirit of the season.... will have you giggling into your eggnog in no time. An excellent antidote to seasonal stress.
[More Info - Order "On The Holiday Highway"]

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Reviews of "Uncorked":   [More Info - Order Here]

Johnny Memphis, WSRI radio, Northampton, MA
"This is the best Christmas record of the year by far."
Jeff Lindholm (Charlottesville, VA), Dirty Linen, Dec, 2003
"Dig "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" with Maria Muldaur and Angela Strehli wailing like Andrews Sisters' kin. Dig "Santa Lost a Ho" (as in "ho ho ho," you nasty kid). Dig the kiddie-level wordplay of "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" as Norton Buffalo honks his harmonica. With Dan Flicks, Lost Planet Airmen drummer Lance Dickerson, and lots of Austin irregulars, this one's got a swinging, jivin' retro feel. And, with the exception of a Salvation Army-esque "Silent Night," if you don't listen to the (way funny) lyrics, you'd never know this was Christmas music. So save this one 'til the folks go home, then tear up the rug"
Richard Banks, ChristmasReviews.com -- 2002
Summary: Clever, lyrical, folky swing

It's easy to get lost in the craft of this record-- the musicianship and the clever tunes-- but eventually one gets around to posing the musical question: why are these folks called The Christmas Jug Band, and why don't they ever play Austin? Maybe that's really two questions, and I don't have an answer for either, but if they need a little validation in order to work up the courage to quit their day jobs, I'm here to offer it. Actually, I've been listening to a couple of these wily veterans since the '70s, Dan Hicks' in particular. What you have here is an assortment of their styles and licks, even better than their last offering, and almost off the scale, listenability-wise. I liked every song on the record, so it is unfair point to any one as being substantially better than the others. But if I mention Angela Strehli and Maria Muldaur's rendition of Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, it would only be because it might positively affect the search engine rankings. Besides, I've always liked Ms. Strehli best of all the Austin-based blues singers. Her voice still has that throaty sexiness, and its pairing with the somewhat deeper textured voice of Maria Muldaur is inspired. Also… Dan Hicks' These Christmas Blues makes a credible blues anthem. Tim Eschliman's adaptation of Don't They Know It's Christmas is an amusing encapsulation of the Jug Band's stylistic melange. Santa Lost a Ho is just odd. And even the obligatory Silent Night offers a change of pace. Bottom line: this wide-ranging CD, includes blues, swing, and folk elements (in other words, all of the important musical genres), filled with clever new tunes and clever renditions of others, from Dan Hicks and his juggy band of merry misfits. What more could you ask for, for Christmas? -- (Reviewed in 2002)
James Sullivan, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate --Dec. 19, 2002
You too can be a jug-head this Christmas

"Marin's Christmas Jug Band features some of the area's finest -- and nuttiest -- musicians, including veterans of Those Darn Accordions!, Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen and backing bands for that noted humorist Van Morrison.

By rights the joke should be wearing pretty thin: It's been 25 years since the group's impromptu origins and 15 since the release of its first seasonal CD.

But the band's latest set of cockeyed Christmas jingles might be its best yet. The jug-band atmosphere -- washboards, kazoos, wood blocks and clarinet are just a few of the ornaments -- is as cheery and tipsy as the lyrics.

'Santa Lost a Ho' is an instant classic, and the Tom Lehrer-esque lawn-decor satire, "Plant a Santa," is right behind. Best of all in this season of overfamiliarity, the songs are mostly originals. The group rummaged the attic for the Marx Brothers absurdity 'I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.' The sole standard, 'Silent Night,' gets a typically playful two-step arrangement.

In between showcase gigs at watering holes in its own backyard, the band also helps celebrate 'Holidaze in Hicksville' with longtime member Dan Hicks on Saturday at the Fillmore. Plenty of excuses to hit the Christmas jug."

