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Frog Holler

Adams Hotel Road – 1999 (Record Cellar)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Frog Holler

Frog Holler, the pride and joy of Shoemakersville, Pa., play what you might call porch sittin' music. It's relaxed, subtle, full of reflecting, wondering, thinking.

This 14-song, sophomore release from the sextet brings to mind everyone from the Bad Livers and The Gourds to Son Volt and Blue Mountain. But, like the funny-eyed goat on the CD cover, Frog Holler has its own style that draws you in.

From the catchy groove of "Monorail" to the broken-hearted wail of "Hey Boy," the album is engaging and interesting. Moonshine enthusiasts will delight in "Knee High By July," a hilarious and joyous sing-along ode to the pleasures of corn liquor. It's the most straight-up bluegrass song Frog Holler, which began as a three-piece bluegrass band, does.

But the bluegrass influence is still evident in nearly every song, from "Two Things," where a loud electric guitar happily exists with banjo and mandolin, to "Drive" with scratchy guitar and fiddle low down together. The album succeeds this way, with old and new, abrasive and laid back, exuberance and exasperation, soulfully held together. ( E-Mail: nd@record-cellar..com, Record Cellar Records)