"Always entertaining, always unpredictable, the four Ramblin Jug Stompers turn back the calendar to play free-flowing old-timey favorites."

-- Michael Hochanadel, The Daily Gazette

"They tear through the Great American Underground Songbook."

-- Thomas Dimopoulos, The Saratogian

Hobo Nickel CD

To buy or preview our new studio CD "Hobo Nickel" from the
CD-Baby on-line store, click here!

Hobo Nickel CD

Here's a review of the Jug Stompers' "Hobo Nickel" CD in the The Daily Freeman!


ALBUM REVIEW: Ramblin Jug Stompers take it up a notch
Published: Friday, October 2, 2009

By David Malachowski, Reviewer

ARTIST: Ramblin Jug Stompers
ALBUM: "Hobo Nickel"

With this, the second release from Albany's finest (albeit only) jug band, the Ramblin Jug Stompers take it up a notch in quality and conception. 2006 "Crooked Songs" was a live collection; the band and Sten Isachsen produced this studio outing with warmth and clarity.

The battling banjo, harmonica and kazoo in the intro are the musical equivalent of a sunny summer day (even though it's a blues) and sets the tone here.

The band has performed often in Woodstock, and features Bowtie (banjo), Steven "Cousin" Clyde (guitar, kazoo), Mr. Eck (mandolin, jug) and Wild Bill (washboard, harmonica, found objects). Two of them have been on MTV, a different two are well respected music journalists, another toured with Commander Cody. We'd tell you their real names, but we're sworn to secrecy.

Familiar tunes are given a fresh ramblin spin, like "Down In the Boondocks," while "My Eggs Don't The Same Without You" has a sad plaintive (plaintiff?) delivery. The gorgeous "Frypan Jack Enters Into Heaven" is near perfection, as is "Blue Diamond Mines" (with Mat Kane on fiddle), a haunting highlight.

For more information, visit www.jugstompers.com

Play the Ramblin Jug Stompers' track on the "Jugs Across America" compilation CD!

...or click on the following song title to download the track or hear in your own player:

« Way Down The Old Plank Road (3.3 mb) »

The story of the Hobo Nickel

A man tells his wife, “I’ll ride the rails and write when I find work.”
No word. Nothing for so long. She asks the wandering men by the train yard if they’ve seen him.
One says, “I’ll carve his face on this nickel and pass it along. Trust a hobo nickel to find its way.” Wrapped it in a note with her only wish “Come home”, he left with it that night.
It passed around. In pockets. In hat brims. In tobacco tins. Seeking its reflection. Tarnishing in its despair. Finally dropped and left behind...

Nobody. Cold, walking nowhere. He enters a shed and lies down.
A scrap of paper. Opening, he finds the words, he finds the coin.
Now walking, coin in breast pocket warming him. Somebody going somewhere.

Crooked Songs CD

To buy or preview our live CD "Crooked Songs: Live At Caffe Lena"
from the on-line store, click here!

Crooked Songs CD

"('Crooked Songs') captures the magic of their last sold-out night on our stage."

-- The Caffe Lena Newsletter

"('On Crooked Songs') ...you can just feel the audience adoring them (and hear them singing along)."

-- David Malachowski, The Daily Freeman

Here's a review of the Jug Stompers' "Crooked Songs" CD in the The Daily Freeman

ARTIST: Ramblin Jug Stompers
ALBUM: "Crooked Songs"

Recorded live at the prestigious Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, the Albany-based Ramblin Jug Stompers bring things back to basics with their debut CD "Crooked Songs." This isn't just a clever name they dreamed up, they actually do have someone who plays a jug and a kazoo and a washboard and even a saw. Yes, they're a politically correct and environmentally conscious band; no electricity is burned in the performance of these 12 songs.

Certain members of this group were in Blotto, the early MTV stars. Others have national credits as well (the Star Spangled Washboard Band, the Neanderthals, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen), and all of them have funny names: Bowtie (banjo, vocals), Cousin Clyde (guitar, kazoo, vocals), Mr. Eck (mandolin, dobro, jug, vocals) and Wild Bill (washboard, harmonica, kazoo, vocals).

And you thought I was kidding?

Kicking things off with "The Midnight Special," you can just feel the audience adoring them (and hear them singing along). A banjo makes an appearance in "Hello Hello" and a jug in "Jug Band Music." "Cripple Creek" would make Levon Helm and The Band proud, while "Ooh La La" has a plaintive yet earnest delivery by Mr. Eck, a sure highlight. A joyful take on reggae warhorse "The Harder They Come" shows they can tackle almost any genre and make it their own.

This crew can be serious and silly in the same song, and this live recording shows that not only can they play, but they can also entertain a crowd, and most of all, have fun the entire time.

The record is available via their Web site, and besides playing various venues on the East Coast, Ramblin Jug Stompers have a residency at Tess' Lark Tavern in Albany every third Monday of the month.

Grab your jugs and kazoos and join in! For more information, visit www.jugstompers.com

-- David Malachowski, The Daily Freeman, Kingston, NY 3/2/2007

Ramblin Jug Stompers

Live music recorded by Tom Lindsay
"Old Plank Road" studio recording by Chris Fisher and Cousin Clyde
Photograph by Tim Cahill
Graphics by Lillie Ruby
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