a string and brass band, playing really old dance-music from New Orleans
Formed in New Orleans as a collective of several street performing groups, Frog & Henry perform and record old dance and jazz music from the early 1900's on brass and string instruments, with nearly every instrumentalist contributing to vocals. Most of our repertoire is dug up from forgotten songs dating to the dawn of recorded music, in the form of early dance tunes, or from even earlier 19thc sheet music.
Our annual UK tours have introduced us to early English dance bands, whose song selections and arrangements have been appearing regularly within our repertoire on tours elsewhere in the world, and on our most recent albums.
We've borrowed the phrase 'string and brass band' from the descriptions of the earliest New Orleans dance and jazz bands; and in that tradition we feature violin and mandolin-banjo as melody instruments alongside clarinet, alto and baritone saxophone. We've also designed and built a foot-operated tuba that allows one person to play tuba and six-string banjo simultaneously.
A typical F&H concert will feature a 6-piece band, where each musician plays at least two instruments:
We're equally happy to play for dancers, barn parties, pubs, weddings, jazz festivals, as a jug band, and for parties and celebrations of any description.
Frog&Henry's members also play with Tuba Skinny, The Cable St Rag Band, Smiles and Chuckles Stringband, James McClaskey, The Hot Teapots, Tuba Machine (click links to listen).
Some of our influences: The Dixieland Jug Blowers, Frenchy's Stringband, Lionel Belasco, Leecan & Cooksey, Sara Martin, King Oliver, Johnny Dodds and others (click on links to listen).