Frogs Gone Hustlin’ in Vail |

Frogs Gone Hustlin’ in Vail

Geoff Mintz
Daily Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

Frogs Gone Fishin’ and Hustle will share the stage Thursday at the Sandbar in West Vail during the venue’s holiday-themed ugly sweater party.

Hustle guitarist Sean Healey said playing with the Frogs is always a good time.

“With wisdom beyond their years, it’s been an honor to learn from them, play with them and watch them grow as people and as a band,” he said. “They will be my friends till I leave this planet.”

Frogs lead guitarist Trevor Jones remembers when the two bands met just over three years ago on New Year’s Eve at the late Rumpus Room in Edwards.

“We all ended up jamming that night, and the rest is history,” Jones said. “Frogs Gone Hustlin’ at The Sandbar is the best tradition that has grown out of such a remarkable friendship involving so many men with beards.

“We couldn’t thank Hustle enough for what they’ve done for us as a band in the valley,” Jones added. “We are all such great friends outside of music now, it adds a third dimension to the times when we do get to play together on the same stage.”

Having played in a number of side projects together, the two bands members are very comfortable together on stage.

“There could be any combination of members playing because we know songs from both bands’ catalogs,” said Frogs guitarist Andrew Portwood. “It is all about listening and making it flow.”

While their long-standing friendship and musical familiarity helps Frogs Gone Hustlin’ bring it all together, having eight musicians on stage at the same time is a challenge that requires some planning.

“Well, it gets a little tricky with four guitars, two basses and two drum sets. Everyone has to occupy their own particular space in the tonal mix,” Jones said.

In other words, if Hustle drummer Pete Haugh is laying it on thick and Hustle’s lead guitarist, Justin Ernest, is taking a solo up high, Frogs drummer Mark Levy might play something textural on the symbols. Meanwhile guitarist Jones might play lower, more rhythmic notes.

“It’s all about covering all parts of the frequency spectrum, without getting busy,” Jones said. “That way, nobody’s ears get tired and the audience enjoys a nice wall of sound. Portwood and Sean both have growling, dirty vocal tones that compliment each other, as well.”

Most big-time jam bands have some form of multi percussion, Hustle drummer Pete Haugh said.

“The Dead, Allman and Panic all have multi percussion,” Haugh said. “The trick is for Mark and I to compliment each other, not try to outplay and overplay. There are a lot of little things being done to make sure that happens.”

If that’s all too technical for you, Healey promises that the show “will melt your face right off your head.”

The party starts at 9 p.m., the music gets going at 10 p.m. and don’t forget your sweater.

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