After Bonnaroo, band's audience snowballs

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A band that started as a high school senior project has been together for eight years now, and staying together has been worth it. The Addison Groove Project opened for Maceo Parker several times, even sending its two saxophone players on stage to play with him. The band played at Bonnaroo this summer and has watched, somewhat in awe, as its audience grows with each show.

The five members of Addison Groove Project grew up together in Wellesley, Mass. They recorded their first album, "The Orange Album," in 1998 after winning a high school Battle of the Bands.

What: Addison Groove Project When: 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday Where: The Tugboat Grill & Pub in Ski Time Square Cost: $5 Call: 879-7070

"We started off just not taking it too seriously," said Brendan McGinn, guitar and trumpet player and lead singer.

They stayed together through college, coming together from five schools to play gigs on weekends. They studied for finals in the green rooms of nightclubs and finished term papers in the early morning hours after gigs ended.

When they graduated in 2003, the group hit the road full time.

"We spent such a long time in preparation before going out on a national level, I feel like that's why we haven't burnt out even after eight years of being the same thing," McGinn said.

Addison Groove Project plays a brand of funk with elements of jazz and world music.

"Individually, we have a lot of jazz influence," McGinn said. "We do a lot of improv with an emphasis of soloing."

They pull influences from John Coltrane, Johnny Parker and 1970s-era Miles Davis.

"We're interested in jazz when it became beat oriented," McGinn said. "Our live show is a beat fest. We throw down as hard as we can for two long sets and don't stop until they tell us to."

This will be Addison Groove Project's first time in Steamboat Springs. The band will be playing mostly originals with a few funked-up covers of Wayne Shorter tunes, the Talking Heads, The Meters and Led Zeppelin.

"All those bands have funky sides to them," he said.

The band hit a major obstacle recently when the band's sixth member, bass player and high school friend John Hall, was diagnosed with cancer. Hall passed away in early December.

"It's been something we've prepared for for a while," McGinn said. "We kept touring because the road is the place where we're most comfortable. It's the best way for us to deal with it."

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