Christmas Jug Band, 9 p.m. Friday at Rose Pub and Restaurant, 2074 Armory Dr., Santa Rosa. $12. (707) 546-7673. 9 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Monday at Sweetwater, 153 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $10. (415) 388-2820 or www.sweetwatersaloon.com.
David Hinckley, NY Daily News --
Good-natured, old-time irreverence, in music and lyrics, makes this record fun without being strictly a novelty..."
Midwest Record Recap --
"Peopled and fueled by the people that make the music behind many of your fave front persons, this highly skewed Christmas set is a hoot. Recording together again in the first time in forever, this bunch of fun by some of the greatest names from 70's blues, rock and pop will blow you away because it's done outside the system with an attitude to match. With a songbag that pulls from many outlaw quandrants (like the Marx Bros.), there's nothing here that adults won't find a great break from "Deck the Halls". Let the good times roll."
Slipcue.Com Guide To Hick Music, Recommended Records --
"A great, groovy, well-produced and really good-natured set of original roots-blues holiday tunes... The album kicks off with the off-color "Santa Lost A Ho" and zips through a series of similarly silly, likeable novelty tunes. The players are cherry-picked from the ranks of overly-talented Bay Area musicians -- mostly fellows whose names you wouldn't recognize, though roots divas Maria Muldaur and Angela Strehli drop in for a duet on "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus" and Norton Buffalo resurfaces for "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" (don't play this song for your kids: they'll only get ideas!) Overall, this is a really fun album... If you want a little break from the saccharine blechiness that passes for yuletide cheer, then this is a disc that may make your holidays fun again...!"
Paul Libertore, Marin Independent Journal --
"I pulled out my stash of Christmas albums and started chuckling straight away over the Christmas Jug Band's brand new CD, 'Uncorked,' featuring the sure-to-be hit single, 'Santa Lost a HO,' written by Paul Rogers of Those Darn Accordions. 'We're trying to help Santa out, so we're calling our holiday gigs "The Looking for the Lost Ho Tour,"' said the Jug Band's Tim Eschliman, who produced the all-acoustic album at Boomtown Studio in Sausalito with the legendary engineer Fred Catero at the board."
Joseph Jordan, Southland Blues, The National Scene
"HOLIDAY FUN: From Marin County, California, with love, comes the latest unrepressed winter wonderland recording by the wacky Christmas Jug Band. Entitled, "Uncorked" and featuring the "smash" hit, "Santa Lost a Ho," this kick-in-the-Christmas-pants features such great musicians as Dan Hicks (yes, that Dan Hicks,) Norton Buffalo, Paul Rogers, Austin deLone, Maria Muldaur, Angela Strehli, Mike Duke and singer/producer Tim Eschliman (on whose Globe Records label the CD has been released.) Including musical genres such as jazz, blues, folk & rock n' roll, and instruments ranging from autoharp to washtub bass, it's hecka more fun than roasting chestnuts, Christmas trees on fire or a fat men stuck in chimneys. Rating: Five holiday stars.
Tom Edwards, AOL Weekender --
"Christmastime elicits a host of beloved holiday activities: tree trimming, eggnog drinking and gift giving to name a few. For many, being bombarded with saccharine-laced holiday songs does not make the list cherished winter memories. If you are one of these people, and find that your 400th listening to 'Greensleeves' while at the mall has you ready to go grinch, stop shopping and head to a Christmas Jug Band concert.

What began as a whiskey-fueled lark (the group was originally known as the Monday Night Wild Turkey Jug Band), has become a 25-year holiday tradition. The group plays its share of holiday standards, but makes its mark with original tongue-in-cheek odes to the season such as 'Santa Lost a Ho' and 'Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Christmas.' The changing cast of musicians includes players who have workeded alongside the likes of Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Etta James and many others. The Jug Band backs up its lyrics with an entertaining blend of country, blues, skiffle and rock, a mix you can hear on its latest collection of left-field Christmas songs, 'Uncorked.' The recording features guest spots by such luminaries as harmonica hero Norton Buffalo, R&B singers Maria Muldaur and Angela Strehli and Bay Area fixture Dan Hicks. With numerous shows over the holiday season, you'll have plenty of chances to catch the Jug Band. If you haven't already, be sure to make it a holiday tradition."
Fayetteville Free Weekly --
"Uncorked" is a great alt-Christmas album. It's just the ticket for holiday parties and if you're tired of that cute arff, arff, arff rendition of "Jingle Bells" that blasts from the town square, but want something a bit more cheerful than "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear," "Uncorked" is the medicine.

