Cd number seven the jug boys. Some folks say it's an acquired taste. Maybe it's something like a rare bourbon, mellow with age, reminiscent of happier times. If you ask the jugs why they stay the course of this musical whimsy and craziness, the answer is simple - they love what they do. Life may have its serious moments, but for these guys, music should always be fun. They do what they do, and hang it out there for whoever likes it. They're just wacko existentialists when you get down to it. Well, here's your chance to get down with them. CD number seven.
Louisville Music News, -Kory Wilcoxson
The JJB should be granted landmark status. Not only has the Louisville group put out seven incredibly entertaining albums, but they are keeping alive the innocent playfulness of jugband music. If there were a Mount Rushmore for jugband music, I would nominate these guys, although seeing their faces that large could cause psychological damage to children.
There's no damage done on their latest CD,"You Mean We Get Paid for This?" The band brings their "skewed point of view" to a new collection of oldies, goodies, and the title track, an original from band member Mr. Fish
That song stands out, not only because it upholds the JJB's standard of excellence, but is also the only explicit laugh-getter on the CD. In the past, the JJB has usually included a few chucklers on each album, but on 'Paid for This?' the band has taken a step in a more serious direction.
That's neither a criticism nor a complaint. While previous albums have drawn more attention to the lyrics of the songs, on this latest effort the words are only background scenery for the true star of the show, which is the stellar musicianship of the band. While the sound of a jug or a slide whistle might invite the word "novelty act", make no mistake: the JJB are accomplished musicians and makers of art.
Everything from the guitar to the washboard to the noseflute are used on 'Paid For This?' and the band has never sounded better. They even tackle their first
classical piece, "Sabre Dance", and improve upon the original as only a jugband can.
Louisville Eccentric Observer
Review From LEO, -Kevin Gibson
More fun from a group of guys who have been making upbeat, traditional jug music for the better part of three decades, You Mean We Get Paid For This? is dominated by jazz and country swing covers from the early half of the 20th century.
This crisply produced local effort leads off with the original title track that details life on the road in a modern jug band — what more could one want in a four-minute song?
Interestingly, Mr. Fish, Roscoe Goose and their talented bandmates have chosen three covers from the Mills Brothers’ 1930s catalog for this 14-song collection, and added a Russian folk composition for good measure.
While the selections differ from past efforts, like silly sendups of “Black Dog” and “People Are Strange,” the Juggernauts once again remind us just how far washboards, kazoos, slide whistles and incredible vocal harmonies can go in the right hands. These guys are true professionals. The fact that they know how to have a damn good time (ask them for a rubber chicken keychain and see what happens) doesn’t hurt a bit.
Sing Out magazine
If you love jug band music, swing, or just hot music, this album means good times ahead. These old masters bridge the jug band/swing era with a set of exciting, energetic tracks. As usual, they freely adopt songs popularized by a wide range of others: here, Ikey Robinson, Merle Haggard, Bob Wills, the Mills brothers, and even Aram Khachaturian.
For anyone unfamiliar with the Juggernauts, any description is likely to sound strange.
Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave” begins with a tasteful washboard pushing a swing vocal; this moves into a slightly wandering slide whistle solo of the melody; other voices gradually emerge beneath the vocal, and the song ends with a jazz guitar solo. The effect is usually not zany enough to evoke memories of the Hoosier Hotshots, and is far smoother than classic jug band music. Perhaps the best comparison, still not apt, is the Red Clay Ramblers gone jug band.
This said, several tracks (“Whoa Babe”, “Get With It”, “My Window Faces the South” etc.) are simply good swing covers. But it’s hard to imagine any other band doing Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance” in a version featuring slightly out of tune, nose-thumbing percussion, and a voice periodically interjecting “lookadat, lookadat, lookadat!”
The band swings furthest out on the Ikey Robinson “My Four Reasons”. Plectrum banjo, and percussion power this energetic version, with interjections by jug, kazoo, scat singing, bird whistles, train whistle, and god knows what else. Here and on other tracks, Roscoe Goose provides wonderful jug; here, a mile-a-minute.
That kind of energy and spirit has powered the Juggernauts since their founding in the 60’s; this album shows them hotter than ever. --SL