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Playing Around: The Moon Gypsies

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According to Webster's, a gypsy is: "One of a vagabond race whose tribes, coming originally from India, entered Europe in the 14th or 15th century, and are now scattered over Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Spain, England, etc., living by theft, fortune telling, horsejockeying, tinkering, etc."

And in this day and age, also by making music.

The Moon Gypsies of Madison, Wisc., sprang from a combination of incredible talents. Mary Gaines, vocalist, bass and cello player for the Gypsies, studied jazz guitar and cello at the University of Wisconsin before playing in the Common Faces, an extremely popular folk-rock band. She has also recorded with U2 and the Smashing Pumpkins. Also in the Common Faces was Chris Wagoner, fiddler, lap steel and electric mandolin player for the Moon Gypsies. Chris has also played with the Smashing Pumpkins and on many indie label releases. Vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Robert J. cut his teeth traveling all over the States playing with the likes of Taj Mahal, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Buckwheat Zydeco, not to mention the Beach Boys. His song, "A Million Miles Away," recently won first place in the Billboard R & B songwriting contest. Percussionist and drummer Mauro Magellan was born in Brazil and raised in Florida. While playing the skins for the great American blues-rock band the Georgia Satellites, Mauro played with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers.

The combination of these accomplished musicians results in a "bluesy, jammin' folk-rock" sound which leans more toward the blues than folk-rock. The quartet will play at Tres Hombres on Sunday night; call 687-0625.

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