|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
Members: Evan Mathieson-guitar/kazoo/vocals
Barry Martin-blues harmonica/tea chest bass/jug
Teana Amor-washboard/vocals (core group) with Marni Sheehan-mandolin/vocals
Tony Dunn-jug/vocals and Brent Davey-banjo/vocals
Review by Mic Conway
Jugband CDs are far and few between and this is a rare diamond. Kazoobafak Jug Band are based in Castlemaine Victoria (and Qld) and are made up of Evan Mathieson-guitar, kazoo and vocals; Barry Martin-harmonica,tea chest bass and jug; Teana Amor-washboard and vocals. Jugbands originated in America’s deep south with various homemade improvised instruments, (washboards, jugs, kazoos etc.) and blended with more conventional instruments, (fiddles, guitars, harmonicas etc.) that created their own genre and sound that has spread far and wide. This CD has a gutsy mix of traditional jugband, blues, ragtime and gospel with some good time songs and occasional social comment. There is some nice playing from all, with Mathieson’s picking guitar and oddball kazoo playing, Martin’s driving jug and bass and Amor’s delightful washboard playing the highlights. There are three originals with my favourite, “I Don’t Dress Up For You Anymore”, where a song about not wearing false teeth has lots of bite! This CD evokes the spirit of jugband music – good times in a mean old world.
Review by Tony Smith
The main purpose of a jug band is to have fun. Whitewash Station by Queensland outfit Kazoobafak reminds the listener how infectious it can be to hear musicians enjoying themselves. The cover notes say that jug bands arose in the American deep south in areas of poverty and discrimination. So instruments were basic and often homemade. The repertoire of such bands consisted of roots and blues, some gospel, cheeky songs about prominent local characters and lively dance music to allow people to forget their troubles for a while. Evan Mathieson provides vocals, guitar and kazoo. Barry Martin plays tea chest bass, harmonica and whisky jug. Teana Amor provides percussion on washboard and sings three of her own compositions. The trio work together well and spark off one another. At times they make a sound like a much bigger ensemble. Amor’s ‘Harcourt Freeway Blues’ has been around for a while but its political themes are current as the NSW Government for one, prepares to compulsorily acquire homes to accommodate facilities for cars which will poison Sydney more and more. In the song the resident complains of the inadequacy of compensation. ‘It’s breaking my heart that the government’s been so unkind … And that government freeway, it’s trespassin’ on my mind …’ This album would make a good introduction to jug band style for anyone unfamiliar with the energetic music. ‘Whitewash Station Blues’ (by the Memphis Jug Band) and ‘Jug Band Music’ (Will Shade) describe and demonstrate the genre very neatly: ‘It sounds so sweet/ It can’t be beat/ That jug band music/ Certainly was a treat to me’ There are tracks by Arlo Guthrie and Prince Albert Hunt’s Texas Ramblers as well as some ‘traditional’ tracks. The harmonies are very good but particularly appealing is ‘Rich Gal’ (Jim Kweskin Jug Band) with its characteristic call and response vocals. Above all the album is great fun and really sunshiny music.
4 in stock (can be backordered)