something joyful from the most limited of resources, jug band music developed around 1900 and quickly spread up and down the midwestern river system. At the heart of a jug band are a liquor-jug bass, blown tuba style, and, typically, a kazoo as lead. The sound might be filled out with a banjo, a fiddle, a mandolin, or whatever else is available and that's where things can get really out of hand.
The folk revivalists of the 1960s rediscovered jug band music through the few recordings made during its heyday. The Jim Kweskin Jug Band shared psychedelic stages with the likes of Janis Joplin and left its mark on the Grateful Dead and the Lovin' Spoonful, whose occasional old-timey flavor came straight from jug band music. Another group it inspired was the Juggernaut Jug Band, which has been carrying on uninterrupted, with changes in personnel but with a consistent core, since the days of free love and the festooning of state troopers with flowers. The group pays homage to its 1960s origins with jug band covers of Dylan's "Desolation Row," the Who's "Pinball Wizard," and other songs that you wouldn't think playable on a liquor jug.