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Welcome! We're the Hump Night Thumpers, otherwise known as the Jug Band Ensemble class at the Old Town School of Folk Music

What is jug band music all about?

Despite the stereotypes of rural whites, the classic jug band era was shaped by urban black musicians in Southern river cities like Memphis and Louisville. Former vaudeville entertainers and string band musicians took to the streets with inexpensive and homemade instruments, mixed Dixieland jazz and ragtime with the blues, and created a genre that some have called "the world's happiest music." Peaking around 1930, jug band music was so popular that even the respectable orchestras of the time added banjos and jugs to follow the trend. The music made a comeback in the '60's, influencing American artists like the Lovin' Spoonful and the Grateful Dead directly, and British artists like Van Morrison and the Beatles through its European variant, called skiffle.

What is this group all about?

The Hump Night Thumpers meets weekly at the Old Town School to learn songs, build instruments, and study the history of the genre. Each member plays a variety of instruments, including guitar, ukulele, washtub bass, washboard, kazoo, spoons, and, of course, jugs of all shapes and sizes. Performances might include traditional blues, jazz, or ragtime songs, newer songs written during the '60's, or original songs written by the group, but are always upbeat and guaranteed to inspire curiosity among the audience.

Neat! Can I try it?

This is a public class and is open to new members every eight weeks. Please check the Old Town School registration page for details, and you might be jamming with us soon!

Band trivia

Members of the band are not allowed to choose their own nicknames.

Random blues lyric

You may come here running
Holding up your hands
I can get me a woman
Quick as you can get a man

-- Sitting On Top of the World

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