Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Jim Kweskin

  • Richard D. Herbruck Presents Jim Kweskin's America [Reprise, 1971] B-
  • Acoustic Swing & Jug [Vanguard, 1998] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Richard D. Herbruck Presents Jim Kweskin's America [Reprise, 1971]
I approve of any revitalization of the American-democratic myth, but life in the Lyman Family must not be very good-timey. Though these great traditional songs sound undeniably idiosyncratic, they're idiosyncratic with the kind of ol'-folks-at-bay decripitude you might expect from people who believe God is a harmonica player. B-

Acoustic Swing & Jug [Vanguard, 1998]
Milder but steadier than their brothers in dissipation the Holy Modal Rounders, whose first two albums have been remastered onto one Fantasy CD, this aggregation set the standard for folkiedom's hedonist wing, committed only to good-time blues, goofball hokum, and the occasional silly pop song. At this historical distance they're at least as far out there as their inspirations Will Shade and Gus Cannon, neither of whom followed his harmonica player onto a commune when he decided he was God (Mel Lyman, you could look it up), and their selected works pack more fun than Yazoo's muddled Ruckus Juice and Chitlins comps: "Beedle Um Bum," "Ukelele Lady," "Borneo," "Never Swat a Fly," and a Maria Muldaur "Richland Woman" that couldn't make you forget John Hurt but might just inspire you to look him up. A-