Minnie Heart and Bill Howard make up The Ever-Lovin’ Jug Band, and they are headed to Parksville to peform at Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge on Jan. 11. — Submitted by The Ever-Lovin’ Jug Band

Time and ragtime again, says jug band headed to Parksville

Popularity growing for old-time acoustic music, says pair playing GZAL Jan. 11

If you ask Bill Howard why he likes jug band and ragtime music, one of the first reasons he’ll give is that “it doesn’t suck.”

“Growing up in the ’80s, everything that referred to jug band music was kind of a joke,” he said. “So when you finally land on these recordings from the ’20s and you hear people really blowing jug and playing the kazoo seriously and ripping various banjoes and killer harmonies, just such a killer vibe… hearing what it’s supposed to be, it’s like, ‘Oh my goodness.’”

Howard makes up one half of The Ever-Lovin’ Jug Band alongside Minnie Heart, who, on their first band tour to B.C. out from Waterlou, Ont., will be playing at Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge (8-464 Island Hwy. West, Parksville) on Jan. 11.

Together, they play a combo of fiddle, banjolin, kazoo and foot-bass on Heart’s side, and guitar and jug on Howard’s side, often at the some time and while trading lead vocals.

They bring an authentic old-time sound, while seeking to show that this style of music has not only kept on going, but is seeing renewed interest, they said.

For Howard’s part, he said moving into an apartment had him exploring acoustic music, eventually coming upon jug band tunes. “I just really liked it and kept on digging and making up tunes like that, and discovering other people playing it.”

One of those was Heart.

Both Heart and Howard are quick to admit that jug band music has a negative stereotype among many people. “It’s kind of portrayed as like weird bumpkin music or something like that, some drunk guy blowing one note on the jug,” said Howard. But it’s the musicianship of early jug band and ragtime music that gets people hooked, he said.

“When you hear Earl McDonald from the Louisville Jug Band… really blowing melodies on the jug… it’s like, ‘Holy cow, how are they doing that?’”

It took Howard a year or two to figure it out, he said, and then only with the help of Bruce Cockburn, he said.

As Heart and Howard have dug deeper into this genre of music, they say they’ve seen more and more people interested in it.

Though finding those pre-war era recordings to be inspired by used to be a chore, the music became much more readily available online after 2006, said Heart.

Now the pair will find musicians in their early 20s who play nothing but ragtime guitar, and they both grow excited over just how good they will get if they stick with it.

As for the Ever-Lovin’ Jug Band itself, it’s put out two full-length albums of original tunes since 2013, both of those with a larger group.

Though other bandmates have gone in other directions, Howard and Heart said they enjoy their two-person group.

It allows for more improvisation and an easier creative process. Performing multiple instruments at once also brings a certain spectacle for crowds, they said.

Coming up, the band will be releasing an album full of their previously released original music, but in their two-person format. And later on, they’ve got exciting plans for something all-new, but don’t want to give it away just yet.

For their first band trip out to B.C., they’ll be playing Duncan on Jan. 12 and Sayward on Jan. 13, but after their performance in Parksville Jan. 11.

Doors open at GZAL at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance. For tickets and more info, go to www.gzalounge.com/upcoming-concerts.html.

Just Posted

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

Wires left dangling after van crashes into hydro pole in Dashwood

Road closed while BC Hydro crews dealt with situation

Police go on hunt for distracted drivers in Parksville Qualicum Beach

One motorist ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt and using a cellphone while driving

Motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash west of Whiskey Creek

Witnesses say three vehicles involved in collision; man in 70s confirmed dead

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Outdoor cats one of the biggest causes of wildlife injuries

Spring a vulnerable time for fledlings, small mammals says wildlife centre

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Most Read