THE GYPSY SONS are known for being a hot, hard working, powerful rock and roll machine. Their soulful blend and style with lyrics like, "I never made it on my own and we’ll never make it all alone," lives with you long after you first hear them and serves to show that this band is all about connecting with their audience. The Hammer up front and on point leading the way, Eric King's swirling blues guitar, John Gies' punctuating bass lines and Texas Jack's precision, pounding 'n percolating create a visceral soundscape that keeps their ever-expanding fan base coming back for more. The Gypsy Sons just released their new 15 song CD, "Walking On The Water," in April 2009. Head to iTunes and CD Baby for Gypsy Sons ringtones and digital downloads and be sure to catch them live, in the bars, while you still can.
THE HAMMER - has had numerous successes with his different bands. He's been signed to major labels and has shared the stage with multi-platinum selling acts. This Virginia boy taps deep into his early childhood violin and saxophone training, to create the soulful guitar riffs and melodies that lay the groundwork for the foot stomping rockers and the sugary sweet ballads. The Hammer will rock the hell out of you and run a bubble bath for you afterwards.
JOHN GIES - is a barrel o' monkeys, a tremendous vocalist, a superb songwriter and one helluva bass player. Oh and just for the record, Dr. Sexy says you have a fever and the only cure is more Gypsy Sons. Bass in your face.
ERIC KING - started on the local Washington D.C. music scene in the mid 90's. Writing and recording 2 CD's "The Game" and "Shake These Blues," a combination of Rock and Blues influenced music. Eric also has some acting credits, appearing in HBO's "The Wire" and FOX TV's "Americas Most Wanted through Lind Townsend Management. Performing locally with his band The Thin Line 'til 2004, when he partnered up with Gary Thomas to record a country record. Now he rocks balls with The Gypsy Sons. Blues Guitar Man.
JACK MILO BRYANT - is our amazingly talented drummer. At 25 years old, he's toured extensively with Virginia Coalition, led the critically acclaimed Jack's House and runs Ampersand Sound in Alexandria. If that's not enough, he's a drum teacher at a private school and the best damn chimney sweep in town. His favorite movies are The Fountain, Juno and Rambo. Fave book, Kiterunner and fave tv show, Lost. His hero is Evan Allgood, he's an Aquarius AND a Catholic. Everybody please say hello to Texas Jack, the best damn drummer in America and a damn good man.
CALL THESE STATIONS AND REQUEST THE GYPSY SONS!
WMZQ (Northern VA)
"Sweet Soul Sunshine" and "The Greatest Moment"
featured on Homegrown Country.
Request Line: 1-800-505-0098
DC101 (Washington, DC)
"Wrong Side Of The Tracks" featured on Local Licks.
Out Of Town: 1.866-91-DC101
WYRX 97.7 The Rocket (Southern, MD)
request line: 877-97-ROCKET
KHTQ 94.5 (Spokane, WA)
request line: 509-744-0945
WXPN 88.5 (Philadelphia, PA)
request line: 215-573-WXPN
98Rock (Baltimore, MD)
Request Line: 410-662-0222
Rock92 (Greensboro, NC)
Request Line: 1-800-ROCK-923
Studio Line: 1-866-470-2GNC
"On the Road With The Gypsy Sons"
by Christen on January 15, 2009
When “the band” invites you to travel with them to a show, Rock and Roll law states that you must say “yes.” I was first approached by The Gypsy Sons to join them on their bus trip to Baltimore‘s Sonar for a battle of the bands competition at the DoS launch party. Upon receiving the invitation, I immediately jump up and down like a drunken “Rock of Love” cast member. I mean, how could I (or anyone) say no to great music, beer, and the chance to finally say “I’m with the band?”
Although I can’t explain (or legally write about) everything that happened on that bus, I will, however, allow you a just a quick glimpse into my life on the road with The Gypsy Sons.
