Clarence, Antone and Alex perform “Jitterbug Rag”

Alex “Spiders Nest” Brady, Clarence Gallagher and Antone “T-Bird” Costa doing some jug-band busking in downtown Asheville, NC.
In this video, resonator guitar-player Clarence Gallagher, jug player Antone Costa and washtub bassist Alex Brady perform Blind Boy Fuller’s tune “Jitterbug Rag” near Pritchard Park. You may know Costa and Brady from Blind Boy Chocolate & The Milk Sheiks, which have expanded their range well beyond the limits of the Asheville area. The trio only performed in this line up a few times, but gave a truly memorable performance. (Even if the camera was only rolling for a small portion of it.)

How memorable? Well, you may also recognize the image of the three playing as the header image for the site. Yeah, it was good stuff. Continue reading Clarence, Antone and Alex perform “Jitterbug Rag”

Will and Clarence cover “Who Gonna Love You Tonight?”

Clarence and Will taking a smoke break before playing.
There’s something to be said for anyone in the modern era attempting to play a credible version of any Sam Chatmon song. In the wrong hands, his done-wrong Delta blues can come across as cartoonish rather than heartfelt. But even though they’re about 100 years younger than Chatmon, Clarence and Will surprised me with this version of “Who Gonna Love You Tonight.”

I was walking back from filming the Asheville Holiday Parade on a surprisingly warm November day, when I saw two guys setting up in front of the Iron Sculpture. Both were dressed as if it was a good ten degrees cooler than it was, and putting on a great show of being barely interested in the tip-bearing crowd passing by. They’d clearly spend some time developing their old-time musician personas, from Dust Bowl-hinting clothing to their practiced, skeptically detatched drawls. Continue reading Will and Clarence cover “Who Gonna Love You Tonight?”