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New Times / Art

The following article was posted on July 25th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 27, Issue 52 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 27, Issue 52

The Tipsy Gypsies release their new album of retro music


Guitarist Forrestt Williams, lead singer Hilary Langdon, and fiddler Allan Dick lead the band through its paces. That’s Isaac Laing’s drum set and Brian Lanzone’s upright bass you see poking out.

It’s Friday, July 19, and once again I appear to be underdressed! Who knew the Tipsy Gypsies’ album release party at The Z Club would lure in so many natty clotheshorses? And what happened to The Z? It’s been transformed into an underground jazz club/ speakeasy circa 1930s. It’s got all the trappings minus the bathtub gin and cigarette smoke!

One of the first people I spot is the Cuban-American painter Linda Castellon, who’s sporting a slinky black dress and a big red flower in her hair. She rushes over and gives me the traditional multi-cheek kisses, then sees my wife Anna and repeats. Sheesh! Fresh much!

And there’s the Blade Runner hair whisperer/massage jockey Jon Haddeland. Looking good, Jon! Then I see multi-instrumentalist Dave Seidenzahl, who discusses at length the quality of his drink, a supposed White Russian. Apparently there were some odd replacements for the Kahlúa and cream. Well, at least it has vodka, right?

Dave’s not the only musician in attendance. There’s Occasional Mustache bassist Wayne Gamble and his saucy new wife Stacey Willis-Gamble. And there’s chick rocker Kristen Black and her hubby Poncho. And there’s ukulele maker and Dentures member Ron Saul and his lovely gal pal Frau Lorelei Eggli, who’s cutting a rug with spoons-player David “Mad Dog” Norton. And hey, it’s Music Motive owner and extraordinary drummer Steve Hilstein. Yep, this is definitely a musician’s band.

To add to the milieu, the band used an old typewriter and parchment paper for people to “sign” their guestbook and make comments.

Sultry Hilary Langdon, whose high and arresting voice fills the band’s narrative songs with added drama, fronts the Tipsy Gypsies.

Chief songwriter and guitarist Forrestt Williams, whose parents obviously wanted to make him work extra hard to spell his name (my mom named me one-“N” Glen because she says “I knew you’d be lazy”), delivers plenty of sparkling guitar work in the spirit of Django Reinhardt (who, let’s remember, had two paralyzed fingers, so big freakin’ deal, Forrestt!).

Allan Dick is a flat-out amazing fiddler, which is why he’s got no shortage of gigs. He’s also in The Swingin’ Doors and Cuesta Ridge, among others. And drummer Isaac Laing and upright bassist Brian Lanzone (son of Frank of KCBX fame) keep the rhythms tight and jumping. These guys are a lot of fun, but good luck getting near the stage!

Not only did the band have both their albums for sale, but they were also hawking stickers and shot glasses.

After the show, I talk to Forrestt, who explains that The Z Club was the perfect spot because they were allowed to decorate the space as they wanted as well as keep 100 percent of the door. They had about 120 attendees.

“Which was good, because it helped offset the cost of the CDs,” he says.

“I thought you raised the money on Kickstarter,” I counter.

“We raised about $3,600, but we went a little over budget.”

“How ‘little?’” I ask.

“About two grand. We mixed the CD at my friend’s studio in Ojai—Brotheryn Studios—and they had just won a Grammy for their work with Mumford & Sons, and the studio rates went up.”

Buy the record
The Tipsy Gypsies’ new album Little Victories is available at local record stores Boo Boo’s and Cheap Thrills, on apple.com/itunes, and on their website, thetipsygypsies.com.

“Geesh, even for the bro deal?”

“Yeah, it was a little unexpected.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Get some more gigs and sell more CDs.”

Sounds like a plan. I’ll be there!


Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Keep up with him via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at facebook.com/glenstarkey or myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.