Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blackfoot Gypsies - On The Loose

“Here is a Ripple Effect News Flash.  We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this important announcement.  People of Nashville, as of right now you are ordered to stay inside your homes or workplace.  This is a mandatory curfew being put into effect for your safety until further notice.  We take you now to Penfold, our senior man in the field who is reporting live directly from City Hall.  Penfold, can you hear me?”
“Yes.  Yes, I can hear you Benedict.  Good evening.”
“Penfold, do you have any details about why this curfew is being enforced?”
“Absolutely Ben!  While I have not spoken directly with anyone in law enforcement or city management, I can tell you that I spotted a crumpled up notice beside a trashcan inside city hall just moments ago.  When I flattened out the very official looking document a disturbing message became legible.  The Blackfoot Gypsies are on the loose!”
“The Blackfoot Gypsies?  Who are they Penfold?”
“That’s the scary part Ben.  I don’t know and the paper didn’t specify.  Because I am such a responsible reporter I’m going to take this opportunity to provide our viewers with the most frightening scenario that I can imagine.”
“Sounds to me like the right thing to do Penfold.  Proceed.”
“Thanks Benny, you scaremonger you.  Well, here goes nothing.  The Blackfoot Gypsies must be the Axis of Evil’s equivalent to Delta Force.  This highly trained, idealistic fighting unit must have parachuted into the outskirts of Nashville last night under the cover of darkness.  Conditions were perfect, what with the moon being completely obscured behind thick cloud cover.  Due to the amount of high profile targets throughout our fair city, it is impossible to pinpoint where their assault will take place.  That said I’m going to go out on a limb here and report…”
“Hold on a minute Penfold.”
“Seriously?  What is it Supreme B?  I was just getting to the best part.”
“Penfold, we’ve just received an official dispatch from the city explaining the situation.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves.  The situation is worse than we could have ever imagined.”
“Don’t keep me in suspense Benedict.  What’s happened?  Have you discovered that the code name for our hockey team’s secret project to genetically re-engineer saber tooth tigers is Blackfoot Gypsies?  I told you they would succeed!  You said I was crazy but I told you what was happening!  The tigers must have escaped.  I knew they couldn’t be controlled!”
“Penfold calm down.  These test tube tigers of yours do not exist.”
“No?  Then tell me what’s happened because I’m at a loss here.  What could be worse than falling prey to a ferocious saber tooth tiger?”
“People of Nashville.  If you come across two young men carrying a guitar and small drum kit you are advised to immediately plug your ears with whatever you have handy and run screaming in the opposite direction.  If you fail to heed this warning and allow yourself to listen to the seductive music these young men perform at the drop of a hat, the city of Nashville cannot be held responsible for what happens next.”
“What happens next Benedict?”
“Fandom Penfold.  Instant, indomitable, inconceivable fandom.  Penfold?  Penfold are you there?  Ah, I see.  He’s running away as fast as he can.  Well that’s understandable.  Citizens of Nashville, keep your television tuned to Ripple Effect News.  We will update you as information becomes available.  Now back to your regularly scheduled program.”

Waveriders, let me come right out and say what I have to say.  I love the Blackfoot Gypsies, and I love their album On The Loose.  There, I said it.  What?  You want more from me than a simple declarative statement?  You’re honestly going to sit there and tell me that my words mean nothing without some kind of context to back them up?  Alright fine.  If that’s the way it has to be then I guess I’ll have to oblige.

Blackfoot Gypsies is a two man music making machine from Nashville, TN.  Matthew Paige handles guitar and vocal duties, while Zack Murphy skillfully pounds the skins.  They first came to my attention thanks to our ReverbNation campaign.  Upon listening to their song submission for the first time I knew that I had found something special.  The song sounded wonderfully garage-y, dirty, and lo-fi.  More importantly, it rocked!  Immediately thereafter I followed a link to their bandcamp page and listened to their two EPs, Blackfoot Gypsies and Dandee Cheeseball.  What I heard was ear pleasingly great.  The band’s sound is a mash up of several different genres; rock and roll, folk, blues, country, and more than a hint of garage rock.  Even better, the harder edged Dandee Cheeseball EP is a free download.  You can be sure that several friends received a message recommending they get their own copy.

This brings us to Blackfoot Gypsies first full length, On The Loose, which was released in August of 2012.  I pre-ordered my copy.  Now I hear what you’re saying.  Penfold, you’ve been listening to this album since early August and we’re just now reading your recommendation?  What can I say?  You’re right.  I dropped the ball on this one.  It’s not as if I ever questioned just how awesome this album is.  Nope.  This album is spectacular.  I’ve listened to it many, many times in my home, in my car to and from work, etc..  On The Loose easily made it onto my ten best list for 2012.  As I mentioned earlier, I really like this album.  So what is so good about it?

On The Loose is a perfect combination of everything the Blackfoot Gypsies do well.  The album begins with the upbeat, put a smile on your face rocker ‘Don’t Know About You’.  The energy level is ratcheted a bit higher with the rollicking ‘Keep Your Eyes On Me’.  Then without warning the band switches gears and breaks out the folksy, slightly melancholic ‘Stone Throwin’ Angels’.  This variety is exhibited throughout the whole album, and it helps keep the listener fully locked into the musical proceedings.  If you’re wanting more up-tempo numbers look no further than ‘Honky Tonk Night’, ‘Gimme Some’, and ‘Been Down This Road’.  Those desiring something laid back and introspective can try ‘Feel Like Dyin’’ and ‘Stay Away From Me’.  Because it’s part of my job to pick a favorite, I’m going to highlight ‘I Wanna Roll Around With You’.  This joyous ode to roller rink romance is simply too much fun! 

One other aspect I would like to speak on is Mr. Paige’s vocal performance.  It is chameleon-like.  It changes significantly based on the needs of each song.  There are times when his voice reminds me of John Lennon.  Many times I hear a more melodic Bob Dylan.  Once or twice I hear echoes of Mick Jagger.  His voice can sound rough as sandpaper one minute, and syrupy sweet the next.  Very impressive.

Okay waveriders, let me wrap this review up.  If you are a fan of southern-fried garage rock you need to hear the Blackfoot Gypsies.  If you are a fan of electrified folk rock you need to hear the Blackfoot Gypsies.  If you are a fan of classic blues rock you need to hear the Blackfoot Gypsies.  Heck, if you just want something fun and exciting to listen to you need to hear the Blackfoot Gypsies.  Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to listen to On The Loose yet again, and I’m going to enjoy it just as much as the first time I heard it.


Don’t Know About You

Rock It Up

Buy Here - http://blackfootgypsies.bandcamp.com/

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