The Illustrious Ancestors

Blending their own funky brand of Americana roots with interstellar “Country and Eastern” jams, the Illustrious Ancestors freely skip from songs to Kruth’s spell-binding and often hilarious stories and poems to funky, prodigious instrumental improvisation,  fresh from the psychedelic fingertips and hearts of a crew of soul searching string/mind-benders.  But instead of the musicians trying to describe their unique sound, let’s hear what the press has to say about the band:

Jeff Tamarkin, contributor to Mojo, JazzTimes, and Relix: “The Illustrious Ancestors bring back the sense of surprise, mystery and adventure that is missing from so much music today. Good luck trying to corner them into a category—every time you think you’ve got them nailed, they throw another curve and you’re back where you started from. Add to that the band’s superior musicianship and open-armed embrace of so many different facets of the musical universe, and you know that the Illustrious Ancestors are truly onto something.”

Paul Zollo – Senior Editor - American Songwriter, Author of Conversations with Tom Petty and Songwriters on Songwriting: “What they do is undefinable, kissed by fearlessness, charm and mystery. Add to that heartfelt love for musical expression and serious artistry, along with Kruth’s comic verbal flair. The Illustrious Ancestors, all gifted players mix up great real-time gumbos of Americana-flavored exotica, burning brightly on electric mandolin, electric sitar, harmonica, flute, bulbul tarang (an Indian zither) with Willie Aron on keys. Kruth has coined the music as “Country & Eastern” so that should give you a fair approximation of their music. But better than trusting me, go to one of their shows - or maybe all of their shows - Be prepared to feel giddy. "

Oliver Trager - Author of The American Book of the Dead: The Definitive Grateful Dead Encyclopedia; Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia and Dig Infinity! The Life & Art of Lord Buckley: “The authentically strange is at a premium these days. Those portals of shamanic transcendence on a planet so plastered with flash and filigree are still there for the adventurous… ya just gotta poke around, and if you’re lucky, you will find yourself in the same room with the Illustrious Ancestors. What kind of music is this? With its groove and ooze and tonic and spirit, the Illustrious Ancestors’ music shimmers and segues to and fro: psychedelic blues, jazz (funky and free), banshee bluegrass, poetry kooky and sublime, Mississippi Metal, folk fantabulous and fearsome, sublime “Space” worthy of the Dead’s late ‘60s best, if Pigpen were still alive and morphed into a surrealist poet, rhythms global and local… blink your ears and you’ll miss a reference or knowing gesture. There’s real drama here, the kind that gets you gazing into that eternal/internal mirror and ponder what’s going to happen next. There’s wise, sly humor and genuine romance here too. The kind that will put a smile on your puss and keep it there till it hurts as your heart reminds what a great thing it is to be alive.”

Kevin Orton - Soundblab: “What happens when the Garage rock of ? Mark and the Mysterians goes on a Country bender and then hitches a ride with a refugee Beat Jazz band on the lam? You wind up with The Illustrious Ancestors’ shadowy echoes of the Doors and the Dead tripping in the backseat.”

Guest Ancestors at past shows have included Camper Van Beethoven’s Victor Krummenacher on guitar and voice, and Jonathan Segel, violin, guitar and voice, as well as Victoria Williams on vocals and Chinese harp – So you’ll never know who is going to show up to jam!

For Bookings and more information please contact:

John Kruth –