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The Almost Original Synthetic Swampgrass Jugband com
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The Burger King Blues 1972
uploaded on
04/14/07 @ 09:19 PM     2 comments
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The first music video, filmed in Park Ridge NJ in 1972.
Rain (Bryson Tiller Don't Type)
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The Almost Original Synthetic Swampgrass Jug Band.com actually began many years ago. Rumor has it, that the boys got together for a high school talent show, since at that time no one could play any real instruments, kazoos, jugs, washtub bass, and other household implements were used. The Jug Band was an instant hit and it was decided that it would be a good idea to learn to play some real instruments, so they did.

Over the years the group has had many names (ask Jim, the bass player for proper chronology). During the late 1970's and early 1980's the band played all over the New York metro area. They played with Vassar Clements,Jay Unger, Dell McCoury and other top name bands.

The band currently consists of:
Dave Rubin: vocals, guitar, steel guitar, jews harp
Jeff Tyler: vocals, mandolin, fiddle, jug, kazoo
Jim Vasconcellos: bass, washtub
Doug Bowen: vocals, guitar, hammer dulcimer, saw, jug, kazoo
Donald Bowen: vocals, banjo, washboard, kazoo

The Swampettes - Audrey Tyler, Lauren Rubin, Hannah Grubow & Stacy Tyler provide vocals, kazoo and other sound effects on special occasions

Dave Frisch: (1952-2003) vocals, guitar, harmonica on the Living Room Tapes

Gary Wikfors: Member emeritus on what ever instrument he feels like as plays them all whenever we can lure him out of the Connecticut woods
Jared Grubow: guest / former regular on washboard, cajon, other percussion

Creative Media - Hannah Grubow - Pics, Video, Shirts
Recording Engineer - Jared Grubow
Why this name?
Our first name was Son of the Original Synthetic Hickey Goodtime Rinky Dink Jugband Inc. We were a second generation band (one member's older bother was in the original original). After we learned to play some other instruments, we added the name Urban Swampgrass (which made those hiring us much happier by lowering their printing costs). The latest name is a combination of the two with the addition of the .com to reflect the old time nature (.com is over isn't it?).
Do you play live?
We appear randomly in the New Jersey area at bars, festivals and special events throughout the year.
Band History:
First appeared at the Pascack Hills High School Pop Show in the 70's - primarily as a comedy act with limited musical skills - one guy could actually play guitar - so we had him strum the banjo. Recorded a 12 song tape at Pee Wee Erwin's studio in the 70's - the same year we filmed our first music video - the Burger King Blues. Neither ever released. Played throughout New Jersey and New York in the 70's and early 80's. Real jobs and families forced a long pause as we got together about once or twice a year for performances at various locations. We got some of the boys back together in 2001 to just play in the living room. Eventually things got out-of-hand and we were back in front of live audiences doing whatever music (and comedy) that seems to come natural. 2003 was a bit difficult with the untimely death of band mate Dave Frisch. We only got to know Dave for about 25 years - and that was much too short.
Your influences?
Jim Kweskin, Seldom Scene, Taj Mahal, Spike Jones, David Bromberg, Django Reinhardt, Country Blues, Jazz, Bluegrass, Fiddle Tunes, ...
Equipment used:
Gas Pipe Washtub Bass with Aircraft Aluminum Sound Board, Washboard (Ace Hardware), 59 Hoffner Upright Bass, Michael Kelly Firefly Fretless 5 String Bass, 1 to 5 Gallon Jugs, Coffee Cans & Lids, Gibson Mandolin, Lionhead Custom Fiddle, Johnson Metal Guitar, Collings Guitar
Anything else...?
Check put more videos of the band on YouTube or become a fan on Facebook at:


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