Galloway Jug Band | This is Atlanta | PBA30

This is Atlanta with Alicia Steele

Galloway Jug Band

Jug band music originated in the early 1900s. Jug bands usually featured household items like jugs and washboards played alongside traditional musical instruments. Drawing from blues and jazz influences, this style of music peaked in the late 1920s.

The Galloway School in Atlanta offers its upper learning students a chance to revisit that musical era. The Galloway Jug Band was founded over a decade ago by history teacher Dr. Allen Barksdale. The group practices once a week and often perform impromptu concerts for Galloway’s younger students. Just like their 1920s counterparts, the Galloway Jug Band features both traditional and homemade instruments.

Dr. Barksdale says the band teaches kids history and traditional American music outside the typical classroom setting. Ironically, the band has never had an actual jug player. The jug is played by buzzing your lips into the empty jug and controlling the pitch, much like a brass instrument. Students have always found it too difficult to play properly. Even without a jug player, the band still has fun creating new sounds to play this very old-fashioned music.


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