Homemade Jug Bands

For the last two months I’ve shopped at the Seattle Goodwill to see what I could find in the way of children’s musical instruments, which ended up being a plethora of items like drums, bells, recorders and even the super cool Wolfgang Amadeus Jr. Piano I found in the collectibles area!

As I was shopping thrift to find all these kids instruments I was also stockpiling items we needed to make our own Homemade Jug Band. Items I found for the Homemade Jug Band at the Seattle Goodwill were: a kids accordion, a Jack Daniels Jug and all the stand-up base materials (broom, wash basin, string).  There were other objects I purchased for our jug band like the harmonica, washboard tie and regular washboard which I found at the great local music store, Dusty Strings.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting playing in a Homemade Jug Band after reading an article last year in Parent Map which produced a list of age-centric musical instruments that kids from 5-12 years are digging lately.  Apparently, from Ukulele’s to mandolins and hammered dulcimers, traditional Americana music instruments are really drawing the kid music lovers in and many of the instruments listed can be found in Sub Pop bands like the Fleet Foxes or other Americana-type musicians like Sera Cahoone or Blitzen Trapper.

My boys and I headed up to the beautiful Washington state mountains with Jug Band instruments in tow and began some solitary time unplugged from technology but plugged into these musical foundations of our country. My youngest especially liked the harmonica, and playing it around the campfire made the experience magical for our family so the harmonica is now always being played around the house to relive the experience.

Another way I got to know this music was to actually MAKE the stand up base, which you can find videos to help you do. I enjoyed making my first instrument and then figuring out all the different ways the instrument can be played; and believe me, stand up bases take your entire body so be prepared! The jug blowing also takes a special type of learning and when I watch videos of talented Juggers, I have a whole new appreciation for this instrument.

This year is already teaching me so much about not only music, musical instruments and musicians but it’s really starting to open up the diversity of Sub Pop‘s collection to me.

Sub Pop‘s influence on this world might be known as Grunge but this homemade brand’s music is truly universal!


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