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Croakin at Toad's

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 3, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

The complaint that jam bands hear most often about their albums is that there's too much jamming, not enough songs. If anything, Frogwings, the supergroup brainchild of original Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, suffers a bit from the opposite problem. While the songs themselves are nothing special, the jams are often scintillating. At the forefront of Frogwings is the incisive dual guitar attack of Aquarium Rescue Unit vet Jimmy Herring and 19-year-old slide sensation (and Butch's nephew) Derek Trucks. Various Allman Brothers and ARU members fill out a top-notch rhythm crew. John Popper's harp playing sounds as fresh and inventive as it has in years--clearly challenged and spurred by the fast company--although things tend to sour when the Blues Traveler frontman sings lines like these: "Some people call me lazy, everybody says I'm crazy, but I think I know how to have fun...ganja, heal me." That's just the kind of thing that gives ganja smokers everywhere a bad name. Still, get through the verses and choruses and you'll find the playing on this live set exciting, adventurous, and sharp as a tack. --Marc Greilsamer

1. Kick N Bach
2. Hurdy Gurdy Fandango
3. Pattern
4. Eddie's Got A Boyfriend
5. Just One
6. Ganja
7. Deviant Dreams
8. Among Your Pillows

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: October 3, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Flying Frog
  • ASIN: B00004W5JE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,637 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "djsicili" on August 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Wow! Thats all I can muster after listening to this disk. What an awesome lineup! Frogwings definitley has the best assembley of musicians today: Derek Trucks; an unbelievible and innovative slide guitarist with unparralelled intensity and at 21 years old he has a lot more to offer (also member of the Allmans). Otiel Burbridge; one of the best bassists around today, he grooves like none other and can solo with the best of them, he give such a kick to the rhythm while hammering out some harmonicly beautiful stuff, just listen to him during the solos, he is right with them on every note, simply amazing (also with the Allmans). Kofi Burbridge, great keyboardist and excellent flute player, it must run in the family. Jon Popper; the famous frontman of Blues Traveler is the perfect vocalist for this band, his voice is so money and as far as his harp playing is concerned he is the best. Butch Trucks; the drummer for the Allman Brothers Band and mastermind behind Frogwings lays the beat down solid, he lives up to his nickname 'freight-train'. Mark Quiniones; percusionist for the Allman Brothers Band adds another dimension to the rock solid beats of Trucks. Jimmy Herring; I left Jimmy last for a reason. Now I could ramble on for hours about how good he is but I'll shorten this rant and just say that HE IS SO GOD DAMN NASTY IT MAKES ME SICK. He too is currently touring with the Allmans in place of Dickey Betts. Now if you don't like the Allmans it doesn't mean that you won't like Frogwings (although they share many members). The music is an intense mixture of Jazz and Blues with a distinct rock element that drives the songs alont. The three guitarist mesh really well and is complemented well by the double rhythm section.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Craig Pinson on November 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This has to be one the best Cd`s to come out in a while. Formed by the drummer of the Allman Brothers as a side project to give him and his nephew Derek Trucks, slide guitarist for the ABB, an opportunity to play together outside the Brothers format,this is an incredible collection of jazz fusion.
Recruiting other Allman members Oteil Burbridge on bass, Jimmy Herring on guitar, and Marc Quinnoes on percussion, along with Kofi Burbridge {Oteil`s brother} on keyboards and flute, and the Blue Traveler himself John Popper on vocals and harmonica, this band lay`s down some blistering southern jams, blues, and improvisational jazz.
The set begins with a 14 minute jam Kick n Bach with features some blistering slide work by Derek and some pyschedelic jazz leads by Jimmy, showing why he was picked by the band to fill in for Dickey Betts on their last tour. And then there is the propulsive power by the bass and drums giving this a solid base to glide on. This song definetly become an oft covered classic.
Each progessive song takes on a life of it`s own. John Popper provides his usual deft harp playing and unmistakeable vocals. Some of the other particular stand outs are Eddie`s Got A Boyfriend, with some hot lead and slide duels, and Kofi`s real nice Hammond percolating underneath. Then there`s Ganja, again some great fret work complimenting J.P.s ode to the medicinal qualities of "herbs" and Pattern, with some excellent drum/percussion jamming. If you like your Southern Rock mixed with Blues and the Dixie Dregs, you`ll enjoy this. Sure to occupy a solid place in your player.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew M Bush on December 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Frogwings is a project I applaud - first rate musicians getting together and jamming, doing exactly what they love, and it shows. "Croakin' At Toads" is just that - a live recording of improvisational workouts - that mostly work.
Like another reviewer, I find John Popper's harmonica fits nicely when it's bluesy and rythmic. But when he goes for his forty notes-a-second high-register harp riffing, I find it's overkill and frankly, hard to listen to.
On the other hand, Jimmy Herring's guitar work is simply incredible, some of the best blues rock playing I've ever heard (and I've heard a lot). There are very few recorded moments I'm aware of that can compare to his solos on "Just One" and "Ganja". Those alone earn this disc 5 stars. In my view, Frogwings soar, and are at the very best when Jimmy cuts loose and takes the lead, with the rest of the band laying down a solid rythm (check out his fiery playing on Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit's live CD).
I also respect the fact that Frogwings released a CD that is way too honest and free-form to have any hope for air play or success in the charts. Thank you guys! How about playing a show up here in Seattle?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andy on November 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Let me start off by saying that this CD and this band is AMAZING. They really are the greatest muscians out there. The sound quality is also very good. I like the idea of the live CD being their first CD. I think they sould kepp it like that and not release anything from the studio. I think if you give Frogwings a few years of touring (without having to tour with ABB, DTB, Blue Traveler, and ARU) then we will the greatest record of all time. My only problem is Popper. He fits sometimes, and just doesn't others. On Hurdy Gurdy he fits. On Pattern, he doesn't. It's no surprise that the two best songs are the instrumentals (Eddie's got a Boyfreind is AWSOME). All the same, every jam band fan should have this CD. I'll be waiting for the next one by Frogwings!
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