It’s nice to be writing a little more about Christoph Mueller and Americana after a few posts about Europe. This morning I’ve decided to start the day with a few renditions of “Stealin’,” a song composed by Will Shade that was first recorded by the Memphis Jug Band in 1928. Apart from the ever-present charm of jug band music, “Stealin'” also features some fine vocal harmony work from Shade and his band. It’s available on vinyl now from Third Man Records, but you can also find it below.
The song has also been covered by the likes of the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan, but I think my favorite cover is from Dave Van Ronk and the Ragtime Jug Stompers on their self-titled album released in 1964. I must say it’s a fine album that stands up over repeated listening, and I’m a great Van Ronk fan myself; and that’s Sam Charters, author of the excellent The Country Blues, on jug, washtub bass, and backing vocals. You’ll find it underneath the Memphis Jug Band version below.
As long as I’m in the Americana mood and plugging Mueller’s new project, I should add that plans are afoot for the next issue — #44 — of the fine magazine Mineshaft, due from the publishers this fall. On the cover, a portrait of Skip James by R. Crumb; on the inside, work by Drew Friedman, Kim Deitch, the aforementioned Christoph Mueller, Mary Fleener, Bill Griffith, Sophie Crumb, the late Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Max Clotfelter, and many, many others. If you subscribe now, you’ll get it when it’s hot off the presses.
Alright, boys. Hit it: