String/ragtime band formed in the 1970s by Robert Crumb which performs original and classic compositions while wearing vintage threads from the 1920s. They use a variety of instruments including the ukulele, steel guitar, fiddle, cello, banjo, mandolin, accordion, and musical saw. This is fun music that will make you want to dance and slap your knee.

The current line-up is Tony Marcus, Terry Zwigoff, Robert Armstrong, Alan Dodge, and Rick Elmore. Robert Crumb is no longer active with the band (as he lives in France while the rest are in the Bay Area although e2reneta notes that Crumb appeared with the band at the Strawberry Music Festival in 2001.). The band did a gig in January of this year at The Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA—presumably they will play again, likely somewhere similar if not the same venue.

Three LPs by the band were released: R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders (1974), R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders No. 2 (1976), and R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders No. 3 (1978). The latter two have been rereleased on CD and cassette as Chasin' Rainbows and Singing in the Bathtub, respectively. Finding the first record will take some crate digging and luck. Three 78s were also released: the first containing the tracks "River Blues" and "Wisconsin Wiggle', a second with "My Girl's Pussy" and a third with 'Duck's Yas Yas" and "Beautiful Missouri Waltz".

All of their records were released by the now-defunct Blue Goose label. The 78s were on red vinyl and put out under the name Red Goose, but it was the same company.

Some of their music appears in Terry Zwigoff's excellent biopic Crumb. The best part about The Cheap Suit Serenaders is that if you let a friend listen to 'em who is not hip to Crumb, they might really think that they're from the early part of the last century.

Well worth checking out.

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