Writer and Photographer Alan Crandall submitted the following blog (Previously published at TimesCall.com:

Rocktin Grove

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus headlined a three band show at the Boulder’s Fox Theatre last Thursday evening and I was excited to catch a portion of their swing through Colorado.

The Fox is a great venue to see a local band for the first time. I have tuned into many of my favorite bands warming up for larger touring acts at venues like the Fox. Thursday’s opening acts were two Boulder bands, Rocktin Grove and Hot Soup.

Rocktin Grove

Rockin Grove is a band built on many different musical styles including bluegrass, funk, indie rock, and classical music that culminates in a fun, electric, heady, booty-shaking, head bobbing jam band. I enjoyed the sound and was surprised at how fun Rocktin Grove’s set was. I plan to catch their show again soon. For a shaky cam view check out the video of Rocktin Grove’s “encore” song posted below.

Matt Flaherty

Hot Soup was up next. I had previously seen the lead guitarist/vocalist Matt Flaherty perform with Dr. Phil Good and the Pete Kartsounes Band, Flaherty is a talented guitarist. I was primed to hear Flaherty lay down some nasty guitar licks. I was pleased to see percussionist Chris Misner behind the drum kit. I was introduced to Misner recently by Pete Goldberg, Smooth Money Gesture’s keyboardist. “Misner is the best drummer I know,” said Goldberg. And now, after watching Misner perform on several occasions, I too am a fan. (SMG is another great band I first saw at the Fox).

I came prepared for a good time and Hot Soup delivered. Along with Flaherty and Misner, Hot Soup staged percussionist Scott Parker Mast, Saxophonist Mirco Altenbach, and Bassist Adrian Engfer.

Chris Misner

I spoke with Flaherty earlier Thursday. He said that Hot Soup is evolving and had started out as a jazz/funk band and now were closer to a funk/rock/jam band. “I don’t feel that we’ve achieved jam band status yet,” said Flaherty. “Hot Soup is the first band I formed in Colorado that is a working band.” It is a fun group of guys I can do gigs with and improvisation is defiantly a big part of it.”

Adrian Engfer

Hot Soup’s performance was varied and fun, from cool original tunes to covers like “Fight for your Right” or “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” the band seemed to be comfortable and having fun with all of the material. I was impressed with Adrian Engfer’s style of bass rifts and amazed by Mirco Altenbach’s sax mixed with keyboard performance. Misner’s drumming was delicious and in good combination with Mast. Flaherty tore it up on the guitar. The band announced that it was Richard Simmons night and were all dressed in workout clothes. For a video of Hot Soup at the Fox see below.

If you get a chance to catch Hot Soup perform live, I recommend you do. They are a group of talented musicians that put on a great show with a wide variety of music. And if you do catch them ask them to play their new song; it is a sing along, noted on their set list as ABP.

Hot Soup is playing a free show tonight at Mountain Sun in Boulder and the brew pub special is $1 pints. For more information visit: www.myspace.com/hotsoupband


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