Devine’s Jug Band: Terrible Operation Blues

[5 January 2010]

By Deanne Sole

Robert Crumb likes it, according to the publicity, and this is exactly the band you’d think Robert Crumb would like—an old-time American jug band complete with a genuine old-time American jug, fiddle, washboard, banjo, and a fusillade of cheek-o-phone (popping-flesh noises made by the band) plus songs with names like, “Beaver Slide Rag”, “Spider’s Nest Blues”, and “The Lindberg Hop”. The musicians play it straight, which is to say goofy, in a kidding, authentic-sounding barnyard style. The title track, a back-and-forth song, tells about a doctor extracting his moaning patient’s innards, giving drunk-man hiccoughs while she groans, “Oh doctor, what are you taking out of me? / Well, let me open my eyes and I’ll take a look and tell you.” He invites her to remove her clothes so he can operate, and Mayumi Urgino’s sly fiddle slithers through a wolf-whistle. It’s part of a general urban U.S. fascination with country music going back decades.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/118049-devines-jug-band-terrible-operation-blues/