Arlington Center for the Arts’ First Annual Great Northeast Jug Band Festival

The Arlington Center for the Arts is pleased to be presenting New England’s first-ever annual jug band festival, which highlights traditions from the 1920’s and 30’s, and the modern evolution of this good-time music.

With roots from Appalachia, New Orleans, and Africa, jug band music started in the south (notably Louisville Kentucky and Memphis Tennessee) in the 1920’s and 30’s. Highly popular “back in the day”, jug bands such as Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers and the Memphis Jug Band incorporated a variety of conventional and home-made instruments (such as spoons, washtub bass, and washboard), and, of course, featured jug-blowing as a rhythmic backbone. Jug band music could have quietly slid into obscurity if not for a revival in the 1960’s by notable musicians such as John Sebastian, Jerry Garcia, Jim Kweskin, and Maria Muldaur. Today, the genre is alive and well, as you’ll get to hear and see when you come to the festival.

The evening will kick off with several free, hands-on workshops that invite visitors to jam out, explore funky and homemade jug band instruments, and learn to blow a bass line on a jug or keep time on spoons or washboard. The festival features 5 local jug bands including Too Tight Jug Band, High Maintenance Jug Band, KC Moaners, Outrageous Fortune, and The Busted Jug Band. Hailing from all over the region, each band brings their own unique and modern spin on jug band music and brings a century-long tradition to life and is sure to keep attendees dancing the night away.

The Arlington Center for the Arts is excited to host the Great Northeast Jug Band Festival as a part of ArtWeek Boston and is made possible by the generous support of the Music Drives Us Foundation. The festival is happening May 4, 6pm to 10:30pm at the Arlington Masonic Temple at 19 Academy Street in Arlington, MA. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Barbeque from Blue Ribbon Barbeque, wine, beer, and other refreshments will be available for purchase. For more information about this exciting and unique event, please visit

About Too Tight Jug Band
An electrifying four-person jug band, playing songs straight out of Mississippi juke joints and Memphis street corners.

About High Maintenance Jug Band
Toe tappin’, finger snappin’, back slappin’, good timey jug band and country blues music from the 1920s/30s–with their own unique arrangements.

About KC Moaners
Recreating a good-time jug-band sound that was popular in Memphis & Louisville during the 20’s and 30’s, inspired by such groups as the Memphis Jug Band & Cannon’s Jug Stoppers.

About Outrageous Fortune
A Boston-based early jazz & acoustic blues jug band with sweet three-part vocal harmonies, strong groove, and an abundant sense of joy that infuses their performances.

About The Busted Jug Band
High-energy, hair-raising country/blues/jazz music, featuring group vocals, swinging rhythms and novel instrumentation and inspired by the street bands of the early 20th century.

About Arlington Center for the Arts
The Arlington Center for the Arts is a community arts center devoted to the mission of “transforming lives and building community through the arts.” For the last 30 years, ACA has opened its doors to a community of artists, learners, and supporters of the arts and has committed to engagement, access, and inclusion of all art forms. In 2018, thanks to the support of many generous individuals in the community, the ACA finished renovations and moved into their new facility at 20 Academy Street, Arlington, Massachusetts 02476. To learn more, visit our website at