Frogs Gone Hustlin’ in Vail
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –Vail Village is eerily dead on the Wednesday night that Trevor Jones of Frogs Gone Fishin’ and I meet for beers. Despite the cold weather outside, Jones is talking about the warm welcome they’ve received from the community, which is what prompted two of the members, Jones and Andrew Portwood to move to the Vail Valley.
“I like the community, and I like that everyone knows each other,” Jones said.
And he’s right, the valley has welcomed the band; they have gigs at bars and restaurants most weekends, from one end of the valley to the other.
The Frogs were chosen by a community vote to perform at one the Hot Summer Night’s free concerts this past summer. Jones describes that concert experience as “awesome” and said that it nearly rivaled a concert he organized at Red Rocks this summer. But the warm community welcome is not what keeps the Frogs busy in Vail.
Jones and the rest of the band mates have really bonded with other local musicians, especially the band Hustle. Right now Jones is actually living with Sean Healey, the lead singer of Hustle.
“That shows you how close we are … I don’t think we’d be close to where we are without Hustle,” Jones said. “They keep us grounded. We’ve had such success up here because of our connections with them.”
Tonight both bands, billed as Frogs Gone Hustlin’, will perform together on the stage at Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail. Frogs Gone Fishin’ compares its sound to Phish/Grateful Dead, while Hustle is bit more rockin’.
“Members of another local favorite, Laughing Bones, will be sitting-in, too,” Jones wrote in an e-mail. “All in all, the majority of the valley’s jam-rock scene will be represented.”
This summer, Frogs Gone Fishin’ record deal with Oh/Ya Records fell through – the company disbanded – and the bandmembers assumed their chances of scoring another deal were slim. They were wrong though – last week the band signed with Mountain Size Records. Brad Smalling of Evergroove Recording Studio will produce the new album, which they hope to release in February 2010.
“Brad wanted to start a label and he began to search for his first band, and once he saw how many shows we play a year, like 130, and he saw our Web presence and how well we are doing in the Vail Valley, it really helped us,” Jones said.
It hasn’t been long, but so far Jones said he is happy with the new record label.
“It’s small and independent and great,” he said. “The attention is on us and our growth, and we are no longer told what to do by this humongous record company, so we can finally get back to what’s important.”
Next on the band’s to-do list is expanding their audience. They’ll tour the southern part of the country this spring, spreading their sound to new fans. Avon resident Jeff Lineback has offered to drive them on that tour, in exchange for the band’s performance at his summer music festival, the Some Mountain Jam. The band performed a six-hour set at the festival this past summer, closing down the 10-band event.
It must be their infallible charm, but these guys seem to be on the rise. The Frogs believe music should never be too serious or painful, it should just be fun. Perhaps its that attitude that’s endeared the fledgling band to concertgoers in the valley and beyond.
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