New Roanoke Jug Band

Play It for a Long Time

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As Kinney Rorrer writes in Play It for a Long Time's liner notes, "The realism of the sound produced in an un-sanitized and un-pasteurized fashion stands in stark contrast to the 'gizmos' of the modern world." And while it may seem odd to fans of rock & roll and rap, old-time jug band music, the most backwoods genre one could imagine, remains extremely popular among a hardcore group of supporters. The attraction, it seems, is that an old-time band like the New Roanoke Jug Band requires no more than three or four good players and their instruments to make an honest and easily accessible product. Guitarist/banjoist Scott Baldwin, fiddler/washboard player Jay Griffin, and bassist Andrew Thomas are joined by several friends for 20 tracks that hark back to the 1920s and 1930s, the time period when the first Roanoke Jug Band was active. There's a good version of "Been on the Job Too Long" and a nice take on "The Highwayman." Of particularly interest is "When Those Two Towers Fell," a rewrite of Hobart Smith's "Titanic." While it might be unusual for an old-time band to change a song's lyrics, writing about current events does fit within the jug band tradition. The last four tracks feature the original Roanoke Jug Band, offering a nice juxtaposition between old and new. At 78 minutes, Play It for a Long Time offers an old-timey bargain for the contemporary listener.

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