Local 913, Episode 81: Jakob's Ferry Stragglers
Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers are a high-energy string band music that take influence from old-time, bluegrass, country, jazz, rockabilly and swing styles that have been making the festival rounds for the last few years. Front man Gary Antol, who guesses they’ve played about 25 or 30 festivals in 2016 this far, explains their unique band name:
“Jakob’s Ferry is a town in Green County. When I was a kid, my dad wanted me to call my band The Jakob’s Ferry Band. I didn’t wanna be The Jakob’s Ferry Band. We took Jakob’s Ferry and thought it needed another word. We tend to be 5 minutes late for everything. I thought The Stragglers would be funny- like a funny joke on it. Also the name’s long enough to take up a whole line on a festival flyer!”
This year, Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers released their second album, White Lightning Road, which includes the song “Smokestacks,” an older song that Antol wrote:
“It was probably 5 years ago where I wrote the first verse and the chorus to that song, but I just couldn’t finish it and figure out what I wanted to say. I was in a relationship and she had a little boy who was my tiny little follower. His favorite thing to do was drive around and listen to music. He had great taste in music for a 3 year old! The whole ‘I like to sing along to the songs you listen to’, which is the chorus of the song... I was going through a notebook from about 4 or 5 years ago. Luckily, I wrote down the chord changes, so I remembered how it went. I played it for the band. I didn’t know if anyone would want to do it, but they all really loved it, so it ended up on the record.”
For more on Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, go to their website.