From: Kathy & Ken
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 11:11:51 -0800
Subject: Christmas Jug Band report

Hi all,

We were at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley this past week to enjoy two of the three Christmas Jug Band shows.  It was great to be back again for CJB, especially since at the 1998 shows, no one was sure if there would *be* a Sweetwater to play in this year. 

The tradition continues, though, and we think new owners Thom and Becky Steere deserve a tip of the Hatlo hat for all the great work they've done for the Sweetwater.  Things seem pretty much unchanged, which is a good thing. 

Things were calmer this year - the Last (?) Days Of Sweetwater frenzy prevailed in '98 and the club was so crowded that people were turned away at the door.  This year, the scene seemed to be more local and low-key. 

Personnel this year were Dan, Tim Eschlimann, Paul Rogers, Lance Dickerson, Blake Richardson, Adam Gabriel, Nik Phelps, special guest and CJB founding member Ken "Turtle" VanDemarr, and a somewhat under-the-weather Austin DeLone.  Audie seemed to have the Crud that's been going around the area, which was kinda sad, since his high-energy music and antics are such a special part of the CJB festivities.  We'll be looking forward to next year's shows (which should also see a new CJB album!) with Audie back in fine form.

On Tuesday night, both sets were prefaced by an impromptu Christmas Jazz Trio (Blake on bass, Paul on keyboards, and Dan on drums) playing, for our swingin' Yuletide pleasure, "Autumn Leaves" and "The Lady Is A Tramp".  The trio also opened the first set on Wednesday, but it was one of those songs that I can never remember the name of. 

The band performed their two new songs which we heard first on the "West Coast Live" broadcast last weekend.  First, the delightful "Santa's Workshop", featuring a sprightly elf-dance by Paul and Audie.  Then, "Plant A Santa", which features the weirdly wonderful verse about the rubber bucket full of elves.

Other tunes included "I Know What I'm Gettin'", "Washboard Road", "Christmas Time Is Here", "Santa Don't Do It", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", an ultra-bluesy "That's His Red Wagon", "The Real Deal", "Winter Wonderland", "Mr. Santa", "Merry Christmas Baby", "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm", "Jingle Bell Rock", "Rockin' The Nativity Scene", "Gee, Rudolph, Ain't I Good To You", "Run, Rudolph, Run", and "Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit".  "S.A.N.T.A." (aka "Gloria") was the big finale at both shows.

Shorty made his appearance on Tuesday night during "S.A.N.T.A.".  One of the things that is most enjoyable about Shorty is the genuine kick that Dan seems to get out of his antics.  His head whirls around, his eyes dart from side to side, and his mouth moves but he's not saying anything.  BTW, we noticed that Shorty must get around quite a bit.  His little shoes are really scuffed up!

The band also did their World Beat-flavored "Happy New Millennium" song.  Dan doesn't sing much on this song, but he does whale the tar out of a conga drum.

Hixian sartorial splendor of note: Dan was decked out on Tuesday night with a Three Stooges holiday necktie, paired with a colorful shirt sporting a rather, um, intricately designed print, that prompted our table-mate to remark, "Wow! Is that a Huk-A-Poo?"

Hope everyone made merry with their Yuletide, as did we.  Happy Hixster Holidays, and may your CPU clock roll over on 1/1/00!

Kathy & Ken