LESTER ARMISTEAD (1942-2014)

LESTER ARMISTEAD (1942-2014)

As a founding member of The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, “Lonesome” Lester Armistead propelled both the comedy and the old-time music with his percussive jug blowing. His tenor singing recalled the late Bashful Brother Oswald, Roy Acuff’s longtime dobro player, from whom Armistead learned to sing and whose antique jug he proudly played.

Armistead died at home in on his farm Goodlettsville, Tennessee, on May 2 after a battle with cancer. He was 72.

The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band has performed worldwide including performances on the Grand Ole Opry and as regular guests on the Marty Stuart Show on RFD-TV.

Armistead and his late brother, Jack, performed extensively as a Country duet many years ago. The boys grew up around Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys, as their dad co-owned a bait store with Howdy Forrester, who played fiddle with Acuff.

Photos courtesy of The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band; This photo, Lester Armistead gets into the rhythm at far right, as his son Mike Armistead on guitar, fiddler Dan Kelly, bassist Ernie Sykes, resonator guitarist Mike Webb and banjo player Leroy Troy, a.k.a. The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, perform.

Photos courtesy of The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band; This photo, Lester Armistead gets into the rhythm at far right, as his son Mike Armistead on guitar, fiddler Dan Kelly, bassist Ernie Sykes, resonator guitarist Mike Webb and banjo player Leroy Troy, a.k.a. The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, perform.

Watch the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band’s performance on “Music City Roots”: