Hey Gringo are a Groove Injected, Funky Bluesy, Jazzy all original boogie/rockin' soul combo with a retro roots edge and the freshness of NOW.
Hey Gringo's Debut album "I WAS THERE" independently released in 2000 has scored rave reviews and airplay across Oz and as far as Argentina, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium & Denmark.
Formed by Daryl Roberts in 1993 the line-up has at times included guest appearances by some of Australia's most legendary performers.The band's relaxed and funky tongue in cheek attitude and sound is characteristic of the influences that make Hey Gringo so different.
Their new album "Funky Car" is now available including special guests Australian music icons Ross Wilson, Broderick Smith, Mike Rudd & Bill Putt (Spectrum) & Nicky Bomba (John Butler Trio) . Australian Musicolgist Billy Pinnell claimed FunkY Car to be album of the year in 2003.
As well as laying down some seriously funky grooves, this smokin' R&B combo based in Melbourne and centred around keyboards, harmonica player Daryl Roberts, guitarist-basist Paul Gadsby and drummer Les Oldman also specialises in swing shuffles and latin derived rhythms. Flanked by Laurie Bongailas and David Williamson on sax roles, occasionally Nicky Bomba on congas and backing vocals, Bill Putt on slide and Ian Russo's trumpet, lead vocalists Gadsby & Roberts are joined on some tracks by such luminaries as Ross Wilson, Broderick Smith and Mike Rudd. Wilson co-wrote 'Old Country Road' on which he sings lead and plays harp. He reappears when Hey Gringo poses the question "What is It With A Woman?", a blues shuffle where all six featured vocalists- including Smith and ace guitarist Rudd - take turns singing verses. Smith's pliant reedwork is again heard on the blues-soaked closer 'Tell Me Something'. A crisp well-balanced genuine black-orientated sound surround smooth vocal tones and harmonies throughout the hour-long program. Stabbing horn lines and tastefully executed guitar, piano and organ breaks blend a total of 14 catchy original songs together in unerring precision.
More intriguing elements of Funky Car include 'Moonslap' - a six and half minute instrumental workout - plus the amiable opener 'Never Let Go', a swinging 'Now's The Time' & 12th Bar Blues', the bluesy 'What's Been Goin'On?' and funkified 'Overnite'. Robert's clever, hook-laden title cut, containing more than a faint, modernistic tint of Zappa, exemplifies his wealth of composing talent. Both lyrically and melodically he is equalled by team-mate Gadsby, generally each write seperately. Emitting a Steve Miller meets Steely Dan vibe with a sprinkling of Joe Jackson, Hey Gringo is an excellent band offering much to lovers of jazz-inflected traditional R&B.
Al Hensley - RHYTHMS MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2004
REVIEWS It says something straight away about the caliber of the playing of the guys in Hey Gringo when you see the guest list on this album, and while they certainly enhance the collection of songs the overall sound still remains distinctly Hey Gringo.
And what is their sound you say….in a word Funk….in several words 70’s retro funk that swings and grooves with a soul that evokes dimly lit clubs and bars rather than the pulsing dico lights and white suited Travolta wannabes.
The Album is a smorgasbard of listening delights kicking straight into a brassy beginning with the driving “Never Let Go”. In “Nows the Time” Gadsby croons a jazzy melody that would hold its own up against the greats of the genre.
“ Old Country Road” with Ross the Boss on vocals and harp makes country music groove in a way it rarely does. Bringing this mixture of style and influences together are the hallmark piano licks from Roberts that really standout in “Gimmee Back My Brain” which features Mike Rudd on lead guitar…..It’s a fat sound for the chorus dropping back the dynamics for the verses. The title track (Funky Car) is a real groove a la laid back Sly and the Family Stone…..this car is on cruise control…great wah wah.
After all this cool groovin’ we are suddenly thrust into some lively “jump blues” with the big vocal sound of Roberts, Wilson and Rudd on “What is it With a Woman”. These guys even catch a great Motown brass sound with the soul tinged “Overnite” reminiscent of the Funk Bros...The final two tracks feature the harmonica of Broderick Smith who proves that less is often best and combining it beautifully with Williamsons sax.
Summing up …..14 strong songs played by some of our better musicians and the winner is…..you!
TONY JAGGERS - www.rumza.com - Mojos & Jellyrolls 2EARFM 107.5 NSW
The music on Hey Gringo's 'Funky Car' can be summed up in one word -
irresistible. The jazz, soul, blues & funk influences on the albums'
originals are given fresh coats of paint by the band and their guests , as
one infectious song preceeds another. One of the years best albums.
