A mixture of country, blues and rock and roll will be heard at the A Frame in Bowling Green on Feb. 9, courtesy of the Blackfoot Gypsies. The Nashville-based four-piece will be performing at the music venue at 10 p.m.
Originally a two-person band, the Blackfoot Gypsies now consists of frontman and co-founder Matthew Paige, drummer and co-founder Zack Murphy, bass player Dylan Whitlow and harmonica player Ollie Dogg.
The Blackfoot Gypsies originally began when Matthew Paige moved to Nashville. With no place to stay, Paige began to live in a bus, which he said reminded him of the life of a gypsy.
Originally born in Alaska and having moved to various states throughout his life, Paige said he wanted to name the band after what had inspired him. Traveling, making music and creating things are among a few of the things that inspired Paige at the time, so he decided on the name Blackfoot Gypsies.
“We thought about it for a while, and it was just something about the name Blackfoot Gypsies,” Paige said. “Outside of the obvious Native American reference, it means something quite literal. If you walk enough, your feet turn pretty black. So, it was along those lines.”
The Blackfoot Gypsies started with Paige and Murphy in 2010, which remained a duo for the first three years of their existence. After touring and releasing some music, Whitlow and Dogg were added, which allowed them to tour more and to create a new album called “Handle It.”
The band originated from Paige’s desire to create a group that would tour and create their own music. Starting by putting an advertisement on Craigslist, Paige began to look for a drummer. According to Paige, Murphy rarely scanned Craigslist for anything, but once they had their initial phone call, he knew that Murphy would be a perfect drummer.
Since their beginning as a four-piece, the Blackfoot Gypsies have released two albums and plan on releasing a third in April called “To the Top.” They have a total of 50 recorded songs, though there are many more that have not been recorded yet.
“Rock and roll is probably the easiest way to describe our music,” Murphy said. “It’s just a blend of country and blues and rock and roll, really. We are trying to kind of touch on a little bit of everything and if you are going to do that, it will take some time. So, we are kind of taking our time getting to each.”
The Blackfoot Gypsies have averaged around 250 shows a year. Outside of their extensive touring, the Blackfoot Gypsies also have separate jobs that help fund their everyday lives. According to Paige, the band is not yet able to pay all of the bills that each member has through music, though they are coming closer after each performance they play.
According to Paige, the Blackfoot Gypsies plan on growing their band, creating more music and creating a sustainable group that is an institute for creativity and fun. The ultimate goal for the band right now is to create enough money that will allow them to live off of while focusing on the art of creating music, according to Paige.
“There is no telling where the end goal is, but there is no limiting the ideas,” Paige said. “You can be realistic without being limiting, you know? We are friends and family now, so it’s like you have this gang of guys that are good at things and will help you with a vision.”
At their performance at the A Frame, The Blackfoot Gypsies plan on playing as many songs as they can fill into their performance time. After performing at the A Frame, the Blackfoot Gypsies plan on going straight to Athens, Georgia, for another performance over the weekend.
Based on all of their experience as a band, Murphy said he would advise beginners to have fun and if they considered making money from music, to treat their music as a business while keeping in mind that they are also in the business of making art. On the other hand, Paige advises beginners to keep working hard and to pace yourself while being happy with how far you have gone.
Reporter Elisabeth Moore can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @emoore938.