I arrive at Ventnor Sports Cafe in Adams Morgan armed with pen, paper, and anticipation. The scene was surprisingly low-key. John Gies, the bassist for The Gypsy Sons, was sipping a beer and enjoying some friendly conversation with a few friends. I thought to myself, “Come on! Where are the shots? The half-naked ladies? Where is the ROCK!?!” Little did I know that all these things and more were making its way like a bat out of hell to pick us up.
The bus arrives and out pours Johnny “The Hammer”, the band’s lead singer, screaming for a bathroom. Right behind him was a couple of ladies asking for the same and a smoke. I turn my head to see the once tame John take his first Jagerbomb of the night and I knew it was on.
The destruction begins.
We all load onto the bus and start our trip towards Sonar. Immediately, I start to reminisce about school field trips and bagged lunches. But as soon as I am handed a beer and watch others gulp down their Jagerbombs, I quickly realize that my mom would never sign this consent form.
The conversation goes back and forth about Goobers, popcorn, beer, and Jagerbombs (of course). There is guitar smack-talk and guitar hero boasts. I meet the “Double D’s” (aka Diane and Diane) and they talk about journalism and I pretend to know what I’m talking about. Before I get caught, I think this is a good time to sit down with the band to ask them some questions. Thankfully, Johnny “The Hammer” walks by.
ME: Are you ready for tonight?
Johnny “The Hammer”: Yeah! I’m excited!
C: You guys have a big night ahead of you. I hear that you have to play another show after this.
JH: 3 sets of music in Virginia.
C: Wow! Are you going to stay awake?
JH: I have a 15 month old at home. I’m used to it.
C: How do you think you guys are going to do?
JH: Well, it depends on the crowd. You guys are going to have to get loud.
C: We will! So how is the record coming along?
JH: It’s going well. We have 20 songs mixed and a video coming.
C: We’re looking forward to it.
Shortly after we begin talking, we’re joined by the more soft-spoken guitarist Eric aka “The King”.
C: Hey! Are you ready for tonight?
Eric “The King": Yes. It’s a different situation because we only have 30 minutes to play, so we have to be on point. It’s right here, right now. You have to act like you have been doing this all night long.
C: All of you guys have jobs and most have a family at home in addition to all of this. How do you balance it all?
EK: You have to dig deep. I just want to hear and play my music.
C: Do you guys have a superstition or a ritual before you get on stage?
EK: No. Not really. But maybe we’ll start tonight.
C: I think you guys should say a “Woah Bundy”.
We walk into Sonar and it’s clear that it’s an all-ages show. From the black, emo hair-cuts and hoodies glorifying blood shed, I can tell this is going to be a tough crowd.
As we wait for the band to unload the bus, the band on stage has just remixed a Christmas tune with AC/DC’s Back in Black and Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s Sweet Home Alabama. I’m going to need a beverage.
They are setting up the stage and Johnny’s shirt comes off. I look around at the audience and many have crowded around the stage in anticipation while others continue their side-conversations. Probably about what happened that day in Chemistry class. Oh I kid.
The Gypsy Sons start to play. Johnny’s rockin’ an unlit cigarette, no shirt, and ripped jeans with an American flag patch. Rock and roll, baby. Their first song is “Wrong Side of the Tracks” and they play it with gusto. The ladies from the bus start to gyrate to the sound and sing the lyrics at the top of their lungs. Maybe it was the contagious rhythm or the fact that I was standing a foot from the speakers, but I couldn’t help but start to move too. Their sound is one not unlike the rock bands that top today’s charts such as Nickleback and Hinder, but The Gypsy Sons incorporate more of the traditional (I was forbidden to write "classic" ) elements of rock established by all-stars like Guns n’ Roses and Van Halen (the early years). Watching them play makes you nostalgic for music that was simple and unbiased.
And then, John falls off the stage.
They continue their set with “Right Kind of Lovin” and “Sweet Soul Sunshine”. Many of the emo kids have begun to bob their heads and sway with the music–a compliment of the highest form from this type of audience member.
They close with "Walking on the Water", which I think tells the best melodic "story" and has the most promise. I look forward to hearing their new record.
