Roscoe Goose, Gil Fish, Wendell Pane, Dump and Frankie -- the names of the individuals who make up the Juggernaut Jug Band are as peculiar as the exuberant music they performed last night at Desperado's.
How do you describe a jug band that supplements the traditional jug and washboard with an arsenal of duck calls, spoons, tin cans, bicycle bells, maracas and prerecorded sound effects? "1920s rock 'n' roll" is how JJB describes its sound. The contradiction in terms seemed to make perfect sense by the time they finished their opening set.
Combining the broad repertoire of the string and jug band of the '20s with a bit of vaudeville hokum and the electric power of rock and blues, JJB has discovered its own irrepressible identity over the past few years. And in keeping with the jug band tradition, they don't let their virtuosity get in the way of having fun.
In particular, Roscoe Goose -- who pranced around stage like Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd in a business suit and sunglasses -- could go out on his own as a one-man band. He switched from washboard to mouth harp to trumpet to song in a fashion that engaged the ear and the imagination of the listener.
The Juggernaut Jug Band -- orchestra perhaps is a better word -- will appear again tonight at Desperado's.