Original Sloth Band

Category: Artist
Time period: Post-WWII

Date nominated: Apr 21, 2010
Ratings: 7
Average rating: 3.71

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This comes from the programme of the 1978 Vancouver Folk Festival:
Original Sloth Band
Chris Whitely, Ken Whitely, and Tom Evans first got together to play blues and jug band music over 13 years ago. They have persisted in that idiom, adding various forms of early jazz, gospel music, and "standards" to their repertoire which ranges from a capella to rhythm and blues. For the past couple of years they have worked with the rhythm section of Mike Gardner on string bass and vocals and Bill Bryans on drums. Between them they also play guitar, harmonica, trumpet, clarinet, soprano sax, piano, ukelele, mandolin, accordian, fiddle, jug, washboard, banjo and kazoo. They have recorded 3 albums, the most recent one featuring legendary Chicago pianist Blind John Davis on several cuts.

Later info from an artical on Ken Whiteley:
the summer of '65 The Whiteley brothers started Tubby Fats Original All-Star Downtown Syncopated Big Rock Jug Band and began performing. By the mid-'60s, Ken and the jug band entered the music business. They booked gigs, had people booking gigs for them, and joined the musician's union. They also started volunteering for the Mariposa Folk Festival, often assuming the role of taking care of the same old blues musicians who originally captured their imagination.

It was at this time that the jug band morphed into The Original Sloth Band. They recorded three albums and became sought after live performers. The music combined the blues and jazz from the jug band tradition. Ken described them like this: "The way the New Lost City Ramblers took this broad range of country music, which went all the way from the old ballads and the old-timey music, to strains of bluegrass. They covered the whole range of country music. In a sense, we were doing that with a whole range of black music. By the early 1970s we were into Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, as well as other classic men and women blues singers."



Name Instruments Birth Death
Tom Evans Clarinet, Fiddle, Guitar, Kazoo, Mandolin, Voice, Washboard 05/01/09 Toronto ?
Chris Whiteley Guitar, Harmonica, Kazoo, Voice
Ken Whiteley Banjo, Guitar, Jug, Kazoo, Mandolin, Voice


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