Review | Songlines

Never Too Late: Duets with My Friends

Rating: ★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details

Artist/band:

Jim Kweskin

Label:

StorySound Records

March/2024

In 1960s America, you couldn’t enter a coffee house without running into a malcontent folk singer with a ratty guitar hellbent on ridding the world of tyrannical evil. Contrarily, Jim Kweskin & The Jug Band took it upon themselves to reimagine the jug band sound of the 1920s while drawing upon early American styles from Appalachian country and Tin Pan Alley tunes to ragtime, jazz and blues. Six decades later, Never Too Late: Duets with My Friends features the 83-year-old troubadour accompanied by some of his most cherished female collaborators performing selections from the same songbook that supplied The Jug Band with its material.

By applying equal doses of nostalgic playfulness and regenerative creativity, Kweskin and former Jug Band regular Maria Muldaur (of ‘Midnight at the Oasis’ fame) burnish ‘The Sheik of Araby’ and ‘Let’s Get Happy Together’ with period-era swing and polyphonic harmony. Fiona Kweskin makes her recording debut on Never Too Late, charmingly crooning alongside her grandfather on ‘You’re Just in Love’, ‘Side by Side’ and ‘What Does the Deep Sea Say’. Keeping with the mostly female theme, Kweskin’s supporting cast features fiddler Suzy Thompson, dobro and steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar and harmonica player Annie Raines.

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