Monday, May 3, 2010

Calling All Jug Bands

It's that time of year again. Saturday, Derby Day, we mentioned how May is a month with many highlights, beginning this year with the Run for the Roses. Cinco de Mayo will fall on Wednesday this week, a good time to break out your jalapenos y salsa. Other events traditionally associated with May include Mother's Day (next Sunday, guys), Dylan Days in Hibbing, college graduations and any number of summer art exhibitions.

The month culminates with two distinctive traditions of which I am fond, both falling on the same Memorial Day weekend: the Indianapolis 500 (at Indy) and the Battle of the Jug Bands here in Duluth. Since info about the Indy 500 is accessible nearly anywhere, I will just point out a few notes about the Battle.

14th Annual Battle of the Jug Bands
Sunday-May 30th 1:00-8:00p.m.
Amazing Grace Cafe-Duluth, MN

The annual event and celebration is produced by Icehouse Studio, Coho Handcream for Men and De Elliot Bros. The Annual Battle of the Jug-bands features Jug Band Music from a variety of regional bands and is an all day affair that really satisfies. Historically six to ten bands show up, celebrating seven hours of JUG BAND MUSIC, vying for the Coveted Yid-wegian Krumkake Iron. The music always over flows out on the sidewalk for all to enjoy. Some show up doing a complete One Man Band. Others come alone and invite a few local musicians to join in and put a band together on the spot. Unique homemade instruments are shown and played. Fresh frozen Steelhead Trout caught by Elliot himself, who goes by the moniker Blind Willie, is a runner up prize for 2nd place in the Jugband competition. (He doesn't call his business Icehouse Studios for nothing.)

The night before, De Elliot Bros. and friends will be performing from 7:00-10:00p.m. at the same location.

Now if you're an Indy 500 fan, and you have a hard time deciding whether to stay home and watch the race or come down to hear home spun music, I recommend you do like me. Come on down to the Amazing Grace, then sneak across the street to Grandma's Sports Garden every now and then for a brew and a view on one of their big screen TVs. If Danica has the lead, and you can't break away till the Indy is over, well, the music goes late so you can get the best of both worlds.

According to Blind Willie's promotion, if you submit your mailing address and email to be on the Battle of the Jugbands mailing list, you'll receive a Poster. Contact

Put a song in your heart and check it out.

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