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March 27, 2009 | The Clarion
Arts & Life
From left, Hunter Holmes, Steven Acker, Michael Eleazer and Josh Carter perform for tips with the Mason Jar Drinkers
Mason Jar Drinkers bring traditional sound to a non-traditional stage
by Joseph Chilton
Editor in Chief
The only thing that won’t have a tradition
al flavor when the Mason Jar Drinkers play
Pescado’s Burritos tonight is the venue.
“1 think we’re the only band who has ever
played there,” said Josh Carter, who plays
mandolin for the band. “But we play a lot
of non-traditional venues.”
The band has also played the BANFF film
festival, Halloween Fest, a whimsical art
show at Mud Dobbers and got their start
playing for tips at local organic grocery
store Poppie’s. Despite the unconventional
nature of their musical mediums, the band’s
style is old-school to a T.
Outfitted in overaUs and other garb of the
‘20s and ‘30s, the band plays strictly music
from the early twentieth century.
“Whenever we play we officially dress
up in the style of the times and perform a
shtick from the medicine show tradition.
It’s a very big, showboating style,” said
bassist Steven Acker
To make sure the music they play is au
thentic, the band scours antique stores for
archaic vinyl albums and learns the songs
Who: Mason Jar Drinkers
What: String Band music and a
medicine show style schtick from
the ’20s and ’30s
When: Tonight at 6 p.m.
Where: Pescado’s Burritos, across
the street from campus in the
College Plaza shopping center
Why: “They’re the hottest band on
campus,” according to BC senior
they find by ear.
“(Guitarist) Hunter Holmes listens to aU
the records and types the lyrics on an old
typewriter,” Acker said.
“We also learn some by playing with
people, which fits with the tradition of old-
time music being oral.”
The band’s music is heavily influenced
by the String Band genre- a blend of blues,
ragtime and early jazz. The name Mason Jar
Drinkers is a play on the name of a popular
String Band group. Uncle Dave Macon and
the Fruit Jar Drinkers.
“We got together for the Old Time Festi
val in 2007 and we kind of got put on the
spot when they asked for our name. We
came up with Mason Jar Drinkers and it
stuck,” Carter said.
After the ensemble’s original performance
at the Old Time Festival they began playing
regularly anywhere they could find work.
After a year of refining their sound, they
returned to the festival last October and
took third place.
Now they continue to look for places to
play, but realize that their style isn’t for
“They hated us at Jordan Street because
we brought in too many underage kids,”
“But we wifl play anywhere where they
will pay us. We’re trying to save up to
finance an album.”
That type of openness to performing
anywhere and everywhere led to the group
becoming a staple at Pescado’s, a private
business similar to Moe’s Southwestern
Grifl that does not typically house musical
The band will play from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
tonight and Pescado’s usually offers beer
and taco specials whenever the Mason Jar
“It’s usually packed when we play and it
is always a good time,” Carter said.