Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jugmongers: Live At The Hootenanny - Album Preview by Dustin Z. Moon

Howdy Folks & Kin,

Happy Labor Day! I sure hope y'all enjoyed  your BBQin' and picnicin' and what not. I also hope y'all drove safe this long weekend. There's lots roadkill out there!

It's been awhile since I last posted somethin' cause as y'all may know, we is bout to release our album, what's called Jugmongers: Live At The Hootenanny. It's been a long time comin' and it's almost here. Just a bit of dottin' the "I"s and crossin' the "T"s and then, well, we'll be all set.

Now awhile back, back when I though we was a gonna release in the summer, I sent a copy to a friend, what sent it on to a friend of his what's some big shot snooty music beat writer and part-time astrologer. I reckon he was asked to review the abum, and well, one thing led to another, and he did. So, I thought I'd share with y'all what he wrote on account of he was over the moon about the record. Here goes:

A concept album to end all concept albums...

When you first begin to listen to  Jugmongers: Live At The Hootenanny, it seems to yield simple and unsophisticated musical offerings by a collection of relative unknowns. After a while, it dawns on you that this is no poor man's "Hee Haw" tribute and that irrelevance was never more irreverent (and relevant)!

The album is a cleverly planned ruse, folks. It sounds like a live album, even complete with slight imperfections inherent in most recorded live performances, but make no mistake, this is a concept album of magnus opus proportions. It boggles the mind that this may be chaos by design. In the spirit of The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, and the Who's Tommy, the Jugmongers' Live At The Hootenanny defies the conventions of music and sound. By the time the two closing songs, Send Us Your Money and Don't Squirt On My Leg have played, you'll realize to your amusement you've been taken in... and have loved every moment of it. Moreover, you'll be humming the album's lyrical hooks and infectious rhythms for hours on end.

The album's front man is Judd Jugmonger, the supposed band leader and chief songwriter. Hailing from the Sunshine State, he is the aberration of Americana that only South Florida of old could give birth to. In songs like At the Jobline and Don't Squirt On My Leg, Judd Jugmonger feigns the working class hero, riling against the IRS and taxes, government, and economic recession. In others, he champions with relish the themes of every stereotypical redneck, hillbilly, hick, cracker and confederate rebel cliché imaginable. He is equal parts rabble rouser, social commentator and poet. At his best he displays shades of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens and Bob Dylan; at his worst he channels Little Jimmy Dickens, Homer and Jethro, June Carter and the entire cast of Hee Haw.

The supporting cast of Jugmongers: Live At The Hootenanny is lead by Jolene Jugmonger. On I Love You Truly, Jolene, Judd professes his love to this sweet darling who supports him throughout the album with her own unique vocals. Her corn syrupy sweetness is evident throughout the album as she sings with and backs Judd. Yet, on her solo, Don't Tread On Me, a pseudo feminist rocker, this little lady shows us she's her own woman and nobody's door mat! The album's backing musicians and vocalists suggest a plethora of Jugmonger kinfolk, including a cacophonous choir named the Swingin' Swiggers. Even the stage announcer, cousin "Nasty Jimmy", has something to offer. The album is produced by one Jay L. Schwartz, who also shares song writing credits with Judd Jugmonger. If this relative unknown is behind this concept album, he is, in my humble estimation, a master of illusion that rivals even the Wizard of Oz and David Copperfield.

The song offerings on the album are an original variety pack of classic campy country cornball goodness. It's self effacement in songs like Ya Can't Put That On A Stick, The Outhouse Rag, Roadkill and Halloween Hootenanny will leave you with a goofy and wry smile. The album also pays homage to the standards of classic country music. The interplay between Judd and Jolene on the over the top duet "What Will Become Of Us" and other songs brings to mind Johnny Cash & June Carter, Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb, Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, and even Hank & Audrey Williams. The faux jingle The Crockpot Crockery Theme Song respectfully lampoons the bluegrass classic Martha White Theme. There is even the obligatory rail road song titled, Lectrifried Locomotive. This southern rock instrumental probably embodies the spirit of this album best as it deep fries a classic boom-chicka-boom train rhythm in "wah pedal" to the metal Telecaster gravy. Trust me, this is not your grandfather's Wabash Cannonball or Engine 143!

If you enjoyed trying to decipher the "Da Vinci Code", try listing the plethora of hat tips to modern musical lore - Woodstock, Pet Sounds, the Electric Dylan Controversy and Johnny Cash, just to name a few of the more obvious. If Einstein were alive today, I'm sure he would find the answer to E=mc2 in this recording. Ethnomusicologists and the Country Music Association should take note!

My recommendation: fork up the dough for this one, folks. Jugmongers: Live At The Hootenanny isn't a diamond pretending to be in the rough, it's the entire Emerald City!

Dustin Z. Moon
July 2010
Twirling Stoned Mojo Press

Well that's that, folks. Can that feller write or what? I ain't eaxctly sure what the Wizard of Oz gots anything to do with our album, but well, as they say, don't shoot the messenger.

All the best,
Judd Jugmonger

PS. Here's some readin' fer all you youngin's what are gettin' set to git back to your schoolin' ....
The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook: Complete Meals from Around the WorldEinstein: His Life and UniverseCash: The AutobiographyWill You Miss Me When I'm Gone? The Carter Family & Their Legacy in American MusicLove: What Life Is All AboutStand Up to the IRSHank Williams: The BiographyHow to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Play the GuitarThe GED For DummiesKiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's BossSouthern Crossing: A History of the American South, 1877-1906The Alaskan Bootlegger's BibleRock n' Blues Harmonica: A World of Harp Knowledge, Songs, Stories, Lessons, Riffs, Techniques and Audio Index for a New Generation of Harp Players (Includes ... book and 74 minute stereo CD Jamming Buddy)

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