Meet the band


Less than two minutes into the show the band had the audience in the palms of their hands and for the next 90 minutes or so they took us on a comedic and musical rollercoaster ride that went from the hilarious to the spiritual, including an emotional show-closing rendition of Silent Night that brought the audience to its feet for a three minute standing ovation.

The audience loved them. The sponsor loved them. Even my dog loved them and he doesn’t love anybody except the beagle next door.

How would I describe their performances? I guess I would say, they’re like watching a musical earthquake. There’s a lot going on up on stage physically, musically & comically. And, they brought the house down.

— Russ Page, Center Theater

The Half Moon Jug Band is one of the most entertaining shows I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing! They mix incredible musical ability with side-splitting comedy into a one-of-a-kind stage show. This makes them a true triple threat of entertainment. They are a guaranteed hit!

— Michael Miclon, Oddfellow Theater


The Half Moon Jug Band is a 21st century jug band rooted in the Downeast humor and dry wit traditions of their home State O’ Maine. Upbeat and positive, the Half Moon Jug Band does whatever it takes to get you singing along and dancing in the aisles. They firmly believe that “Louie, Louie” is every bit as real a folk song as “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.”

Before you ask: There’s no jug. It’s implied. Jug band music is the homemade music friends make sitting ’round the kitchen table. You won’t hear it on the radio, you won’t see it on cable TV and you can’t get it at Wal-Mart. Labels don’t apply here. If it sounds fun, if the audience claps in time, if it feels honest, then it’s jug band music.

This band thrives on interaction with audiences. It’s not just about standing on stage playing songs. It’s about singing, dancing and making people happy. Every performance is studded with jokes, stories and mandatory sing-alongs. No one gets out without singing. No one.

The Half Moon Jug Band started as a merry band of sidewalk subversives entertaining passersby and annoying shopkeepers on Exchange Street in Portland, Maine 20 years ago. Now, they can be found on the road playing concerts and festivals all over the northeast like New Year’s Portland, the Maine Festival, the Old Port Festival, the Prescott Park Folk Festival, the Oddfellow Theatre, Johnson Hall, Celebration Barn Theater, Stonington Opera House, the Winthrop Performing Arts Center, the Maine Lobster Festival, Burlington’s strange 3rd of July Fireworks extravaganza, the Fryeburg, Deerfield and Cornish Fairs, and many town concerts too numerous to enumerate here.

The Half Moon Jug Band has made many live appearances on television and radio including WCSH’s “207,” WGME’s “Daybreak,” WPFO’s “Good Day Maine,” WMPG’s “Local Motives” and WCTN’s “Shine” and “The Night Show with Danny Cashman.”

In 2018, the Half Moon Jug Band released its sixth full-length album: “Half Live at the Half Moon.” Half the new collection was recorded live, in concert. It joins the band’s other recordings: 2015’s “Don’t Bore Us Get to the Chorus,” 2013’s “North Pond Hermit Sessions,” 2009’s “Get the Show on the Road,” 2005’s “Jug Band Army,” 2003’s “Christmas On Exchange Street” and 2001’s “Space Man in a Jug Band.”


TROY R. BENNETT, known as “The Van Gogh of the Banjo” founded the HMJB in in his bedroom in November 1997. He plays guitar, banjo, harmonica, tin whistle and does the majority of the singing. He likes the Red Sox, obsolete cameras and 78 rpm records.

“Frost” STEVE BREWER was the only person to answer the bass player ad in the paper. He also plays saxophone, sings harmony and rocks out on the kazoo. Steve enjoys quiet evenings at home, moonlit kayaking trips and whining.

DEAN “Clean Fill” CLEGG played drums in the same high school rock band as Troy. He’s a cigar and Civil War expert. Dean wants you to know that if you liked it then you should have put some cheese on it.

The Half Moon Jug Band: Steve Brewer (bass and saxophone), Troy R. Bennett (guitar and banjo) and Dean Clegg (percussion).
The Half Moon Jug Band, from left: Steve Brewer (bass and saxophone), Troy R. Bennett (guitar and banjo) and Dean Clegg (percussion).