South Austin Jug Band


South Austin Jug Band

Zilker Park, Sept. 24

It may have been early Saturday afternoon, but there were still several hundred fans and curious onlookers assembled before the South Austin Jug Band took the stage. The young Austin quintet didn't disappoint either, with their quick pickin' and frolicsome songs. Concentrating on material from their fine new Dark and Weary World, SAJB coupled unrestrained instrumentals with hints of Celtic flavor and newgrass improvisation and humorous tunes that reflect their Texas background. They even attacked some hot jazz and Western swing with an inspired medley of "Minor Swing" and "Sweet Sue" that featured the double fiddles of Dennis Ludiker and Brian Beken. The crowd responded by twirling up dust and singing along; the songs may have been new, but to the faithful, they seemed like old favorites. Vocalist James Hyland slowed things down a bit with the new disc's title track, showing another side of the band's passion, one that was restrained yet equally moving. The set ended when they were just getting started, but it was an ample taste of what they can do, making clear that the South Austin Jug Band have achieved their potential and evolved into one of the most thoroughly entertaining ensembles on today's Texas music scene.

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South Austin Jug Band, Dennis Ludiker, Brian Beken, James Hyland

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