The National Jug Band Jubilee is returning to the Brown-Forman Amphitheater in Waterfront Park on Saturday, Sept. 17.
This year’s free jubilee will pay special tribute to Mrs. W.L. Lyons “Sally” Brown, an early and enthusiastic supporter of the jubilee who remained a steadfast patron until her death earlier this year.
Jubilee board member and friend, David Wood, said, “Sally Brown always enjoyed attending the jug band festivals, but when she was no longer physically able, we would get jug bands to go play at her house.”
He went on to say that in 2009 he brought The Old Southern Jug Blowers, a unique ensemble from Kansai, Japan, to her home in Harrods Creek to play for her. The band was formed in 2000, inspired by Louisville-based jug blowing icon Earl McDonald, whose music the group continues to perform.
The Old Southern Jug Blowers were such huge fans of McDonald that they raised money on their own to come and play in the U.S. for the first time at the National Jug Band Jubilee.
Sally Brown was pleased to hear that there are more than 60 jug bands in Japan and she was thrilled to meet The Old Southern Jug Blowers. Dressed as river boat captains, the band came with their signature whiskey jugs in hand, reminiscent of Old Forester, produced by Sally’s late husband W.L. Lyons Brown’s distillery.
“Sally, the perfect hostess, served them Japanese tea with chocolate chip cookies for refreshments. A great time was had by all, listening to jug band favorites “Chicken Tree” and “Tear it Down (slats & all)” in her beautiful yellow drawing room,” Wood said.
The tribute to Sally Brown will take place at 4:45 p.m. at this year’s jubilee and will include some of her favorite jug band tunes, including a few special requests. In addition to the tribute, the jubilee will be headlined by jug band legend Jim Kweskin, as well as eight more of the country’s best jug bands:
- The Barbecue Orchestra – Portland, Ore.
- The Juggernaut Jug Band – Louisville
- Blind Boy Chocolate & The Milk Sheiks – Asheville, N.C.
- The Roe Family Singers – Minneapolis
- The Barehand Jugband – Chicago
- The Cincinnati Dancing Pigs – Cincinnati
- Boo Bradley – Madison, Wis.
- Andrew Francis & Pamela Maurer – Chicago
The National Jug Band Jubilee remains committed to educating young people on the historic ties that jug band music has here. A new partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools means that on Friday, Sept. 16, jubilee jug bands will be doing shows in local elementary schools, providing an exciting way to start the weekend with a unique local and cultural experience for the students.
The jubilee will once again be doing the very popular jug band workshops at 3 p.m., including a special one just for kids where they can make and play their own instruments.
“We want to keep this unique form of Americana music going by getting your children interested, involved and educated,” said Heather Leoncini, jubilee president.
The seventh annual National Jug Band Jubilee is grateful and proud to celebrate the legacy of jug band music and its Louisville origins.
Festival gates open at noon on Saturday, Sept. 17, and bands play from 1 to 11 p.m. The Brown-Forman Amphitheater is located immediately east of the Tumbleweed Restaurant on River Road.
Admission is free, but no pets, coolers or outside alcohol is permitted inside the festival.
Category: The Social Side
About the Author (Author Profile)
Always out and about at happenings around town, Lucie Blodgett has been writing a weekly column for The Voice-Tribune for more than two decades.