Jugs, ragtime band to perform at Macs’ Uptowner

Cayla Maurer, Verge Editor

Submitted photo JP Goguen, Charlie Harris, Cody Jensen and Tim Berg make up Bones Jugs N Harmony, a jug band/ ragtime group from Champaign, Ill. The will perform at Macs' Uptowner at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Submitted photo
JP Goguen, Charlie Harris, Cody Jensen and Tim Berg make up Bones Jugs N Harmony, a jug band/ragtime group from Champaign, Ill. The band will perform at 9:30 p.m. at Macs’ Uptowner on Saturday.

Jug band/ragtime group, Bones Jugs N Harmony, will bring an eclectic acoustic sound to Charleston.

The show will start at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Macs’ Uptowner, located at 623 Monroe Ave. The cover is $3 and audience members must be 21 or older.

Bones Bugs N Harmony has been entertaining central Illinois music lovers with their 1920’s xylophone rags and not-so-classic Americana songs.

The band originates in Champaign.

The band consists of JP Goguen, banjo, jug and guitar player, Charlie Harris, upright bass player, Cody Jensen, lead vocalist, drummer and xylophonist and Tim Berg, steel drummer.

Berg and Jensen both studied percussion performance at the University of Illinois where they honed their crafts performing a diverse college of musical styles.

Goguen and Harris learned to play recreationally. Goguen works with the banjo, rolling finger style guitar and the buzzing jug. Harris showcases his vocals with unique songs and a different musical perspective.

The band formed with the intentions of playing at farmers markets and on the street, busking style that would be loud enough to be heard with their unamplified acoustic instruments.

The band uses a wide variety of instruments including bones, jugs, xylophones, kazoos, steel pans, a resonator guitar, banjo, double bass and all kinds of other noisemakers.

“Because the instruments are different they give off a different sound,” Harris said. “They tickle parts of the ear that people don’t usually experience as often.”

The band gets inspiration from music groups like the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Devil in a Woodpile.

“Those bands had an acoustic music focus, but just had an incredible amount of energy to them and that was the idea we were going with,” Jensen said.

Since forming the group, they have branched out and looked for inspirations in other genres and styles.

When coming up with a name for the band, they let their fans at their hometown venue, the Urbana Hootenanny, vote on several options and use the winning name.

“We came up with Bones Jugs N Harmony, which made sense because we were using the rhythm bones as one of our instruments, we planned on using a jug or jugs because that’s apart of the jug band style,” Jensen said.

The crowd voted and the name won by a landslide.

The band recently debuted their first album, “Party’s in the Kitchen,” with 13 original songs. Soon, the band will also be releasing a cover of Bone Thugs N Harmony’s, ‘Crossroads,’ as a free download.

Harris encourages students to come out to the show for a good time and new experience.

This summer the band will playing at Summer Camp Music Festival in May in Chillicothe, Ill. near Peoria.

Cayla Maurer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].