With the year 2015, comes the return of the jug band competition and a new moniker- The Lester B. Armistead Jug Band Championship. The popular competition will host a myriad of talent, all competing for the cash prize and Lester B. Armistead Trophy.
“Lonesome” Lester Armistead was a veteran of the jug band scene and resided outside of Nashville. With a storied history within the roots music and old-time music community. Armistead was a pivital member of Tennessee Mafia Jug Band and has many notable stages throughout his career.
As the story goes, when Marty Stuart would ask Lester, “how’s your jug?” Lester’s reply was always “bout half”
“I can’t think of a better person than Lester Armistead to have the competition to be named after,” Lester’s son Mike Armistead said. “He loved people, he loved getting out and he loved the band. It’s a great gesture on behalf of the Uncle Dave folks. If he were alive he’d be overjoyed and would be telling everybody,” Armistead said.
Mike says “it’s a big honor because of the tradition of the other trailblazers who have come before us. We play music all over the world and it’s nice to come home and realize people are paying attention and what we are doing is worthwhile. With the music and Lester’s name attached to it, there will always be an element of education and honor that will accompany the competition each year.”
“The old string band style and Uncle Dave, that’s the roots,” Mike Armistead added. “Nothing has changed from that. It goes back to the early 1800’s. It’s evolved but it’s still a healthy style of music. You can always go back to this type and it’s raw emotion, it’s everything county music is based on.