From the first strains of “Fire on the Mountain,” the musical influences of Superfrog were pretty clear. But the rest of their opening set New Boston’s Gravity Tavern last Friday was anything but a rehash of jam band talking points. The band segued into a Latin-tinged original, and then flipped to a revved-up cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” A new song, “Round and Round,” was capped with an Eagles-worthy a cappella vocal.
Later, the band wheeled back around to their roots, closing with another Grateful Dead song. But their atypical version of “Shakedown Street” included a streetwise rap and snatches from the 1972 Deodata jazz-pop remake of “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”
Superfrog’s forthcoming album, Call From the Moon, is equally eclectic. There’s pedal-to-the-floor rock (“Astronautical”), barrio funk (“Tequilador”) and jazz-infused rhythm numbers (“Minor Annoyance,” the calypso-flavored “Wish”), drawing from influences as disparate as Rusted Root and early Chicago records.
In fits and starts, an artistic force is asserting itself in Manchester. Folk singers at Boynton’s Taproom, Rocko’s perennial metal scene, and recent renegade one-offs at Jillian’s Billiards and the “Old and Bold” show at Milly’s Tavern are all indicators of a growing trend.
The muse is returning to local music. Most recently, it’s happening at a downtown Manchester pool hall.
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