LIVE: Ramblin Jug Stompers @ McGeary’s Pub, 3/21/16
Photographs by Ed Conway
Call it a decade of decadence. Ramblin Jug Stompers – Greater Nippertown’s premier (and only?) jug band – celebrated their tenth anniversary earlier this month, and fittingly the big bash was held at McGeary’s Pub in Albany. Bowtie, Cousin Clyde, Mister Eck and Wild Bill began their ten-year run when Tess Collins offered them a Monday night gig at the old Tess’ Lark Tavern in early 2006. That first gig also featured Ryder Cooley (now of the Dust Bowl Faeries) and Moanin’ Ed Atkeson (get well soon, Ed), although they both dropped out shortly thereafter.
That one gig quickly became a regular monthly residency for the band. And after a fire destroyed the Lark back in 2010, Collins eventually settled in at McGeary’s Pub, where she immediately booked the Jug Stompers back for their third-Monday-of-the-month gig.
Like nearly all of their McGeary’s gig, the RJS tenth anniversary celebration featured an array of special guests, including harmonicat Lauren Bryden, Evan Conway (of the Holly & Evan Band), longtime pals Todd Nelson and Lonesome Val Haynes (from the days of the Units/Fear of Strangers), Terri Roben (of Roben Kosek Jazz Blues) and Tom Raider (of Hey Jude…the Tribute).
Of course, there was no set list, and the boys and their guests winged it through two hour-long sets that veered from old jug band classics to nuggets from the songbags of Buck Owens, the Rolling Stones, Tammy Wynette, the Beatles and the Sopwith Camel.
NOTE: Ramblin Jug Stompers won’t be performing at >McGeary’s Pub in April due to a scheduling conflict, but they’ll be back for their regular third-Monday-of-the-month residency gig at 7pm on Monday, May 16. Admission is free.
PS: You can hear Ramblin Jug Stompers live on WEXT-FM at 6pm-ish on Thursday (March 31).