UV Hippo to jam in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

UV Hippo to jam in Steamboat

Michigan-based jam band plays at least 2 music styles at a time

Margaret Hair

Michigan jam band Ultraviolet Hippopotamus plays at 10 p.m. today and Saturday at The Tugboat Grill & Pub.

— The guys in Ultraviolet Hippopotamus rely on solid instrumental skills to give their long-running jam sessions a little structure.

Scheduled for free shows today and Saturday at The Tugboat Grill & Pub, the six-man jam band from Grand Rapids, Mich., has been playing shows with a rotating lineup for about four years.

Bassist and band founder Brian Samuels said he started Ultraviolet Hippopotamus with an idea to combine music styles that don’t traditionally share the same sheet music.

“It’s definitely a wide variety of music. We do everything – rock and funk and jazz and some reggae and some electronica stuff. We try to make sure that we hit every end of the spectrum that we find entertaining, at least,” Samuels said.

The mix – which has a heavy funk lean – comes from each band member’s varied influences, Samuels said. It works because UV Hippo makes sure it does, he said.

“Really, it’s just been a lot of practice, I guess. We try to make sure in every song we do more than one genre,” Samuels said, adding that the band mostly is aiming to get bodies on the dance floor.

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“We kind of started with that goal in mind, and then we had different members join the band, and everyone brought their own style to the table,” he said.

This weekend’s shows are part of the group’s second trip through Colorado and its first visit to Steamboat Springs. The band has Samuels on bass, vocals, guitar and mandolin; Sam Guidry on guitar, vocals and bass; Joe Phillion on drums; Dave Sanders on keyboards and vocals; Casey Jones on percussion and vocals; and Russell James on guitar and vocals. UV Hippo has shared a stage with big-name acts such as George Clinton and Karl Denson. Band members list Phish, Yes and Frank Zappa among their biggest and most shared influences.

– To reach Margaret Hair, call 871-4204 or e-mail mhair@steamboatpilot.com

If you go

What: Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, jam

When: 10 p.m. today and Saturday

Where: The Tugboat Grill & Pub, 1860 Ski Time Square

Cost: Free

Call: 879-7070