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THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE

Eclectic Prog • United States


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The Les Claypool Frog Brigade picture
The Les Claypool Frog Brigade biography
Leslie Edward Claypool - Born September 29, 1963 (Richmond, USA)

As the name implies, The Les Claypool Frog Brigade was formed by Primus Bassist Les Claypool. Originally formed in 2000 to play the Mountain Aire Festival in Northern California as "Claypool's Thunder Brigade", concert organizers compelled Mr. Claypool to change the name fearing the word thunder would conjure thoughts that they were promoting heavy metal for their festival. The band originally featured Claypool on bass, Primus bandmate Tim Alexander and Jack Irons on drums, Marc "Mirv" Haggard on guitar, and Erik "Skerik" Walton on saxophone. In August of the same year, the more permanent line-up was settled consisting of Eenor Wildeboar and Todd Huth on guitars, Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, and Jay Lane on drums to compliment the remaining Claypool and Skerik.

Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Claypool's Frog Brigade would only release one studio album of original material and two live albums consisting of primarily covers and material initially written for a reunion line-up of original Primus members called "Sausage". The cover material included King Crimson and multiple Pink Floyd songs, including Animals in its entirety. The 2002 studio album, "Purple Onion", was far different from the live material, frequently bordering on RIO unorthodoxy. Claypool's signature precision grimy quasi-funk bass playing is always apparent in The Frog Brigades material.

See also:
- COLONEL CLAYPOOL'S BUCKET OF BERNIE BRAINS
- THE CLAYPOOL LENNON DELIRIUM

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THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE discography


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THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Purple Onion
2002

THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 9 ratings
Live Frogs Set 1
2001
3.24 | 6 ratings
Live Frogs Set 2
2001

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THE LES CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live Frogs Set 2 by CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE, THE LES album cover Live, 2001
3.24 | 6 ratings

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Live Frogs Set 2
The Les Claypool Frog Brigade Eclectic Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars At the end of Live Frogs set 1 Les Claypool promises more Pink Floyd, and in set 2 the Frog Brigade play the entire Animals album from start to finish. This may have been inspired by Phish, who would on occasion devote a whole set to a faithful rendition of Tales from Topographic Oceans or Quadrophenia.

What follows is an almost note for note reproduction of the original album, which is both a strength and a weakness. The prog covers in set 1 were faithful to the spirit of the originals, but the musicians put their own stamp on them; set 2 is more like listening to a very good Pink Floyd tribute band. There are a few places where something different creeps in, mostly in those passages where Pink Floyd used taped effects, but for the most part the lead guitar, vocals, drum fills and keyboard arpeggios are duplicated with absolute fidelity.

This is an enjoyable album, but there really isn't much reason to recommend it unless you need proof that Les Claypool is capable of playing it straight when he wants to. If you're curious about Frog Brigade, check out Set 1 or Purple Onion first.

 Live Frogs Set 1 by CLAYPOOL FROG BRIGADE, THE LES album cover Live, 2001
3.96 | 9 ratings

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Live Frogs Set 1
The Les Claypool Frog Brigade Eclectic Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars In which Colonel Claypool serves up a prog jam sandwich.

Frog Brigade was formed for a jam band festival in 2000, and the line up included two former Primus members who were collaborating with Claypool in a band called Sausage. This was the first of two live releases, and it's a pretty good hour and a bit of highly accomplished jamming with a distinctive prog flavour.

The album is bookended with two prog covers. It opens with a 14 minute exploration of King Crimson's Thela Hun Ginjeet, looser than the original but faithful to its spirit. At the other end of the album there is an uptempo version of Shine on you Crazy Diamond with a Primus style vocal from Les Claypool. In between there are five Sausage and Holy Mackerel songs, all given the jam band treatment and mostly twisted into interesting new shapes. Twin guitars, keyboards and saxophone all add extra texture and the soloing (especially Skerik's sax) is often inspired.

It would be a stretch to call this an essential album, and some might find it a tad self indulgent. If you enjoy Zappa's archival live albums or King Crimson offshoots like the Crimson Projekct then there's plenty to enjoy here; a tight rhythm section underpinning a group of highly accomplished musicians at the top of their game. A solid four star live album.

Thanks to tapfret for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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