Acclaimed jug band documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" is set to screen at the 25th Reel Music Festival in Portland at the Whitsell Auditorium on January 29, 2008. "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" has recently screened to sold-out crowds at the Woodstock Film Festival, Hartford International Film Festival and the San Francisco Jug Band Festival.
The film, directed by Todd Kwait, is a labor-of-love documentary focused on one of America's most beloved forms of folk music, the jug band. Featuring a who's-who of '60s folk artists like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), David Grisman, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur and Jim Kweskin, "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" explores the history of jug band music and the influence it had on these legendary musicians.
Fritz Richmond, who made his home in Portland later in life and is widely considered to have been the finest jug and washtub bass player in the genre, is featured throughout the film. Fritz passed away while "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" was being filmed, and in some ways the film became an ode to Fritz - to his talent and character. He led an illustrious musical life, co-founding the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and performing with Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder and the Grateful Dead. "Fritz was a cultural icon," says Sebastian in the film.
Todd Kwait says, "One of the last things Fritz said to me was that if I wanted to tell the complete story we needed to go to Japan and the Yokohama Jug Band Festival." Todd followed his advice, and filmed what became some of the documentary's most exciting and endearing scenes.
What: Screening of "Chasin' Gus' Ghost"
Where: Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR
When: January 29, 2008 at 7PM
Tickets: $7 for adults, $6 for students and seniors