BILLY PINNELL - Musicologist, Journalist & Oz Rock Historian - March 2004
Hey Gringo's second album continues to evoke the sounds of the Seventies -
At times funky, laidback or emblished brass arrangements - no disco though!
There's blues and rhythm and blues; most of the tracks sound very familiar
to me, but none are covers, which indicates the band are adept at writing
in the genres of the times.
I enjoyed the lyics of the title track, Funky Car, which talks about some
of the petrol head cars of my youth, but I couldn't get enough of the
slinky hammond on the only instrumental on the album, Moonslap.
Well worth the dollars.
CHRIS SPENCER - Who's Who of Australian Rock - March 2004
Got the Funky Car CD last week and it has not been out of the player since. Congratulations on a superb album, great music and well produced, I can't wait to see you live.
BARRY IVORY – Melting Pot – 3RPC 99.3FM - Portland - Jan 2004
Funky car, funky songs, funky band – but that’s not the whole story of the new album from this hard-working Melbourne band who delivers a wholehearted and recognisable brand of retro-rock and blues. True - there are some definitely funked-up tracks on this, their second release and first real upmarket album, but they continue to deliver a familiar retro feel.
The feel is balanced and yet diverse, from foot-tapping up tempo ‘fifties style rockers to wafting jazz influenced ‘seventies-style tunes – not a one dimensional album at all and like everything Hey Gringo do – Funky Car is highly listenable groove action.
JEFF TURNBULL – jeffscrossroadsblues.com.au - Feb 200
Hey Gringo is the creation of multi instrumentalist/songwriter Daryl Roberts who had previously performed in original bands in the 1970's such as Photo, Bandit & ex Blackfeather vocalist Neale Johns' Fingerprint as well as playing in US Blues legend Jimmy Witherspoons backing band to performing with Oz folk legends Bobsy-Die, later with popular cover bands Legends and the Houserockers.
Hey Gringo started out as the alter-ego of a cover band playing a mixture of originals and soul/rnb covers and then around '95 as an acoustic duo with Daryl and Paul Gadsby(ex Paul Kelly & The Dots, The HotClub, Bouncing Checks, Men at Work, Colin Hay Band, Leslie Avril etc) playing tongue in cheek original and selective blues/countryish material . Around 1998 forming a band line-up with Iain McLennan(ex Ariel, Richard Clapton Band, Mondo Rock, Sports) on drums & Steve Hoy on guitar & vocals.
In 2000 with original material spanning the past ten years the first Hey Gringo album was recorded including such notable musicians as Ross Hannaford(Daddy Cool, Mighty Kong, Dianna Kiss, Big Bamboo) on guitar, Nicky Bomba(Banana Oil, The Truth, Bomba, John Butler Trio) on drums & percussion, David Williamson(Banana Oil, Yo Yo) on Sax along with Gadsby & Roberts. Described as "thought provoking and striking a balance between punchy & relaxed grooves, something Hey Gringo do extraorinarily well" by Terry Reilly of the Melbourne Age Newspaper's Entertinament Guide Album Review.
This album met with much positive reviews and airplay across Australia and as far as Argentina, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Netherlands & Belgium. (Check out the Reviews page)
Les Oldman (Fox, Running Trees, Blue Horizons, Eris O'Brien, Andrea Marr's Blues Train) joined on drums in 2002 and Hey Gringo performed as a trio around Melbourne pubs & clubs. Laurie Bongailas(Wild Style, Cold Sweat, Hoodoo King & The Impossibles) blew in on sax in 2003. Wayne Burt(Black Sorrows, JoJoZep, Rock Granite, The Giants, Fabulaires, The Hornets), Kelvin Flemming & Bill Putt help out on guitar from time to time and Stuart Orr & Brian Strafford also kick in with Sax. With heaps more new material and developing an original reto groove injected funky blues/roots style influenced by the Oz bands of the 70's Hey Gringo commenced work on their second album "Funky Car".
Although Hey Gringo's major influences are the Australian bands of the 70's, their music is fresh and vibrant & NOW. Described by audiences as "one of the best live original bands they have seen in ages" and at different times to be reminicent of Little Feat meets Zappa meets Allman Brothers meets Canned Heat or Steppenwolf they definately have their own sound.