WATCH THE VIDEO AND MEET THE HALF MOON JUG 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 a three-man mob of musical desperadoes waging a daily battle against the humdrum forces of boredom and inaction. They fend off the blahs with banjoes, kazoos, guitars saxophones and silliness. They want to make you dance and sing along at the top of your lungs.
Jug band music is homemade music. You won’t hear it on the radio, you won’t see it on MTV and you can’t get it at Wal-Mart. It’s a bubbling casserole of music as diverse as America itself. You’re not sure exactly what’s in there but boy, it sure sounds good. Labels don’t work. If it sounds good, if the audience claps, if it feels honest, then it’s jug band music.
The band thrives on interaction with their audiences. For the HMJB, it’s not just about standing on stage playing songs. It’s about singing, dancing and making people happy. They do whatever it takes to put on a show for all ages, studding every performance 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 more than 15 years ago. Now, they can now 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, 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 HMJB 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.”
In 2015, the band released its fifth full-length album “Don’t Bore Us Get to the Chorus,” following 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 ad in the paper. He plays bass, saxophone, sings harmony and rocks out on the kazoo. He looks forward to quiet evenings at home, moonlit kayaking trips, playing (music) with himself in the cellar and whining.
DEAN “Clean Fill” CLEGG is the newest member of the band, though he used to play in the same high school rock band as Troy. He gives tours of Joshua Chamberlain’s house in Brunswick, Maine and enjoys a fine cigar from time to time. Dean wants you to know that if you liked it then you should have put some cheese on it.
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!
The Oddfellow Theater