NOTTY'S JUG SERENADERS

 WALTZIN’ THE BLUES AND BALLIN’ THE JUG

 Staff NJS.002 (CH.1994) CD

 

Notker Homburger, Stimme/Gitarre/Jug/Kazoo * Bernhard Mayer, Mundharmonika/Jug/Stimme * Thomas Banholzer, Jug/Trompete/Kazoo* Andi Reinhard, Saxophone/Kazoo/Jug/Percussion/ Stzimme/Jodel * Bodo Matzkeit, Schlagzeug/Waschbrett/Stimme.

 

Aufgenommen im Dezember 1993 und im Januar 1994 in Frauenfeld von Rolf Stauffacher.

 

Nobody's Business - Part 1 / Don't You Lie To Me / I'm Going To The River / Roll And Tumble Blues / My Little Suede Shoes / Waltzin' The Blues (Every Day) / Ballin' The Jug / Wicked Treatin' Blues / Mayer Takes The B-Train / Midnight Boogie / Worryin' You Off My Mind / That's All Right / Don't Lose Control / Nobody's Business - Part 2 / The Golden Memories Waltz

 

 

“Sure their Swiss accents take a little getting used to, but good jug bands are so hard to come by these days that it's any port in a storm. Notty's Jug Serenaders provide safe harbor as they joyfully work through a playlist that bows to everybody from Tampa Red and Big Bill Broonzy to Jimmy Rogers and Charlie Parker. Like earlier great revival jug bands (Jim Kewskin's for example), they emphasize fun rather than a narrow pursuit of authenticity. As a result, Blind Lemon Jefferson's I'm Going To The River comes complete with a brass and reed section. This is amazingly infectious stuff.”   

(Peter R. Aschoff, Living Blues Magazine #119, 1/1995)

 

“I reviewed this German band's first CD for this Swiss label back in B&R 73 and the lads obviously read it - I made a comment there that maybe they should put some yodelling on their next outing, and sure enough, the crazy hillbilly doo-wop waltz version of 'Every Day I Have The Blues' (!) finds Yodelin' Andi Reinhard lamenting his Swiss miss. What next? - Alphorn maybe. Actually, it would probably fit quite well.

Although there's a wonderful sense of humour about much of the material here, and a great riposte to any reviewer who's ever complaint  about 'the tinge of an accent' with 'Nobody's Business - Part 1', there are plenty of moments of high musical quality - would any other jug band even attempt, let alone succeed in tackling a Charlie Parker number? - and lots of excellent slide and fingerpicked guitar from the leader, amplified and otherwise harp from Bernhard Mayer, some horn work that occasionally sounds like a cross between the Skatalites, Ornette Coleman and an oompah band, and rasping jug playing (is it just coincidence that the sleeve design is by Moofart?)

Will Shade would have loved it. If you're looking for an antidote to earnest, young white 'country bluesmen' that's also extremely listenable, good fun, and bluesy, this fits the bill nicely.

(Norman Darwen, Blues & Rhythm Magazine #92, 9/1994)