Reprinted from Dirty Linen: Folk and World Music
Issue #91 â€" December 2000/January 2001 - page 59
The Juggernaut Jug Band
Don’t Try This At Home
Two of the members of this band, namely Gil Fish (bass, washtub bass, kazoo, nose flute, and vocals) and Roscoe Goose (jug, washboards, trumpet, harmonica, snare, and vocals) have been the nucleus of this band since 1965. While the great jug bands of the 60s have long since become extinct, this one persevered. So why aren’t they better known? Surely such persistence deserves some form of recognition, but the group doesn’t seem to have too many delusions of grandeur. (Their previous album was wittily called Perhaps You Don’t Recognize Us). Fortunately, the group has plenty of talent and that in itself should bring the group some attention.
Don’t Try This At Home, whose cover artwork is a takeoff on the infamous painting of dogs playing cards, starts out with "Cowboy," a weird tribute to cowboy heroes that was written by a member of the band from the 70s. The only other songs that originate with members of the group are "Barbecue On Broadway" and "Hawaiian Holiday," both written by Jim "World Wide" Webb. The rest of the songs are associated with such names as Bob Wills, Cab Calloway, The Boswell Sisters, and Groucho Marx (Harburg and Arlen’s "Lydia, The Tattooed Lady" from the Marx Brothers’ At the Circus). Naturally, the band also draws from other Louisville jug bands from earlier days, and covers a couple of tunes they retrieved from Jim Kweskin and The Jug Band. Being a band with 60s roots, they also tackle The Who’s "Pinball Wizard," to which they add a few references to Johnny Cash, "Wabash Cannonball," and Elvis. The album ends with The Kinks’ "You Really Got Me." Although it would be close to impossible to surpass the original, this acoustic version is energetic enough to hold its own.