Greg and Charlie revive Gypsy Feet Band with new members!

Happy spring, Everyone!

I realize I haven’t blogged since January – but winter’s a time for quiet.

Now it’s spring, and life is reborn!

To start things off, here’s a copy of a recent media release, to give some history of the old Gypsy Feet Band and its new revival:

SILVER CITY, NM — “Greg & Charlie” – Greg Renfro and Charlie Alfero – have been performing as a folk-rock duo in and around Silver City since 2002 (13 years!) and have recently been joined by three other musicians.  And they’ve revived the name of a band they were part of from 2004 − 2009 – the folk-rock dance quartet known as the “Gypsy Feet Band.”

Pickamania crop

Shems Nickle (l), Charlie Alfero (in the cowboy hat!), Ed Teja (in the bowler hat!), and Greg Renfro opening the first Pickamania Sunday.

Those who’ve been around Silver City for a while will remember the old Gypsy Feet Band, with Ed Teja on electric lead guitar, Renfro on guitar and bass, Alfero on mandolin, and Shems Nickle on djembe.  The band performed some of Renfro’s folk-rock originals along with classic danceable rock favorites and were booked regularly at the Twisted Vine and Isaac’s in Silver City, the Buckhorn Saloon in Pinos Altos, and were selected to open the first-ever Pickamania Sunday.

The quartet eventually disbanded as many bands do, and Teja, returning to his gypsy ways, went to live in Cambodia with his artist wife Dagny Sellorin for a couple of years.  Today they’ve returned to Silver City, but Teja has hung up his guitars in favor of writing.  Nickles plays today with Sufi musicians, notably singer and guitarist Gayana, most recently at Yankee Creek Coffee House.

Renfro and Alfero first picked instruments together in 2002 when Greg had a regular Friday night gig in the patio of the original Vicki’s Restaurant on Texas and Yankee Streets.  Soon they were performing as “Greg and Charlie,” and in 2008, they recorded their first album of original music, Settle On In, and have performed at many local and regional venues, including repeat invitations to the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGlenwoodStock Festival, the Tucson Folk Fest, and events in Socorro and Santa Fe.

The duo had no intentions of reviving a band, but as happens, they’ve been joined occasionally by local musicians, and some have clicked and stayed around:  Jeff “Santa Rita Slim” Ray on bass, Dale Rucklos on guitar, and Paul DeMarco on flute.  The sound is not only bigger and more danceable, but wonderfully complex.  Ray has experience in country, roots rock, vintage blues, mountain music, and bluegrass – and has been playing around the area since high school with notable groups such as the Delk Family Band.  Rucklos brings a jazz-inspired sensibility with a diverse background in rock, jazz, blues, and country.  DeMarco, who has been performing with musicians in the area for thirty years, expands the sound with his collection of flutes.

GFB 15-3-23People began to quip that the still-coalescing group was reminiscent of the old “Gypsy Feet Band.”  With the addition of three more names to the mix, promotions got more cumbersome, and one day audience assessment won out, and Renfro and Alfero decided to revive the Gypsy Feet Band name.  It was first used for a gig at Diane’s Parlor the night of Friday, March 27, 2015.

Renfro and Alfero plan to record a second album of original music this year, expanding their sound with the new Gypsy Feet musicians and possibly others.

“Greg and Charlie and the Gypsy Feet Band” will perform next at Diane’s Parlor on Friday evening, April 10th, 6-9 pm, and are booked there three more times before the end of May: April 18, May 1, and May 22 – all at Diane’s.  And they’re also scheduled to play the Rockhound State Park near the Florida Mountains southeast of Deming on August 15th as a part of the “Music Under the Stars” series.

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Took the Amtrak from Albuquerque to St. Louis

gila-national-forest-mogollon-mtns…and passed beautiful country, like this, from northern New Mexico through southern Colorado.  It truly is enchanting.

 

My friend Greg Moore, born four before me, half of "Greg and Greg Construction," early-mid 80s.

…and reconnected with old friends from as long ago as 49 years!  My friend Greg Moore, half of “Greg and Greg Construction,” early-mid 80s, met me for lunch in Columbia, MO.

 

I also reunited with old members of my first band from 9th grade – The Invaders!  Sorry I have no photos to show of that reunion, but we had a great time.  Good to be with Tom Hunter and Rick Rahmberg, pickin’ and grinnin’ til 2 in the morning.

 

And so many other good friends!  We laughed and talked into the wee hours.  I was also honored to have my songs really appreciated by these old friends, particularly “Home Again,” which felt so right to play with them…  and feels right to share with you all now.

 

 

Here’s a video version of Charlie and me performing this song at Yankie Creek Coffee House a few weeks ago.  If you haven’t checked out my (new!) video page yet, it’s the second song:  https://gregrenfro.com/music-video/

 

Speaking of which, Charlie and I will be playing (maybe with friends) at Diane’s Parlor tomorrow, Friday the 24th 6-9 pm (and also next week, the 31st).  Hope to see you there!

 

And thanks always for supporting your local musicians!

Full Moon Energy, New Video, & Upcoming Performance

Big thanks to Jeff Ray for taking some phone-camera videos of Charlie and me last Saturday at the Yankie Creek Coffee House, here in Silver City, NM.

I’d like to share this video of my song about being away and coming “Home again.”  (Second song on the page)  Hope you like it!

The Waxing Gibbous Moon energy of the last week has kept us up late many nights and working most of Sunday redesigning my website.  I’m so excited about the changes (Thank you, Jean Ann~ ), I want to point out that my site’s now both more attractive with things easier to find, but we can now listen to recordings of my original songs and watch videos of some performances without leaving my site and having to deal with the quirks of YouTube and other sites.

I hope you’ll check out the rest of the site, “like” things, comment, share, and subscribe if you haven’t already.  Thanks ~  (You can unsubscribe, of course, at anytime.)

I intend to be more regular about posting.  I’m going to aim for one short post like this once a week.

Just to scan all the post titles on the right column of this site is a heady flashback to all the great shows and guests Jean and I hosted over 5 months on “Silver City Acoustic” (on our local community radio station, Gila-Mimbres Community Radio) – including Lloyd Maines (Grammy award-winning producer and phenomenal musician I’ve been admiring for decades) and Terry Hendrix (award-winning Texas singer-songwriter I’ve come to appreciate immensely) and many, many more amazing guests, local and touring, that we had the pleasure to meet.

Speaking of local and touring musicians, did you know our own, local, amazing bluesman Jammin’ Jeff used to tour with Bo Diddley for twenty-some years!?  Yeah!  What a great couple of shows we had with Jeff in the studio.  Hope to do it again.

Coming up:  this Saturday, I’ll play bass with friends, luthier and bluesman Scott van Linge and killer percussionist Rodney Henderson – as The Loose Blues Band9-11 am at the Farmer’s Market – one of the last markets of the year.

There are still tables piled high with the last of summer harvest, so don’t miss it!  Not only do you get to buy the best food available in our world, but then you can relax, enjoy some music, even dance, and reconnect with friends and acquaintances on this wonderful Harvest Moon weekend before we all huddle indoors for the winter!  It’s still nice to be outside on a Silver City morning!  Hope to see you there.

Quick look ahead:  Charlie Alfero and I, perhaps with guests, will be playing at Diane’s Parlor the last two Fridays of this month, the 24th and 31st (Halloween – costumes?), 6-9 pm.  Expect fun!