Tall Tall Trees

Tall Tall Trees

Mike Savino is not your grandaddy's banjo player, and Tall Tall Trees is definitely not your average indie-folk outfit from NYC. Savino has released two records on his own start-up label Good Neighbor Records, Tall Tall Trees (2009), and moment (2012), and has toured extensively, mystifying audiences with his innovative banjo technique. Savino runs his instrument, dubbed by fans as the "banjotron", through a slab of effects and loopers, bowing, drumming, and strumming out multi-textured arrangements on the fly to support his lyrically driven songs. Most recently, Tall Tall Trees has been touring the US and Canada collaborating with beatboxing violinist, and of Montreal alum, Kishi Bashi. Savino is currently working on a third record which he is expecting to release in 2014.

Gypsy & His Band of Ghosts

Strange things happen on the road. Venues, cities and people blend into blurry, indistinct memories; strangers emerge and become lifelong friends; impossible levels of fatigue and loneliness and met with bursts of joy. And when it's over, you’re left with nothing but a collection of sensations, vague souvenirs and battle scars. For Giuseppe Capolupo, these moments were the seeds of a burgeoning mu
sical endeavor: Gypsy & His Band Of Ghosts.

Capolupo is a musician with old school appeal; he’s a vagabond, endlessly curious and virtually incapable of muting his musical ambition. Capolupo spent the 2000s as a drummer for two prominent metal bands (Haste The Day and Once Nothing) and it was on those long grueling tours that he began penning his own songs. Once those outfits dissolved, he was left with a collection of beautifully uncluttered folk gems and nobody to play them with.

A few years later, Gypsy & His Band Of Ghosts has filled out with three worldly non-ghost musicians named Diego Byrnes (guitar, vocals), Tony Tortella (bass, vocals) and Scott Maniglia (percussion, vocals). Though Capolupo had known each member previously through other musical endeavors, it wasn’t until the bunch played in a room together that it all clicked. This was something new, answering that something missing from the dialogue, something worth pursuing.

Now fully formed, Gypsy & His Band Of Ghosts start the arduous process of recording their debut EP. It’s called ‘Shortcuts, Backup Plans & Detours’ and it relates to the listener all the strange joy, heartbreak and excess of Capolupo’s touring days. The first release, “Vagabond,” is a fitting introduction: it’s a love letter to aimlessness, scribed in nimble acoustic guitars, wrapped up in tight percussion and narrated with robust four-part harmonies.

To all involved, it feels like Gypsy & His Band Of Ghosts has been here all along. Before they even entered a studio, before they even had a full band, before they even had a name. It’s a timeless appeal, channeling the bygone narrative of Woody Guthrie and bringing it up to speed.

To quote the Gypsy Man himself, “We all have a story that needs to be told.”



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