The Jim Kweskin Jug Band at Club Passim
August 31, 2013
Sometime circa 1968, I heard a voice singing "I'm a Woman" and fell in love with the voice and the jubilation of the music. It was the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and the woman was Maria Muldaur. When she released her first two solo albums, I all but wore out the vinyl. In fact, the last time I dangled my toes over the edge of a psychotropic abyss —January 16, 1975, I remember— it was her "Long Hard Climb" from her first album that I played over and over until I calmed down.
It was sometime in the early '80's that I first heard her live. She did a show at what was then called Passim Coffeeshop, run by Bob and RaeAnn Donlin. (Leon Redbone opened.) I had painted the place a couple of times in the mid-'70's and ate there once in a while, but I've been to concerts there only a few times. (I saw Allen Ginsburg there. Bob and Allen were old pals.)
The jug band is doing a 50th anniversary reunion tour and did four shows at what Maria has called "the scene of the crime," where they started so long ago. I was lucky enough to be in attendance at their last show at Club Passim, last night. What a hoot! The greybeards and ladies —i.e., pretty much everybody— in the audience had a rollicking good time. The surviving original conspirators are better musicians than they were fifty years ago, and their backing, billed as The Barbecue Orchestra, were terrific. It was great fun!