“You’ll never hear all the beautiful music ever made, but you should at least exhaust yourself trying.”
Primal and a testament to the perseverance of music, the donkey jawbone is an unexpected addition to any band (and biblical battle, but that’s a whole other story and one we’re not really interested in here). Digging into the history of the unlikely instrument reveals a story that speaks to human ingenuity, resourcefulness and the desire to create music regardless of political, geographical, and economical restraints. A few links below illustrate that point much more eloquently and accurately than some pop music writer.
Donkey Jawbone – Wiki Definition
Afro-Peruvian Music & Donkey Jawbones
Having been a music critic/insert your favorite descriptor here for many moons, I thought I had seen everything until I saw David Wax Museum play the Quad Stage at 2010 Newport Folk Festival. Lo and behold, after several rousing songs the nice lady (Suz Slezak) who had been kicking absolute ass on the fiddle picked up and furiously rattled what appeared to be a skull, or at least part of one. Enter the donkey jawbone. I heard sweet sounds I’d never heard before and from that point forward, it became a symbol of musical discovery. That’s the beauty of music. This site intends to do its part to help you find new sounds to raise a little hell to and sing out loud. You don’t have to be popular or acclaimed to get some love around here. You just have to be a damn fine artist with heart.
With all of the Hallmark sentiment out of the way, let’s be clear – Donkey Jaw is about covering more music than you can shake a stick at and the occasional nugget of cultural awesome. We intend to present things to you with colorful doses of goof, dry wit, snark, and brutal honesty as appropriate. Leading the slow blog movement one hangover at a time.
After my many years covering music, I saw the donkey jaw played by an ambient/noise guitarist in Miami with the help of some peddles to sustain/suspend the sounds. I like the tone of this place you came up with, inspired by such an obscure instrument.
Totally agree. Thanks for sharing your story. Always cool to get first donkey jaw experiences!