Lead vocalist Darren Schlappich (who does most of the writing) sings about his experiences in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and his songs bring to life an environment that is quite different from the urban jungles of Philly and Pittsburgh. It's an environment that is as different from those cities as Bakersfield, CA, is from Los Angeles or San Francisco -- and on Frog Holler's albums, that more rural side of Pennsylvania sounds every bit as country as anywhere below the Mason-Dixon Line.Formed by Schlappich in 1996 in Shoemakersville, PA (one of the small towns in Berks County), Frog Holler started out as an acoustic bluegrass trio. But when Frog Holler became a sextet and went electric, the band shifted its focus to alternative country-rock, No Depression, and Americana -- and in doing so, brought a wide variety of influences (either direct or indirect) to the table. Frog Holler's roots are not only Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Buck Owens, and Bakersfield honky tonk; the band's roots are also the Band, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, the Byrds, Bob Dylan, John Cougar Mellencamp, and the Allman Brothers.
Schlappich writes like someone who holds country, bluegrass, rock & roll, and folk in equally high regard.The Pennsylvanians' debut album, Couldn't Get Along, was released on the ZoBird label in 1998. The following year, Frog Holler signed with Record Cellar (a small independent label based in the Philly suburb of Bala Cynwyd, PA) and recorded its second album, Adams Hotel Road. Record Cellar went on to release Idiots in 2001 and Railings (Frog Holler's fourth album) in 2003. Since becoming a sextet, Frog Holler has had a few lineup changes; in 2003, the group's lineup consisted of head honcho Schlappich (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), John Kilgore (electric and acoustic guitar, organ), Daniel Bower (drums, percussion), Mike Lavdanski (banjo, steel guitar, accordion, background vocals), Josh Sceurman (electric bass), and Todd Bartolo (steel guitar, electric guitar).
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