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Sookey Jump! It's a Bluesiana thang! The Sookey Jump Blues Band plays all those great tunes from Lousiana - the ones that make you tap your feet and want to get up out of your seat. Sookey is big on Louisiana music and we lean towards all the Louisiana R&B tunes - Leadbelly especially and other Louisiana Blues greats like Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Champion Jack Dupree, The Funky Meters, just to name a few! All the classics from the bayou loaded with all that great mojo you can really sink your teeth into.

Sookey Jump got it's start at the DC Blues Society competition held at the Old Twist & Shout in Bethesda Md. Founding member Rob Kilgore had been playing in the DC/Virginia/Maryland clubs since the early seventies and decided to shape the repertoire of the band to reflect the music of New Orleans. After several trips to the Crescent City, and some intent listening to the ol' jukeboxes at Tipitina's and the Rock & Bowl, the bands mission was set: Sookey Jump will be the purveyor's of Bluesiana in the Washington, DC/metropolitan area.

The name "Sookey Jump" is a term taken from Leadbelly himself. Huddie explained this to Alan Lomax Jr. in one of the Library of Congress recordings how he would play at Sookey Jumps at Caddo Parish in Louisiana. It's basically southern slang that translates into "Big House Party." This is the old rural tradition of packing up everything worth anything, stowing all the valuables away, and having a party to end all party's. Folks for miles around would hitch up their wagons and head to the Sookey Jump. It's for sure that it will last all night long! The Sookey Jump Blues Band continues the spirit of this tradition today. decorative inlay

Sookey Jump Bandsmen

Sookey Jump has had many fine musician's playing in the group since the band played their first gig at Coalie Harry's in Winchester, Virginia way back in the Spring of 1993. The band members at that first gig were Rob Kilgore on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Jay Dennis on drums, Pat Puglisi on bass, Andy Rutherford on lead guitar, and Kevin Driscoll also on lead guitar and vocals. The line-up has changed over the years as the band has morphed into its current formation. Rob is the only remaining original members. The current members at this time are:

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Bob Hume

Bob is the guitar man! When people hear his guitar stylings, they usually say that he is one hell of a firecracker lead guitarist. This photo of Bob was taken at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Va, one of Washington's premiere concert venues. Bob can tear it up on the acoustic guitar, but usually plays his Telecaster with Sookey and has earned the name "Bobbus Electricus." Bob has been the Sookey Jump lead guitarist for the past two years and we are more than happy to have him in the band. Bob sites a couple of other guitarists from the DC area, Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan, as his major influences.

Rob Kilgore

Rob is the heart and soul of the Sookey Jump band. He is a versatile lead singer and the guy that holds down the rhythm guitar duties. The above photo was taken on the main stage at Lithuanian Hall during one of the bands past performances at Night of 100 Elvis's. Rob shouts the blues with the best of them, and keeps that rhythm chugging along nice and steady. He plays acoustic guitar in Sookey, usually a Martin or his beloved Grammer, but also brings along an old National Triolian as well as a Taylor 12 string for those Leadbelly tunes. Influences? Many, but two favorites are already mentioned, Elvis and Leadbelly.

Joey Tarbell

Joey is the bottom end in the Sookey Jump band. He holds down the bass chores and hits his marks with the best of them. He is also the number two singer in the band and has a fine voice for lead as well as backing vocals. Joey is a veteran with lots of playing time and experience with other groups. The photo above shows him playing an acoustic bass at the Kentlands Club House. Most of the time Joey plays an old Fender P bass through an Ampeg, but he also likes his Rickenbacker 4001 and his new G&L. Joey sites Willie Dixon and James Jamerson as two of his favorite bassists.

Doug Tull

Doug is the drummer extraordinaire and the mighty mighty powerful force to be reckoned with on the skins. Doug came on board this year and his powerful chops really propel the band sonically. Doug has honed his skills with the likes of The Howling Mad and The Billy Coulter Band, two fine groups he still plays with regularly. Doug can usually be found behind his Yamaha kit, and he loves his China boy cymbal. Two of his major drumming influences are Ringo Starr and Motowns Benny Benjamin - two of the greatest. Doug has the power and soul of Benny and the backbeat and steady meter of Ringo.

Driving Rain

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Sookey Jump's first album is called Driving Rain. It came out right at the same time that Paul McCartney put out his recording of Driving Rain. We were going to take that Beatle to court but he has much more money than we do so we decided against it (Smart move). The album was recorded by Philip Stevenson at Scarey Clown Studios in Bethesda, Md. Four of the tracks are original tunes written by Rob, and the rest are quintessential covers by some of our favorite Louisiana musicians. You can hear Sookey's version of Yellow Moon by the Neville Brothers as well as Leadbelly's Easy Rider and Champion Jack Dupree's Cabbage Greens. The four original tunes on the album are slated to be re-recorded and added in with 8 more original songs for the next Sookey release. The Sookey Men have worked up several tunes at the Zoo Bar, most notably "Big Steve," our tribute to our favorite bartender.

Take a listen to Sookey Jump performing Cabbage Greens and The Sookey Shuffle!

Cabbage Greens

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Sookey Shuffle

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Band Alumni

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Sookey Jump has had lots of fine musician's in the group over the years. We would like to include a mention of these Bluesmen on this site. Pat Puglisi was a founding member and the bands bassist up until Joey took over on the low end. He was the number two singer and got us a steady gig at the Reliable Source Bar high atop the National Press Club. Andy Rutherford was the lead guitarist at our first gig and then became the groups lead man after he and Rob played the open mic at the Zoo Bar one fateful Thursday night. We've been there ever since. Kevin Driscoll was a fouding member and the one responsible for our first gig at Coalie Harry's in Winchester, Va. He is still a great singer/player and joined the group at the last two Night of 100 Elvis's shows along with Pat. Kurt Christiansen is a great blues guitarist and was also a major player for Sookey in the early days. He lives in West Virginia and still makes the occasional trek to play with the band. And last but not least, Dave Johnson, who has been playing the blues longer than any of us, sits in on keyboards whenever there is enough room to have him. Founding member Jay Dennis was our drummer until 2008 when Doug came on board. All of these cats know that they are always welcome and just about all of them sit in when we need a sub. Sookey would like to thank these fine Blues musician's for making the band as strong as it is today. We couldn't have done it without you boys!

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Sookey Jump at Home

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Sookey Jump can be seen the second Friday of each month at their home base - The Zoo Bar, also known as the Oxford Tavern, located right across the street from the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Inside the Zoo Bar there is a jungle mural near the stage where the band plays. Although there is no Spanish moss, it sort of feels like bayou country, especially when Sookey Jump takes the stage and starts in with some of their favorite tunes like Iko Iko, They All Axed For You, or Crawfish Song. These great covers, as well as songs by the Neville Brothers, Fats Domino, Fess, and all the other New Orleans illuminaries, mixed in with the bands original tunes, will transport you down south to the Big Easy.

Laissez Le Bon Temp Roulez!

with the Sookey Jump Blues Band

Contact Information

The Sookey Jump Blues Band is available for bookings. We have a promotional kit and demo we can mail to you. Feel free to contact Rob at the following phone numbers and email address:

Rob: (Days) 301-286-4886 (Evenings) 301-869-2451