Generations of musicians have bent and tweaked the basic formula, but there is still some kind of primal magic when a band just knows how to rock.
Brought together by Emilio’s Open Mic Night and galvanized deep in the woods of Mechanicsville at Virginia Moonwalker, Russell Lacey, Raphael Katchinoff and Andrew Carper became Dead Frog almost against their own will.
Lacey (guitar/vocals) and Katchinoff (percussion/vocals) connected for free form jams in the early summer of 2016. The longtime friends wanted to make music for the sake of making music, without the pretense of being in a band or playing out.
As the sessions continued, the project slowly took form through family band collaborations with a host of local musicians until the lineup solidified with Carper (bass/vocals) in late fall of that year.
In eight months time, the well-known musicians turned their individual notoriety into a name for the band through sheer force of will and an uncanny sense of rock. Before releasing any of the recordings, the group booked a formidable set of raucous house shows, raging small venue gigs and an opening slot at Jam Sandwich with Michael Franti and Moon Taxi.
Premiering their first recorded material, “My Girl (Turpentine)” opens with a massive, enveloping drum beat surrounded by a layer of noise like the trio is summoning a flock of astral traveling birds.
Before you can find your footing, the track bursts into an sharp hook, pairing a reverb drenched earworm of a Delta blues slide guitar riff with harmonica jolts by Reggie Chapman (Foxygen, No BS! Brass Band, Pressure Fit).
As a true family effort, the song title and hook came from a hangout suggestion with Eddie Prendergast (Mikrowaves). Longtime friend and collaborator Zach Fichter manned the board for the session, and Adrian Olsen of Montrose Recording mastered the track.
The dream team collaboration sounds like The 13th Floor Elevators pulled an all night fireside rager with J Roddy Walston and The Business in a massive, swampy cave.
Based on the strength of the single, Dead Frog’s upcoming full length is a party we’ll all want in on. But if you can’t wait until then, you can check them out at The Broadberry tonight with Talking Heads tribute group Fear of Music and September 15th at The Camel with Angelica Garcia, Camp Howard and Illiterate Light.