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Tennessee Mafia Jug Band on Old Time Heirloom Hour Premiers July 27

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Tennessee Mafia Jug BandThomson, IL -- With raccoons and catfish, hillbilly culture takes over the newest episode of the local variety show The Old Time Heirloom Hour. The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band stars as both the musical guest and guest hosts. Playing music of a style often described as the forerunner of bluegrass, their vocals feature strong two- and three-part harmonies and their instruments include a guitar, banjo, jug, Dobro guitar, fiddle, upright bass fiddle, and a kind of one-man-band washboard that has small horns and cymbals attached. With their entertaining songs serving as the basis for conversation segments, they make a fun hour of bluegrass variety.

Cohosts Bill Heid and Bob Whitten start the show with a conversation about raccoon hunting. With stories of their various misadventures, they bring to mind memories of childhoods spent in the timber chasing raccoons. Sometimes their hunts found success, both commenting that raccoon tastes a lot like bear, just a little “greasier.” This conversation serves as an excellent lead in to Tennessee Mafia Jug Band’s first song, “Uncle Eff.”

During the following segment, Heid and Whitten are joined on stage by a few of the band members and Thomson native, Bait Shop Todd where they discuss catfish stink baits. Whitten announces that he and his dog have created their own stink bait and invite hosts, musicians, and audience members to try it. Bait Shop Todd also brings out some live crawdads and discusses the particular kinds of fish attracted by this kind of bait.

The conversation includes an anecdote from band member Lester Armistead about a memorable occasion when Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton came into his shop in Tennessee. This forms an introduction into the next song, “Lester’s Loafin’ Lounge,” which describes a local hangout attended by “anyone who’s anyone” and where “hillbilly fever is goin’ round” and “pretty women are always found.”

The final segment features discussions of some of the interesting occurrences involved in raising chickens, such as Whitten’s tale of finding one hiding in his truck on a drive into town. The band responds to this in their last song, “Ghost Chickens in the Sky.” This ballad tells the story of a chicken farmer walking at night and seeing the ghost chickens mentioned in the title and eventually being killed, roasted, and eaten by those ghosts of his chickens.

With humor and hillbilly charm, this episode of Old Time Heirloom Hour as always provides family-friendly fun and entertainment. The entire episode may be viewed at on Saturday July 27, 2013.

The Old Time Heirloom Hour is a free event and no tickets are required. To see when the next show will be taped and to view all episodes, visit

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