„The doctor says: `give him jug band music, it´s gonna make him feel just fine´.“
When John Sebastian, singer and songwriter of the sixties group Lovin’ Spoonful, sang these words the Musical style he was referring to was already half a century old. At the beginning of the 1960s, folk music fans from Boston and New York on, searching for authentic forms of musical expression, had found this raucous yet subtle style of the 1920s, characterized by the use of a stoneware jug or, optionally, a washtub with one string attached for a bass instrument.
A few years earlier, in the mid to late 1950s, a style called skiffle had enjoyed a big boom in Great Britain. It was basically the same kind of music, with tinges of early rock’n’roll. A lot of British rock heroes of the 60s fought their first musical battles as teenagers playing skiffle music. Not only the Beatles, but also Jimmy Page, Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, Graham Nash, David Gilmour, to name but a few.
So what’s this jug-band/skiffle Music all about? People with no money but with overflow of musical energy ransack the washhouse, grab anything they get hold of and start to twang, clang and jangle. Street-jazz, pre-war-punk, stone-age-pop. Jug band music is all about the joy of playing and cultivated amateurism.
Another half century later the OKTOBER FOLK CLUB, originally founded as an indie folk-rock outfit with a sound reminiscent of the Byrds, climbed down the ladder of pop evolution a few more steps and finally arrived at this archetype of modern band music.
Banjo (Axel Koch), harmonica/ violin (Martin Lickleder) and the obligatory washtub-bass (Christian Salz)- that’s it. No amps. No overdubs. Upfront- that’s the word. “NOW’s the time!” The album was recorded in one day. Even the tambourine on the title track was played by the harmonica player while at the same time blowing the harp.
And of course: NOW, the time has finally come for the crudest, most primitive and oldest of all pop styles: jug band music!
Yet the Oktober Folk Club is not merely trying to emulate this music in its original form. Rather they are using its typical equipment to play their own version of contemporary pop music.
Not only are they adding a new dimension to the typical jug band sound by playing new self-written material, they are cultivating three-part harmony vocals, a remnant of their folk-rock period. Vocal harmonies, a typical feature of sixties pop and rock music, predominantly introduced by the Beatles, come together with the Beatles’ own musical roots. Here the story comes full circle. The ingredients might be old, but the blend is new-
Memphis, 1927. Liverpool, 1958. Munich, 2015. Only the blink of an eye apart. Now’s the time!
„We love your CD. We heard it several times in the car while running errands yesterday. You guys have an authentic hokum band sound and the vocals are great. Your songwriting skills are first rate. An altogether top class production.“
(Mike Wilhelm from the Charlatans)
„This is way cool!“
(Lorenzo Surfer Joe)
„You are better than Motörhead!“
(Concertgoer in Kiev, wearing a Motörhead-T-Shirt )
"This is Original American Music!"
(Bridegroom's aunt from New York at the wedding)