The Christmas Jug Band formed 25 years ago during a momentary lapse of sanity-at least that's what the members of the group will tell you. The rumor with the most credence claims that this bunch of single musicians were feeling kinda blue one holiday season, so trekked down to their local pub and started performing. Now, after 25 years, it's a tradition. Made up of mostly Marin County (California) musicians, the players get together only during the holidays. The few original members who have moved away don't make it every year, but the show does go on as new recruits fill in the holes and make for an even bigger sound when the originals are in town. The group's first album "Mistletoe Jam" was released in 1987 on Globe Records.

The all-acoustic multi-instrumental skiffle-swing combo is made up of Mr. Alt-Christmas Joy himself-the veritable Dan Hicks; Austin De Lone (Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello); Tim Eschliman (Commander Cody, Etta James, Rhythmtown-Jive); Paul Rogers (Those Darn Accordions); Jim Rothermel (Van Morrison, Jess Colin Young); Lance Dickerson ( David Bromberg, Commander Cody) and Blake Richardson.

The music is jug band hybrid. In addition to using traditional instruments like guitar, accordion, saxophone, drums, etc, etc, there's washboard, jaw harp, and everything right down to hammering on the kitchen table.

Also featured on the "Uncorked" CD are original members Paul Wenninger and Nick and Greg Dewey. Special guests include Norton Buffalo, Angela Strehli and Maria Muldaur.

Hicks, Rogers, De Lone and Eschliman all contribute original songs and there are makeovers and renaming of tunes like Freddie King's "Lonesome Reindeer Blues" and the Brook and Dinah classic "Santa, You've Got What It Takes." Standouts are De Lone's "Hey, Santa" a smooth piano swing tune; a classic Hicks number "These Christmas Blues"; and Eschliman's "Don't They Know It's Christmas" which includes excerpts from "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "For What It's Worth," and "The End of the World." Sound interesting? You bet it is. Tune in to "Santa, You Got What It Takes" and you'll know what a great party album this will be for office or home. Add it to your collection.

On Globe Records and available at www.globerecords.com. If you happen to be in the San Francisco area Dec. 22 and 23, you can catch the Christmas Jug Band at Mill Valley's Sweetwater. (full schedule here)
Ed Will, Denver Post --
Formed 25 years ago as a Wild Turkey-fueled romp, this irreverent crew these days includes founding member Dan Hicks and Commander Cody alumni, plus such special guests as harmonica hero Norton Buffalo and R&B singers Maria Muldaur and Angela Strehli. "Uncorked," the latest skewed Christmas set, is a hoot, filled with clever new tunes (the odd "Santa Lost a Ho") and off-center renditions of others, offered in a melange of blues, swing and folk styles.
[More Info - Order Uncorked]

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Reviews of "Rhythm on the Roof":   [More Info - Order Here]

