Nice review

Hello all. We just found out about this nice review from Matt MacDonald of the Boston Blues Society. We thought we would share it with you all. We hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season. Thank you for your support of The Juke Joint 5.

By Matt MacDonald
—Boston Blues Society

Artwork by Heather Balchunas, HB Illustrations

Artwork by Heather Balchunas, HB Illustrations

The Juke Joint 5 may be the hardest working blues band in New England. I found this out after I had missed them at the Gloucester Blues Festival – which I reviewed for the BBS – and, finding out they were local, decided to check them out. I did. Twice. And I’m glad I did. 
On a Saturday night in early September, I got my first look at them at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. I found an open stool at the back of the bar and watched and listened as they worked their way through five sets, starting and finishing to a nearly empty house but, in between, playing to a nearly full one made up of returning college students and locals. 
Throughout the night, Gretchen Bostrom solidly belted out a hodgepodge of old rhythm and blues tunes, ranging from jump to swing to Jimmy Reed to Howlin’ Wolf to some of the band’s own stuff. The crowd turned over several times and the dance floor ebbed and flowed with itchy feet and good times, right up until “Shake Your Moneymaker” wound things down and the lights went up four hours later. I stood up and stretched, finished the dregs of my last beer, and felt vaguely as if I had just come through some sort of an endurance test.
The last time I had seen a five set show was way back, and there had been a sax, and guitar, and a woman singing many of the same tunes I had just heard. This, and possibly that barstool, left me with a somewhat disconcerted feeling. I couldn’t help but think of that now defunct local band and others that I had seen that were almost the same as the JJ5. 
Paying attention to the local blues scene after some time away, it seemed that, at least in this case, nothing had changed…and I wasn’t entirely sure if this was such a good thing. 
Afterwards, I took another look at their website ( and it made clear that this is, in fact, what they’re aiming for: a broad sampling of that 1950s sound complete with pedigree (guitarist Silvertone Steve played with J.B. Hutto) and street cred roads traveled (Bostrom and Dick “The Poet” Lourie make regular visits to the Delta to sit in). 
In terms of musicianship, the entire band had sounded great and their song list was as long as my arm but, still, that forest for the trees feeling wouldn’t go away. 
So the next weekend, I headed up to Salem to see them again to try to shake that vibe. In A Pig’s Eye is a cozy corner pub. Opening its door, I found the band rocking in profile one step away. Watching them and entering at an angle, I nearly tripped over Silvertone Steve sitting at a front table and playing a guitar solo. The brightly lit room was full of people positioned around occupied high tables and chairs. I took an open seat at a table by the kitchen and was soon joined by a white haired man in a floral shirt and his friend, an attractive woman with dyed red hair wearing a brown pilgrim dress, a turquoise outer corset and a couple of pentagram pendants. 
The music was more or less the same but the crowd was older than at the Cantab. It made no difference at all: the reaction was exactly the same. It didn’t matter that there was no dance floor: people couldn’t help themselves. Lourie did a walk around, lie-down-on-the-ground sax solo; Steve did the beer bottle slide trick. Gretchen was singing and hip shaking, and my pilgrim dress-clad table companion was over by the bar, laughing and getting down to “Mystery Train” with not one but two big mamas. Maybe I had missed the forest for the trees. 
I left that night with my ears ringing and one feeling shaken off and replaced by another – that long ride was worth it. 
Driving back home I thought about both shows and also about those trips to the Delta. I know that the band is trying to tap into that blues line and I’m all for it. 
But I also thought about that old local band from back in the day, and the others like it that came and went, and the similar energy that this band generates and the popular reaction that it brings. I see that the Juke Joint 5 are also very much part of another much less famous but very real musical line. One that hasn’t changed at all for a good reason: because it makes its listeners feel so good.

Nice article on the JJ5

Howdy JJ5 fans! We wanted to share a lovely article on the band by Amy Nachbar of We hope you enjoy it! Check it out here:

Cover art by Heather Balchunas

Cover art by Heather Balchunas


Driving the Juke Joint Trail

Saw this great article on juke joints in The New York Times and wanted to share with our fans. Dick and Gretchen of the Juke Joint 5 have both played at Red’s in Clarksdale, Mississippi–in fact, Dick is part of the house band there whenever he is in town and is good friends with owner, Red Paden. What a great experience to be able to play in one of the last surviving juke joints in this country. If you’ve ever wanted to go to a juke joint, here are some of the places you can still visit. View full article here.

Photo on submitted by Mark B.

Photo on submitted by Mark B.


Happy birthday to “The Poet.”

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Did you know today is a very special day not only for the reason that 2012 is ending and a new year is about to begin, but because it was the day our fearless leader and band co-founder, Dick “The Poet” Lourie was born. That’s right, 75 years ago today, the world gained a musical talent, amazing sax player and fantastic person. Dick is a musical inspiration to us and his knowledge of the blues and its roots is incredible. Dick played with Big Jack Johnson in his band for many years and is well-known in Clarksdale, Miss as he travels there often and plays at Red’s Juke Joint. Dick is also an accomplished poet and author. We encourage you to purchase his book and companion CD “If the Delta Was The Sea,” and listen to the wisdom of the Poet. He has taught us so much and we are so lucky to have him as part of our family. So raise a glass today and toast Dick “The Poet” Lourie. Happy 75th, Dick! We love you!
~Jason, Silvertone Steve, Noah & Gretchen

Photo of Dick Lourie, sax

Photo by JimDad Kenney

Recording/New Year’s Eve

What a great December we’ve had! It’s not over yet though! On Saturday, December 22, we’re excited to be going into the studio to record our new CD with the help of engineer extraordinaire, Jett Galindo. If you’ve been jonesing for new Juke Joint 5 music (we sure have), stay tuned so you can get our CD when it’s done. We’ll keep you posted on the progress and let you know as soon as it’s available to buy.

Photo of fireworks

Fireworks! (Photo by Gretchen Bostrom)

We’re also very excited to be opening for Grammy award nominee, Shemekia Copeland, on New Year’s Eve at the Bull Run in Shirley, MA. We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a most memorable night of music. What better way to ring in the New Year than with some kickass music!

To get tickets to the Bull Run for New Year’s Eve, please visit:

Happy holidays to you and yours!

A Thanksgiving Message To Our Fans

The Juke Joint 5 would like to take a moment to say “thank you” to all of our fans for “liking” us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, coming to our shows, helping to spread the word about our music, and for just being wonderful people. We couldn’t do what we do without your support.

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey candle

Image from Stock Exchange Photo Sharing.

~Dick, Gretchen, Jason, Noah & Steve
The Juke Joint 5

Smoken’ Joe’s Smash!

Man! What a night we had at Smoken’ Joe’s BBQ on Friday, Oct. 19. We had a full house and MANY great musicians stopped by & played with us in the 2nd set. It was quite the jam! Joining us were Steve Tashjian on sax, Lawrence Terry on sax, Ed Scheer on drums, Sir Cecil on drums, Big Jack Ward on guitar, Zoran Matich on guitar, Stephanie Wieseler on sax, Bismo Beerbelly on harp, Lisa Marie on vocals and last but not least, Chris and Ilanga of the legendary G Clefs! Many of our fans who live in other states were able to tune in online to see the show. We received many compliments on how fun the show was. You’ll have to make sure you come out and see us at Smoken’ Joe’s on January 18, 2013. Mark your calendars for another awesome night of music to come!

Silvertone Steve & Ilanga from the G Clefs.

Silvertone Steve & Ilanga from the G Clefs. Photo by Noah Teshu.