Clay Bottom Jug Busters are Bristol’s neighbourhood Jug Band play booty shakin’ blues and hard hootin’ hokum straight from the streets of Memphis circa 1930.
Founded by blues shouter, harmonica player and jug blower, Joe Strouzer, upon his return from a season singing blues on the streets of New Orleans, and renowned Bristol jazzer and guitar slinger, Joseph Trudgeon, Clay Bottom Jug Busters cut their teeth at The Chelsea, Bristol’s infamous Anarchist Punk pub.
With Bristol native Tim Hearn on mandolin, Jamboree Old Boy Barney Rockford on drums and sweet Kai Carter on double bass, Clay Bottom Jug Busters are serving up raucous blues made famous by the legendary Memphis Jug Band and Cannon’s Jug Stompers, timeless classics.
The Jug Band blues tradition began in Louisville, Kentucky, as interval entertainment on Kentucky Derby Day, entertaining the crowds by imitating the brass jazz bands of New Orleans but with no brass, only jugs and other homemade instruments. When the jug band sound reached the bustling blues soaked streets of Memphis it was embraced by band leaders Will Shade and Gus Cannon who’s bands contained some of the most influential blues musicians of their generation, including Furry Lewis, Memphis Minne and Elvis’ mentor, Charlie Burse. The ever changing lineups had a core of virtuosic harmonica playing, thumping washtub bass, kazoo, banjo, guitar, mandolin and punchy rhythm driven vocals with strong choruses and weaving harmonies.
Clay Bottom Jug Busters have been charming crowds from local dive bars and village halls to London Amphitheatres and stages across Glastonbury festival.