Wednesday, August 15, 2007


What do John Sebastian, Bob Weir, Taj Mahal, Maria Muldaur, Erik Darling (of the Rooftop Singers) and Charlie Musselwhite all have in common? Each of these musicians have appeared at the top of the Billboard charts at some point in their careers, ranking in the Top 10 of the Pop, Blues and Jazz charts over the last 40 years. But that's not the only thing that links these diverse talents. In addition to their accolades, these artists all share a deep affinity for jug band music, and sing the praises of the roots genre in the new documentary film, 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' ( Taj Mahal, though not interviewed for the film, lends his voice to words previously spoken by the film's namesake Gus Cannon.

Filmmaker Todd Kwait said, "When I set out to trace the history of jug band music nearly 10 years ago, I was simply looking to learn what I could about those, like Gus Cannon, who were instrumental in establishing the genre. I had no idea it would lead me to such candid and fascinating interviews with some of the world's most acclaimed musicians."

Kwait continued, "Their stories not only help to illustrate the roots of this early American music, but also give some amazing insights into how it's influenced their own music. I'm honored that they've all taken the time to lend their voices - literally, in Taj Mahal's case - to talk about what jug band music means to them. While this has been a labor of love for me, I hope 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' entertains and offers new perspectives to fans of all kinds of music."

Chasin' Gus' Ghost will debut with two screenings, at 7:00 and 9:00pm, on August 25 at the Roxie New College Film Center in San Francisco ( The following evening, many musicians featured in the film, including John Sebastian, Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur, David Grisman and Fritz Richmond's Barbecue Orchestra, will perform in concert during the "Chasin' Gus' Ghost Jug Band Extravaganza" at the Great American Music Hall ( Both events take place as part of the San Francisco Jug Band Festival (

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Ratdog at Fenway