UPI Arts & Entertainment -- It's Only Rock & Roll: Dec 11, 1997
The New Christmas Jug Band CD, "Rhythm on the Roof" (#GLO-020): "When it comes to Christmas, Rupaul doesn't have a corner on camp, as the Christmas Jug Band demonstrates on its third album, "Rhythm on the Roof". This collection of San Francisco "jug-a-billy" musicians has been performing holiday concerts with a zany twist in the Bay Area over the last 20 years and present newly-appropriate material here such as 'Santa Don't Do It' and 'Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Christmas'."
USA Today, Life Section, Pop/Rock reviews -- D.Z.: Dec 8, 97
"Christmas Jug Band, Rhythm on the Roof: Fun guys give an offbeat twist with originals and parodies. Instruments include washtub bass and coat hangers. "
Tony Mastrianni, The Record Finder, Albany, NY Nov 28, 97
"Tired of traditional Christmas Music? Try on The Christmas Jug Band's "Rhythm on the Roof." This Globe Records release is a down home 'Frisco jugabilly holiday mix that combines parody with traditional. No amateurs here - just Dan Hicks himself and an array of sidemen who have played backing up such top-notch performers as Etta James, Norton Buffalo, Commander Cody, et al."
Bill Wasserzieher, Southland Blues, Dec 97
"...a bar-full of Marin County musicians including Dan Hicks, Norton Buffalo, Paul Rogers, and Austin deLone, crooning their shaggy heads off on various seasonal favorites and whatever appropriate new tunes they roughed up in 10 minutes-or-so of preparation. They've actually been getting together for a decade(2) and this is their 3rd mistletoe release. If you remember the Rhino holiday compilation, Bummed-Out Christmas, that's the Christmas Jug Band kicking things off with "Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit". This time out we get Hicks leading the choir on four songs, including "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "I Know What I'm Gettin'," and a loopy version of "Your Red Wagon" that's so funky you'll just about smell it. There's also a send-up "Mr. Sandman" as "Mr Santa" that qualifies as a hoot-'n'-a-half, and a tune titled "Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Christmas" that calls out for heavy airplay. There's also a rasty cover of Charles Brown's "Merry Christmas baby." Think of this collection as big-time fun in the form of woozy vocals accompanied by harmonicas, rubboards, washtub basses, jugs, kazoos, accordions, and scuffed-up guitars."
Richard Harrington, Washington Post, Dec 12, 1997
"The third seasonal album from an ad hoc Mill Valley, Calif., skiffle/swing ensemble that includes a still distinctive Dan Hicks (lead vocalist on five tracks, composer of several) and hot licks on various acoustic instruments (washboard included...). With parody abounding ("Mr. Sandman" recast as "Mr. Santa"), the standards are low enough to also include "Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Christmas" and "Santa, Don't Do It."
Philip Elwood, San Francisco Examiner, Dec 18, '97
Toe-tapping fun: LET THE good times roll! The Christmas Jug Band seems to be here, there everywhere around the Bay these holiday season nights (they're at Sweetwater on Saturday, Sunday and Monday). Playing to a near-capacity house at Freight & Salvage on Tuesday, the good ol' Jug Band -- a full-blown and hard blowing swing octet with Dan Hicks leading the charge -- near to tore-up such festive yuletide numbers as "Winter Wonderland" (played cha-cha or mambo style with muted trumpeter Nik Phelps featured), "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'," with two accordions (Paul Rogers, Austin deLone) joining in, and "Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit," guitarist Bill DeKuiper featured in accompanying Hicks' droll vocal. With a new CD on the market ("be sure you mention that" said Hicks) and a delightful combination of tight arrangements, new and traditional tunes -- traditional by Jug Band standards -- this show is much the best yet. They play and sing "Mr. Santa" to an R&B beat (it's "Mr. Sandman," of course) and feature accordion, kazoo and trumpet in a clever arrangement of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" -- falsetto vocal by Hicks, backed by the Jug Band Mumbling Four. A new number, "Washboard Road," by guitarist, jaw-harpist, percussionist, straw-boss Tim Eschliman, features the composer as well as drummer Lance Dickerson on washboard, clanging bell and other percussion devices -- it's a four-beat "Chicago Southside-Shanghai Nitespot" number. "Gee, Rudolph, Ain't I Good to You," (Hicks' variation on the old "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good To You," gives some space to Blake Richardson on string and washtub bass, and along the way various novelty numbers, clever instrumental juxtapositions and outrageous lyrics (like George "Commander Cody" Frayne's "Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Christmas") contribute to a grand evening of good-time holiday music."
Silke Tudor, SF Weekly, San Francisco, Dec 16, '97
"Born out of the Old Mill Tavern music scene in Marin, the Christmas Jug Band has been celebrating the holiday season, in one incarnation or another, for the past two decades. This year's manifestation includes Dan Hicks, former host of the Old Mill's infamous open mike; Paul Rogers from Those Darned Accordions; Tim Eschliman from Etta James' band; Austin DeLone from Nick Lowe's band; Lance Dickerson from Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen; Nick Phelps from Club Foot Orchestra and Tom Waits' band; Norton Buffalo from Steve Miller's band; Gregory Leroy Dewey from Country Joe & the Fish; Bill DeKuiper; and Blake Richardson. With these boys, the holiday blues are literally just that -- backwater renderings of Christmas sing-alongs that will have you doing the roadhouse hip-shake before Santa can say ho. The Christmas Jug Band celebrates the release of its third CD, Rhythm on the Roof, on radio show West Coast Live (KALW-FM 91.7; or attend the live taping at Fort Mason) on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m"
David Hinckley, Daily News Staff Writer, New York Daily News, Nov 29, 97:
"Hark! Do You Hear What I Hear?: Grading new Christmas albums on a silver bell curve- Scoring 2 1/2 Bells: The Christmas Jug Band, "Rhythm On the Roof" (Globe). Second CJB record has its moments -- "The Real Deal" or "Mr. Santa" to the tune of "Mr. Sandman."
Aaron Beck, Columbus Dispatch, Ohio, @Dec 10, '97
"Offbeat slants celebrating the season continue with San Francisco's Christmas Jug Band and it's Rhythm on the Roof. The jugabilly conglomerate - which features Dan Hicks, paul Rogers, Tim Eschliman, Lance Dickerson, et al. performing all-acoustic renditions of traditional songs - has been playing in Bay Area Christmas shows for more than 20 years."
Geoff Gehman, The Morning Call, Allentown PA, Dec 7, '97
"Veteran acousticians serve spiked eggnog. Imagine 'Winter Wonderland' in Latin America. 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' in a doo-wop corner, Dan Hick's hangdog suavity is dandy, Norton Buffalo's 'If I Don't Have a Chimney' is effortless country, No. 1 number is 'Santa Don't Do It.' a bodacious campaign to stop Mr. Claus from obeying Mrs. Claus' order that he 'lose the beard or sleep with the reindeer.' Yes, indeed, Santa's got another brand new bag."
Richard Banks, Do You Hear What I Hear. [ full review ]
"This is a very fun record. These guys don't take themselves or the Christmas season too seriously, and they have done a great job conveying a goofy merriment that me and mine will be listening to through December 25."
[More Info - Order Rhythm On The Roof]

