Highwater Jug Band
Calgary International Blues Festival (2007)

Some long time friendships fuelled by a common zeal for old time blues, jug band music, vintage acoustic instruments, and the sounds of scratchy old phonograph records has sparked somewhat of a southern Alberta roots-music super-group.

The collaborative project taps a deep pool of performing experience, vocal abilities and song writing talent featuring some of the provinces busiest and most accomplished blues and roots musicians. Dan Tapanila, Mark Sadlier Brown, Tim Williams, Cedric Blary, Suitcase James and John Rutherford form a rag-tag team of musical sharp shooters set on having a ball.

The band’s rehearsals resemble a front porch moon shine session - 78 rpm records spinning on the old Victrola, musician pals recalling road tales, showing off their latest flea market guitars - all the while rattling the floor boards with an endless repertoire of old favourites and newly penned originals churned out with a playful glint and jug band fervour.

The live stage set looks like a garage sale from the heavens as the Highwater Jug Band conduct a cacophony of instrumentation and musical styles boasting extraordinary musicianship and a flare for the absurd. Amidst an arsenal of vintage instruments, an assortment of household items and home made devices HJB creates a sound fresh yet nostalgic, sophisticated yet silly.

Laced with a foot stompin’ good-time groove the Highwater Jug Band perform with an array of instruments including ukuleles, guitars, banjos, mandolins, clarinet, washboard, kazoo, harmonica, musical saw, tambourine, drums, bells, whistles, toys, a home made wash tub bass contraption called a “muck-bucket” and yes – a jug.

In the spring of 2006 HJB captured a brief glimpse of its mischievous fun loving spirit in the recording studio releasing two sides to radio on a special limited edition CD single. The recording garnered immediate air play on CKUA and CBC radio just as the band set out on a string of concert and festival dates throughout Alberta. In the midst of all the excitement CBC Radio recorded and produced a one hour live concert special that aired across the province of Alberta.

This led to the much-anticipated 2007 release of the debut Highwater Jug Band recording on Hoodoo Records.

Each of the members continue to pursue solo careers, individual projects and other professional commitments while striving for a balance between these endeavours and the sheer fun and frivolity of hanging out with friends and making music as the Highwater Jug Band.

Highwater Jug Band