Tree o Frogs plays the lake
As a kid, the theme song from the television show “Chips” would echo through my house every day when I got home from school. Sitting on the shag carpet of my living room, I bobbed my head to the funky opening beats, waiting for “Ponch” and “John” to ride on the scene.
Funny, but listening to San Francisco based Tree O’ Frogs’ album, “Butter Your Lips,” I was quickly transformed back to the sounds of my childhood living room, eating a TV dinner, sipping on a Tab cola, with eyes pinned on motorcycle chases and sub-par acting.
The Frogs, who describe their style as “a blend of funk, jazz, psychedelic rock and 1970s cop show music” are making big noise in the Bay Area club circuit.
The band, which originally started out as a trio (hence the name Tree O’ Frogs), has now evolved into a seven-piece rhythm-monster with guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, and the Aretha Franklin-style vocals of Krystal Jones.
Founding members Scott Royal (guitar) and Tony Dunn (drums) hooked up in Sacramento while playing in bands Atomic Circus and H-Lab. But it wasn’t until they ran into sax man Michael Meyers of the Bay Area band Yeti that the Tree O’ Frogs were born.
After adding bass player Brian Shira to the mix, the Frogs recorded “Butter Your Lips,” an eight-track album reminiscent of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Galactic.
The self-released debut, shows off the impressive talents and musicianship of the then quartet.
The funky rhythm section of Dunn and Shira create pulsating beats on “Urchin” and “Happy Brain” that are sure to make you groove. With solid beats to play over, Royals aggressive guitar work on “Schneider Man” and “Vishnu” bend through valleys of jazz, psychedelia and funk, showcasing his intense and diverse styles. Saxophonist Michael Meyers plays with high energy enthusiasm on “Urchin” and with subtle moody notes on “Certified,” displaying his skill of transitioning between styles with ease.
While the fifty minute album showcases their talents in the studio, Tree O’ Frogs are most potent live.
“We have a great time performing live,” said Dunn. “We like to get everyone up, moving and grooving. However, we also try and keep the music interesting enough that if your sitting down, you’ll still be involved.”
“Basically it’s good party music with a head on its shoulders,” Meyers added.
The band is excited to play Tahoe and will continue their tour, traveling east to Utah.
“We are happy to be coming back to Tahoe,” said Meyers. “We have a lot of fun up here, and the people are always down to party.”
Break Out Box:
Where: Sierra Nevada Pub in Incline Village
When: Sunday, 9:30 p.m.
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