Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Back in the day, there was Club 47 -- THE venue for folk music in Cambridge.  In neighboring Boston there was The Unicorn, but despite the talent they brought in it just did not have the warmth and intimacy of Club 47.   One of the groups closely associated with Club 47 was Jim Kweskin and His Jug Band consisting (at the time) of Kweskin, Fritz Richmond, Bill Keith, Richard Greene, Mel Lyman, and Geoff and Maria Muldaur.  (Maria wore the shortest skirts in the world and I was often in the front row, which was about two inches from the stage.  Hubba, hubba.)  Then, when I was two thousand miles away at school, Club 47 burned down, Jim Rooney (owner of the club) moved to Nashville, the Jug Band released a final album, and an era ended.

      Passim took over the location and the mantle of folk music, but, again, something was lacking for me.  The Muldaurs split up and went on to separate careers; he to eventually form the Texas Shieks, she to an oasis at midnight and beyond.  Mel Lyman went completely off the deep end, started a community/cult/commune, declared himself Jesus Christ or an alien savior from outer space (depending on what day it was) and was (I have heard but have not confirmed) institutionalized, finally dying at age 40.  Richmond, Keith, and Greene each moved on to become important session musicians and accompianists for many important acts.  Every member of the band has made an important mark in the music world.

     On bright sunny days like this I sometimes get sentimental about that bright sunny group and play their music -- both as a group and as individuals.  Here's Kweskin channeling his inner Sons of the Pioneers:

1 comment:

  1. I was busy getting born at about the time the folkie scene was passing away in Cambridge and Boston, but I wonder if part of why WGBX Boston's CLUB 44 series in the 1970s was named such was to harken back a bit to Club 47...(GBX was on Channel 44, as well, of course, and when the program grew popular, it was moved over to WGBH-2 and retitled THE CLUB, but it, too, lost something in the renovation).