I received this encyclopedia length post as a comment to a blog about a blog. Coffee House Gypsies superfan Amanda wants you to know why she loves the Coffee House Gypsies. I caught them once on video. They were playing in a weed-filled trailer park in Wynwood during Art Basel 2008. I didn't get their name so I just made something up that sounded close to what they tried to tell me it was in hopes theyd see it and correct me. If you're like most people in the world, you haven't seen the video, so check it out and then read what Amanda's got to say, it's a lot of words. Maybe she should read to blind kids, it would keep her busy. Full response after the jump.
The Music Of Basel Week Miami from Miami New Times on Vimeo.
I'd like to let everyone who reads this know about a band. They are my favorite local band. Their name is The Coffee House Gypsies. I think they are amazing. More people need to discover them.
I've been attending CHG shows and concerts for over five years now (the band has been around for almost 12 years). In the last three years I have been invited to hang out with the band several times after shows and so I got to know them quite well on a personal level. Here is what I can say about them:
They are all super nice. When I first met them I thought they were weird, but now I know them and they are all super sweet people. They are like hardcore party animals with genuinely good hearts. They support good causes and perform for a lot of local charities. Actually, for a few years that was all they did, fundraisers and charity events.
They are very eclectic and different, never boring. The only way to describe their sound is as classic rock, but mixed with alternative and pop. Sometimes they are folksy too. But they have a very laid-back communal vibe that makes them a lot of fun.
They do acoustic concerts in coffee shops and they also do rock concerts and bar gigs. They play at Tobacco Road almost monthly. They have played in almost every major venue and local festival in South Florida at some point. And I even bumped into them playing on a street corner in Downtown once, and they were playing at two private parties that I attended last year.
They host private house jams for their fans and they throw huge parties where everyone gets to hang out and sing along with them. And the amount of popular cover songs that they know is impressive. They can do everything from The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen to Outkast and Amy Winehouse.
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About twice a year this band hosts a secret acoustic/unplugged jam party on the beach. These are usually done in Miami, but they have also done beach jams in Naples, Hollywood, Tampa, and Key Largo. At these beach jams they sometimes do bonfires and people bring their coolers and it is communal and fun. Sort of like a hippie hang-out with live music.
They will invite other bands and singers to jam with them and it is amazing to watch them jam. They can follow along with anyone, sing along with anything, and even on a song that they don't know or have never heard before they will improvise and make it sound as if they've been rehearsing it for years. It really is magical.
Most people who know this band know them for their acoustic jam parties. It is what CHG is most known for. And because they love to jam and collaborate with other bands and artists they always have someone making a cameo appearance with them. There is a cameo at almost every CHG performance and on almost every CHG recording.
I asked them once about the cameos and they said that it was fun for them, but also it is their way of trying to help our local live music scene grow. Hearing that made me like them even more.
For years I never knew about all the bands that we have here in Miami (because I was more a DJ/Club goer). But since discovering this band I now attend local live music gigs almost weekly. I am a proud to say that I am a loyal supporter of a few local acts. Here are some of the bands and artists that I have discovered through the CHG:
Crashing Tide, The Candice Fae Band, Urban Fruit, Alive In Rome, Alih Jey, A Thousand Pounds of Thrust, Pretty On Paper, Danny Salazar, The Spam Allstars, Locos Por Juana, Jahfe', For The Record, Bitchfire, Albert Castiglia, Stone Peaks, Citizen's Arrest, Peter Melaragno, Have You Ever Heard The Band Called, Valerie Wisecracker, January, and more. I can go on and on here.
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The CHG had a new release last year called "The Artist". It is very eclectic and like nothing else I have ever heard before. It has a lot of different kinds of rock on it (acoustic rock, punk rock, country rock, reggae rock) and it even has some spoken word poetry. Danny Salazar, Frank Perez, Pretty On Paper, Crashing Tide, and a few others are featured as cameos on the album.
The album plays as if you were changing stations on your radio and hearing a bunch of completely different really good songs. That is the best way I can explain it. Everyone should check it out. It is on sites like iTunes, Napster, mySpace, Amazon, etc.
Now you know all the reasons why I love The Coffee House Gypsies. I hope you will look them up online, listen to their album, attend one of their shows and check them out live, and if you like them you should buy the CD or download an MP3 and help support the band.
I hope you like them as much as I do.