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Reviews of "Treeside Hoot":   [Order Here]

Pamela Winters, Dirty Linen
"A 'Tree-Side Hoot' is what the Christmas Jug Band, the 'kings of skiffle-swing holiday highjinks,' inspires with its annual Christmas Eve concert at Sweetwater in Mill Valley, CA....the Jug Band is a party band par excellence, and this live recording will do more than Uncle Bobby's eggnog to make you merry. Selections range from the predictable 'Jingle Bell Rock' to the inspired 'S.A.N.T.A. (Gloria)' (which Van Morrison might've thought of himself if he'd gone to more frat parties) to the possibly blasphemous (but very funny) 'Rockin' the Nativity Scene.'... a cup of good cheer."
Chris Lunn, Victory Review
This is like a jam of musicians after a Victory Open Mike at a local pub. Dan Hicks, Gregory Leroy Dewey, Tim Eschliman, Austin Delone., Ken Vandemarr, Paul Rogers, Jim Rothermel, Blake Richards are the perpetrators of this live at the Sweetwater Christmas eve. The delight is the funky feel that lives between jug band and Dixieland as war-horses like 'Jingle Bell Rock', 'Let It Snow', 'I Saw Mommy' get mixed in with the Jerry Lee Lewis like 'Run, Rudolf, Run' or 'Rockin The Nativity Scene.' If you want low down fun on the holidays this belongs in your sock.
Martin Keller, amazon.com
Dan Hicks, of the band Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, here leads his perennially quirky and hip Jug Band (who've individually played with everyone from Elvis Costello to Etta James and Commander Cody) through a live set of loose standards and a few egg-nogged originals. The Jug band rocks, swings, and swerves off the road in performances recorded live on Christmas Eve 1989, and December 23 and 24, 1990. Hicks's and his fellow Juggers' droll and often tongue-in-cheek delivery of Christmas goodies is certain to charm even the most vexed Scrooge. And with his originals "Under the Mistletoe," "Santa As Seen on TV (Sheik of Araby)," plus a reworking of Van Morrison's "Gloria" (here aptly titled "S.A.N.T.A"), it becomes clear that the band is inviting listeners to a great party. Throw in sundry chestnuts like "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'" and Tim Eschliman's "He's on Holiday in His Mind" and you've got highly flammable contents under pressure that are bound to be "Rockin' the Nativity Scene." A great companion piece to the Jug Band's five-star Mistletoe Jam album.
CDReviews.com (12/06/95)
If you're like me, you probably dread hearing the old worn out yule tunes that start flooding the airwaves around this time every year. Don't start the bah humbug's just yet. The Christmas Jug Band is a yearly tavern collaboration of some of the Mill Valley, CA area musicians, better known for their contributions to other artists and bands (i.e. Charlatans, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Hot House, Rhythmtown-Jive, etc). With tongue firmly in cheek, and instruments ranging from guitar and piano to accordian and washboard, they dish out acoustic renditions of some traditional and some not so traditional xmas songs, highlighted by a new twist on Gloria, appropriately titled S.A.N.T.A. This one will certainly grab some attention at your holiday gatherings, so keep those spirits flowing and give your ears a break from "Santa Got Runover By A Reindeer".
[Order Treeside Hoot]

