The Gutbucket Jug Band | Engruntlement

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AUSTRALIA - Victoria

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Jazz: Dixieland Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Mood: Fun
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Engruntlement

by The Gutbucket Jug Band

Classic jazz, Folk Jug Band
Genre: Jazz: Dixieland
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Hundred Years From Today
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4:29 album only
2. Temptation Rag
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3:29 album only
3. Death Letter Blues
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5:21 album only
4. Once In A While
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5:56 album only
5. He's In The Jailhouse Now
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3:59 album only
6. Comes Love
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6:08 album only
7. Hiawatha
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4:05 album only
8. Nuages
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5:24 album only
9. If I Had You
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6:11 album only
10. Ashokan Farewell
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3:34 album only
11. Stomping At The Savoy
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3:25 album only
12. Guabi Guabi
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3:51 album only
13. Close Your Eyes
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6:17 album only
14. Embraceable You
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7:47 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Following the successful release of their 2003 CD "Pussyfooting", The Gutbucket Jug Band searched for some more challenging tunes for this second CD.

Another member, Ken Farmer, was added to the group in order to round out the overall sound with washboard/percussion. Colin Stevens has added a cavaquinho to the mandolin and harmonica that he plays, and Tim Shaw revisited his childhood to resurrect a recorder and add it to his reeds. Brent Davey remains on banjo, Ron Davis on guitar and Tony Dunn on jug.

If you thought it was impossible for a jug band to render justice to some of the old favourites with any sensitivity, take time out to listen to a few tracks.

A Review from Paul Moore, One Man Band specialist and founder of Ukuleles for Peace in Israel.
___

If you like your Jug Band Music on the mellow side then this CD is the one for you. That doesn't mean it's all laid back, there are some up beat tracks as well, but over all this band has been mellowing like good single malt whisky with years of playing in their history.

The Vocals are perfect for this music. Colin Stevens has such gravel in his mellow tones, and really delivers the goods (listen to his French crooning in 'Nuages') and he also plays a mean Harmonica, Cavaquinho, & Mandolin.

Tony Dunn is the best jug player I have heard since Britain's 'The Famous Jug Band' Henry (the 8th) Bartlett blew in the sixties, and sadly he has passed on to Jugular Heaven and dwells with Gus Cannon and Jab Jones and a host of other celebrities.

Ken Farmer's Washboard and Percussion is tasteful, and nicely recorded, as is the whole CD. Excellent all round playing by Ron Davis on Guitar, Tim Shaw on Recorder and Clarinet give a lot of flavor throughout, especially on 'Embraceable You', and finally good solid Banjo playing by Brent Davey.

The choice of tunes is varied from classic Jug in 'Jailhouse' to great Jazz Standards, Blues, Tin Pan Alley, & even Irish strains on 'Ashokan Farewell' (which I think should have been the last track). 'Guabi Guabi' by Sibanda and arranged by the band is an interesting diversion.

My only criticism would be for the sake of the DJ as some of these tracks are over 5 and 6 mins long, which makes it hard to play on the Radio. However I did not find them tiring to listen to and as the mellowness flowed over me, I sipped my whisky and lit a good cigar.

All in all a grand effort by this long established Aussie Band. I wonder what dish of delights will come next.
Review By Paul Moore paulmooremusic.com.


Reviews


to write a review

Jim Bunch

It has been impossible to get Engruntlement in the States
A couple of months ago, Tony Dunn, posted at the Jugband Yahoo Group that the Gutbucket Jug Band's 2nd CD "Engruntlement" was now available in the U.S. through CDBaby. I was glad to hear it because Phil Donnison (Mic Conway's National Junk Band & Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band) had mentioned them to me, and I was able to get their 1st CD "Pussyfooting" from the same source. It had quickly become one of my favorite CDs of all time. However, as with other small Aussie releases, it had been impossible to get "Engruntlement" in the States.

Well......I now have "Engruntlement" and wanted to provide a brief review of it to expand people's awareness of the band. Note however, that I'm biased and feel that The Gutbucket Jug Band is one of the best, if not the best, extant true jug bands in the world today. Their signature sound is jazz focused consisting of; Tony Dunn's driving jug playing and Colin Stevens' emotive vocals mandolin and harmonica, overlaid by Tim Shaw's clarinet solos and supported by Brent Davey's banjo and Ron Davis' guitar rhythms. All of their songs are well arranged with every note heard and adding to the whole, rather than sounding like a loose jam of chord playing, competing solos, and percussion clatter that many of today's jug bands produce. On this CD, Ken Farmer joins the group on washboard and percussion which really completes and fills out the sound. Also, Tim switches to recorder on several tunes creating a sound reminiscent of the cane flute used in some of Clifford Hayes AH Louisville Jug Band, or Whistler's Jug Band Recordings.

If anything, Engruntlement is more jazz oriented than their first CD with only 2 of the 14 songs coming from what could be called the traditional jugband/blues repertoire (Death Letter Blues, and He's In the Jail House Now). Jazz/Standard tunes include: A Hundred Year's From Today; Temptation Rag; Once In A While; Comes Love; Hiawatha; Nuages; If I Had You; Stompin' at the Savoy; Close Your Eyes; and Embraceable You. Jay Unger's Ashokan Farewell and the south sea island Guabi Guabi are also included. My favorites are; Death Letter Blues where Colin's vocals really stand out; He's in the Jailhouse Now as an upbeat jazzy almost Dixieland tune (the best rendition I've every heard); and Comes Love which builds musically.

What the CD does is really highlight the excellent musicianship of the band's members.

Tony Dunn somehow gets a deep richness and resonance from his jug that I've never heard before. His solos on A Hundred Years From Today, Temptation Rag, and Close to You really show what can be done with the Jug.

Colin provides most of the vocals and illustrates how versatile a singer he really is, from a rough down and dirty sound in Death Letter Blues to smooth crooning in Close Your Eyes. In fact, he is so good that the band may rely on him a little too much for the vocals rather than having others take the lead to add some diversity to the sound. From Guabi Guabi on this CD, and 2 songs on Pussyfooting we know that the other guys can sing well too. His mandolin and harmonica work are also fantastic throughout.

Tim is simply an incredible clarinet player whose solos and background playing set the mood and feeling of many of the songs. He adds a swing feel to Death Letter Blues, and helps make He's in the Jail House Now an upbeat almost Dixieland song. On the other hand his playing becomes dark and mysterious in Close Your Eyes and brings up images of dark rainy streets and Bogart in Nuages.
Throughout, Brent, Ken, and Ron keep the rhythm going on banjo, washboard, and guitar. Ken doesn't overpower his washboard playing and uses the woodblock's almost like bones. Ron adds some fine guitar solos in Hiawatha and Nuages.

If there any weak points they are the background vocals in Stomping at the Savoy, and the arrangement of Ashoken Farewell. While still good they don't reach the same standard of excellence as the rest of the CD.

In summary, a fantastic CD, that should be on the shelf of anyone interested in jugband and 20's & 30's jazz/novelty music. I look forward to their next CD which they are now recording.

Gutbucketeer
(aka Jim Bunch)