By Rayme Samuels
A sense of humor can go a long way in the ever changing music industry. Luckily, Coffee House Gypsies has plenty to go around, and are finding that keeping things light has been the perfect strategy to a steady success on the Miami scene.
Starting off as an acoustic act playing in bookstores and coffee shops, this group’s history provides a clue to their quirky name. "It all started because we used to hang out at a local Starbucks writing music and jamming. The regulars got to know us and nicknamed us, ‘those coffeehouse gypsies’ and the name stuck," says vocalist Mata. With a playful sob he continued, "Now we are all java junkies." Along with Mata, the group of java junkies consists of Alexandra Norris (vocals and rhythm guitar), Eric Valdes (lead guitar, vocals), Fred Napolitano (saxophone, flute), John Segovia (drums, percussion) and Colin Trusedell (bass).
CHG’s sound is reminiscent of The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and The Mamas and the Papas. A quintessential jam band, they sometimes rock out with electric guitars and synthesizers or play mellow acoustic rhythms. Sometimes they even recite spoken word poetry between songs. "Whenever we ask someone to describe our sound they look at us like we just asked them the square root of sixty-seven thousand four hundred and twenty-two. But we know that what we are doing is bridging and transcending generational gaps with music, and that’s cool," says Mata.
Their debut studio album, The Artist, provides a stream of fan favorites, including the ethereal "Not Even Love" and "Bittersweet." When asked what their favorite part of playing for Miami audiences was, Valdes jokes, "We don’t have to pay for a hotel!" On a serious note, Mata praised the budding scene: "We love the fact that we are part of this big uprising of live local music."
For more info on CHG, visit www.myspace.com/CoffeeHouseGypsies
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