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Here's what they're saying about "Mistletoe Jam":   [More Info - Order Here]

Cash Box
"A welcome relief from the solemnity of the season...wonderful kazoo-and-washboard favorites...swingin' blues-jazz arrangements..."
Midwest Record Recap
"Clearly the alternative Christmas record of the year. The fun and the funk rollick along and a good time is sure to be had by all."
Phil Elwood, San Francisco Examiner
"Forty minutes of pure delight. Guitar-based rhythmic swing...frequent bright solos...fine performances, distinctive material, and the wonderful combination of good cheer and good fellowship."
Paul Hartman, Dirty Linen (Baltimore, MD.)
"Bizarre new holiday songs sure to become dearly-beloved seasonal classics, covered by the Ray Coniff Singers in the near future."
S.F. Weekly
"A delightful, bluesy cassette...will put a charge into your Christmas bash. Dan Hicks and crew breathe new life into some old standards."
Aldo Pedron, Buscadero (Italia)
"Il repertorio e altamente spettacolare, pescato nella tradizione natalazia...le esecuzioni non sono certe le classiche melodie natazie, Dan Hicks e soci come abbiamo gia detto presentano un suono unico, originale con jug music e molto swing."
Greg Cahill, Marin Independent Journal
"Mistletoe Jam brings the warmth of a family reunion to the holidays with collective toungue planted firmly in cheek...should shake the humbug from the most jaded Scrooge."
What's Happening, Daily Reporter of Sioux City, Iowa
"This release is full of fun, good times and a blues-buster for anyone with holiday depression."
[More Info - Order Mistletoe Jam]

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REVIEWS & QUOTES of "Globe Compilation 2000" by The Christmas Jug Band, Rhythmtown-Jive, and more...   [More Info - Order Here]

Gordon Baxter, Blues On Stage , mnblues.com, January, 2000
"Globe Compilation 2000/ Happy New Millennium" serves a double purpose: first it is a single, and second it is a compilation sampler of the Globe Records roster of artists. The title track (and single) features several of the Globe artists on a tune that has a Latin beat, and features the chorus sung in English, and spoken in nine other languages. An edited take of the song opens the CD, but you have to wait until the end to hear the full unexpurgated version.

The sampler features several different musical styles, with something for just about everybody, including a number of tracks from the blues genre. As samplers go, it is pretty good stuff, and there are a couple of bands that merit further investigation. In particular, Rhythmtown Jive, who serve up a honking sax R&B tune called "Jet Stream", and the laid back musings of the Christmas Jug Band (Big Boy Crudup's "That's His Red Wagon" and Frank Loesser's "What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve?") come out ahead of the rest. Joe Goldmark also deserves special mention for doing a pedal(?) steel guitar version of the Beatles "I'm Only Sleeping," whilst most amusing song title goes to "First Bratwurst of Summer" by the Germanic sounding band called Those Darn Accordions!

Overall "Happy New Millennium" is something of a musical smorgasbord rather than a blues CD as such. As a sampler it offers a useful insight into what Globe Records are up to. Most of the material sits in fairly safe mainstream territory within its own particular style, so do not expect any exciting new fusions of different styles. Good clean fun, nonetheless.
Vicki Wanless, WVMR, Dunmore. WV
"Great music and everything will definately be played."
Doug Leclair, Any Swing Goes, KPLR, San Diego, CA
"Great Comp!"
Norman Davis, Midnight Flyer, KEGR, Pinellas Park, FL
"This is fun. Love Susie Davis! Thanks!"
Vicente Zumel, La Hora Del Blues, Radio PICA, Barcelona, Spain
"They sound fresh, strong, and powerful"
Josh Gage, WSCL Web Radio, Bronxville, NY
"Would love to hear more of these artists!"
Walt Gander, WXPR, Rhinelander, WI
"Thanks, we'll use it!! Will play from entire CD!!"
[More Info - Order Globe Records Compilation 2000]

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