There’s retro, and then there’s retro. Escape the Floodwater Jug Band are the latter. The Iowa-based group has gone back to the days before rock and roll, before amplification—hell, even before the Great Depression—to find the inspiration for its banjo and washboard-driven debut, Whisky Will Fix It! Jug band music might seem like a tough sell, but Escape the Floodwater manage to walk the fine line between tongue-in-cheek fun and a full-out novelty act while supplying an album’s worth of surprisingly good little tunes. (Of course, more than half of them are covers, but who really cares? They feel as if they haven’t been dusted off since the Hoover administration.) Some people are sure to find their joyous hobo twang more annoying than endearing, but as a break from the usual, Escape the Floodwater Jug Band make for a refreshing change.
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