The Bottom Line
Along with artists like Bob Weir, Taj Mahal, Geoff and Maria Muldaur, Jim Kweskin, David Grisman, Sankofa Strings and a number of other Americana notables, filmmaker Todd Kwait delivers a compelling collection of footage ranging from photos of the all-but-forgotten string bands of the 1920s to video footage of Sebastian strumming an autoharp and singing "Do You Believe in Magic," to Sankofa Strings playing a show a year or two ago.
But it's Kwait's search for the grave sites of some of the great jug band innovators that most effectively drives the story beyond its initial interview-and-photos format—a welcome development.
Jug Band History
Chasin Gus' Ghost can serve as an excellent introduction to the history and influence of jug bands. Kwait and crew did a superb job of pointing out the wide reach of this style of music and its influence on folk, bluegrass, pop and rock bands alike. Set in front of a row of electric guitars, Bob Weir talks about how jug band music influenced the Grateful Dead. It's all a little surreal, to be honest, but indeed that's what drives the film and the music alike.