"If the Jugbusters have their way, old-time country and bluegrass music will never fade from the Blacksburg music scene.
The band has been a fixture in Blacksburg for over a decade, playing to audiences made up of college students and locals alike. It is currently a permanent feature at The Cellar Restaurant every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m.
From the earliest days of the group, the Jugbusters were committed to playing in the traditional old-time country style and getting audiences on their feet.
“We started off with a lot of that traditional background,” said Bill Richardson, the band’s fiddler and a founding member, “but the best thing now is to have people out there dancing to songs we wrote. Watch people play their own music, but not very many people play their own music and have people out there dancing to it.”
The formation of the band occurred naturally, Richardson said. The local musicians were familiar with each other from playing around town, and eventually Richardson, banjo player Russ Boyd and others became the Jugbusters.
The line-up has changed several times since, but the band’s popularity in the area remains |strong.
The band is careful to tailor set lists to the audience. Thursday night shows at The Cellar tend to feature a rowdier selection of tunes than other shows, thanks to the party attitude of downtown Blacksburg.
Kevin Long, owner and manager of The Cellar, has invited the band weekly to jam in the bar.
“We tried it, and it was a popular event,” Long said. “It just kind of grew from that first time, and now it’s our most popular event.”
The Thursday night concert is the staple of the band’s schedules, but it can be found around the New River Valley and parts beyond.
The band has met success with its blend of traditional country and original songs. About half the songs audiences hear on a given night are original tunes, Richardson said.
The Jugbusters all agree that no matter what venue they play, getting people up and dancing is their goal. Normally, some of the dancing seen at a Jugbusters’ show is known as flat-footing and two-stepping.
Flat-footing is a folk dance similar to tape and the slower two-step allows for couples to move onto the floor together. Regardless of the speed or style, the band aims to put on an engaging show.
“People are going to have a good time,” Richardson said. “Good times for all, fiddling and flat-footing and two-stepping.”"