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Friday, March 24, 2006

Lovin' tribute to jug band legend Fritz

"If you believe in magic, don't bother to choose / If it's jug band music, or rhythm and blues / Just go and listen, it'll start with a smile / It won't wipe off your face no matter how hard you try," sang John Sebastian in the mid-'60s hit "Do You Believe in Magic," a song he performed with his folk-pop band The Lovin' Spoonful. Sebastian comes to Tokyo to pay tribute to one of his first loves, jug music, and arguably the genre's most celebrated practitioner, Fritz Richmond, for a tribute concert on April 2.

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Fritz Richmond, who died of lung cancer on Nov. 20, 2005, was American folk music's premier jug and washtub player. The Massachusetts native produced low-end sounds on the jug by blowing across the mouth of an oil can, and on a homemade bass made from a washtub, broomstick and a length of cable, which he played wearing steel and leather gloves. He cofounded the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the early 1960s in time for the folk-rock revival along with vocalist Geoff Muldaur. The band appeared regularly on national TV and recorded several albums. Both Kweskin and Muldaur will perform at the tribute concert alongside Sebastian and Japanese jug band acts Mad-Words and Old Southern Jug Blowers.

"Fritz Richmond Tribute in Tokyo -- A Jug Band Extravaganza" starts at 6 p.m. on April 2 at Duo Music Exchange, 2-14-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, a 10-minute walk from Shibuya Station. Tickets are 6,000 yen in advance, 7,000 yen at the door. For more info, call (03) 5728-7070.

Jim Kweskin also performs solo in Osaka, Kyoto, Kanazawa and Tokyo, April 3-8. For tickets, visit www.toms-cabin.com

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