“Where’d Ya Put Santa?,” “What I Really Want for Christmas Is You,” “Santa Clara, San Jose or Santa Claus?”: These are a few in the sack of gifts the guys in the Christmas Jug Band are bringing to two towns this weekend.
Local singer-songwriter-showman Paul Rogers said he will present his annual Holiday Hi-Jinx, a comic Christmas concert, at two of his favorite spots:
• Finnriver Farm & Cidery, 124 Center Road in Chimacum, at 6 p.m. Saturday, where admission is a suggested $20 at the door.
• The American Legion Hall, 209 Monroe St., Port Townsend, at 4 p.m. Sunday, for which tickets are $20.
Brownpapertickets.com also is an outlet for tickets for both shows.
As in previous years, the Hi-Jinx crew will send ticket proceeds to the Jefferson County Winter Shelter, which is in the American Legion’s basement in Port Townsend.
The legion hall is newly renovated and “acoustically improved,” Rogers said, so it’s an even more perfect venue than before.
The band — which in fact features accordions and guitars to boot — will stir up its signature blend of irreverent yuletide fare, only with two new ingredients: San Francisco musicians Austin “Audie” de Lone and Tim Eschliman.
Between them, they’ve played with a bunch of blues and rock luminaries: Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Commander Cody and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, for example.
They’re also artists in their own right, making music with bands such as Eggs Over Easy and the New Copasetics.
“We are excited of course to be playing so much closer to the North Pole than in our usual bailiwick,” de Lone said.
He admitted to hoping Santa himself will sit in for a song or two.
Holiday Hi-Jinx is a juicy stew of camaraderie, songwriting challenge — what can be said about the holidays that hasn’t been said? — and a wide-open creative environment, Eschliman added.
“Our tendency with this show is to offer up alternative holiday music,” while frolicking across the folk-skiffle-swing-jugabilly genres.
The band’s Jefferson County gigs are part of a tour in support of the new Christmas Jug Band CD, “Live from the West Pole!,” recorded in Mill Valley, Calif., just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
Along with the aforementioned songs, the album offers tracks including “Shoveling Snow,” “Working on the Holiday,” “I’m Stuffing the Bird” and “The Best Christmas Ever.”
“Having Tim and Audie come up to join us takes the show to a whole new level,” Rogers said of this weekend’s gigs.
He’s been producing the Holiday Hi-Jinx for seven years now and the Deep Squeeze Accordion Festival, a Labor Day weekend event, for four years.
These are serious fundraisers, yet for Rogers and friends, not much is sacred.
“We have such a blast performing our songs together,” he said.
Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.