The set is over and I feel like I was transported back in time to when the music was good, but the hair was better. I look around to see if the crowd feels the same, but it’s hard to tell. I did, however, notice that the room had filled with young people. At first I thought this was a good sign for The Gypsy Sons, but then I saw a young metal band take the stage. When they started to play, the crowd went crazy. Whatever. I don’t think they had a bus.
I ask Johnny what he thinks of his competition and like a true rocker, he says, "I know we are in a battle, but we’re on the same team."
It’s time to head back to DC, so we wait outside for the bus to arrive. The show is over for us, but not for The Gypsy Sons. They are headed to play their next show in Annandale , VA. Pretty impressive for guys that just rocked it out a moment before.
I’m freezing my groupie ass off.
Bus arrives and I hear someone yell from inside, “Who puked in a cup? “ Ah…the life of a rock star on the road.
The next Gypsy Sons bus trip is to Alley Katz in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of downtown Richmond on Saturday, January 31st @ 6pm. If you are interested in reserving a seat, send an email to John Gies (email@example.com) or Johnny "The Hammer" (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to skip the bus and meet them at the show, visit www.alleykatzrva.com for more information or catch them Moe's Peyton Place back in Springfield later that night at 10pm.
Joel Sparks - EDITOR : ON TAP MAGAZINE
"Fans of the Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even Aerosmith will find a lot to like from this Alexandria band. With stagenames like The Hammer, The King and Goose Machette, the boys play unapologetic tribute to loud guitars, centerfold babes, hard drinking and country boy life. The title track is even romantic."
Geno de Lora - DRAGON EYE PROMOTIONS
76 Haycroft St. Grimsby NE Lincs DN31 2HX England says,
“This is an absolutely brilliant album. Looking forward to the new one!"
Beau Hill - RECORD PRODUCER
"The Gypsy Sons are a kick ass, world class rock and roll band with great songs. They have a completely original sound that I am very excited about...Amazing!"
Gary Tharp - RECORD PRODUCER (MASTER)
"Seriously cool stuff! Skynyrd meets Pearl Jam or something and trippy too!"
Lisa Linder - Senior Director New Media & Digital Strategy Universal Motown / Universal Republic
"HOLY SHIT…..THIS SOUNDS AMAZING!!!"
Geoff Melton - EDITOR : MUSIC KORNER MAGAZINE
"I love the disc and it's great to hear The Hammer back on vocals!"
2LT Dan Stankus - US ARMY : INFANTRY
"I'm listening to the album for about the 20th time in a row! It is incredible!"
November 19th DC9 Washington, DC
The Gypsy Sons are a staple in the DC rock scene. As they took the stage it was clear that they meant business… they were there to rock out, and it was up to us whether or not we wanted to join in on their fun. These boys are the real deal—they’ve got the musicianship, song writing skills, and stage presence to rock out with the best of them. If you think I’m joking ponder this… they have a charter bus come and pick them and their fans up before select shows so they can party on the way. Genius… pure genius. They have a new album coming out before the end of the year and if this inspiring live performance is any indication then it’s going to be a hit. I have a sneaking suspicion the new material is going to make you want to hold up your lighter as you sway back and forth wherever you may be listening to it.
April 13th Fast Eddies Fairfax, VA
Michael J. Smithsonian Esq.- Springfield News and Entertainment
What a shock it was to stroll into FE's tonite and see a room full of bikers rubbing elbows with yuppies bumping into hot college chicks with a bunch of rowdy pool sharks at this otherwise mellow pool hall/blues room, and what a hell-uva sound coming from the stage! The Hammer, lead singer and guitar slinger, looks like a cross between John Redcorn, Elvis and Chris Cornell. He sings like the dude from The Black Crowes and plays his guitar like Jimi Hendrix on Jack, not Acid. These handsome boys had all the girls going wild and all the boys bopping along all night. They are the real deal. They got me wanting to "Fly Away To A New Kind Of World" with them!! Go see The Gypsy Sons locally while you still can! ASAP!