Jim Kweskin is probably best known as a singer and bandleader, gaining national prominence with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the '60s. Kweskin created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Blind Boy Fuller to the more complex chords of pop and jazz.
Kweskin has maintained a remarkably consistent musical vision since his jug band days, continuing to explore traditional folk and blues with the sophisticated sensibility of a jazz musician and jazz with the communal simplicity of a folk artist.
"...Still a masterful guitarist and storyteller... effortless, gently driving finger-picking style..." - Robin Denislow, The Guardian
“Mr. Kweskin’s music is a blend of blues, jug music, rhythm & blues and jazz – rag-timey stompdown party music.” - Alex Ward, New York Times
"Jim Kweskin continues to perform his vast repertoire of folk, blues, swing, jug band and early standards with his own brand of infectious personal interpretations. His guitar finger picking of songs like ‘Some Of these Days’ and ‘Exactly Like You’ is recognized by his peers and fans as some of the best there is." - Nat Hentoff
Delightfully engaging and unassumingly comic, Meredith Axelrod envisions the limitless potential of early twentieth century music, whether it be Ragtime, Music Hall, Pop Standard, Boogie Woogie, Tin Pan Alley, String band, Jazz, Country, Blues or even Jug Band music, and embodies the spirit that brought the music into existence in the first place. Her vocal style is unusual, probably because she learned to sing by listening to how folks did it a century ago – through the medium of cylinders and 78-rpm records.
The dominant theme throughout her expansive repertoire is that, whatever the genre, these are songs she learns from the original sources (records and/or sheet music) which were released between the 1890s and the 1930s. Part of the allure of old time music, indeed any music throughout the history of recorded music, is hearing the original recordings as played and sung by the original performers in their heyday, loving what they’re doing and doing it because it means something to them in that moment, never because of nostalgia. Meredith brings the same unbridled passion, earnest devotion and candid vitality to all of her music; she has found possibility and joy in the treasures of cultural folklore.
Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).
The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!