The Whisky Gypsies


Whisky3RECENTLY, hip Café Moto on Nepean Highway, Carrum played host to The Whisky Gypsies, a classic traditional, Celtic inspired duo with a Euro Folk Groove who perform with acoustic guitar (Daniel Gray), and mandolin and electric fiddle, Ken McAlpine.

The guys have a real buoyant and uplifting beat going down and their combo of acoustic Celtic groove inspired tunes will arouse the dancing fever within; you can’t help but dig these guys.

Gray is no stranger to other genres of music either, playing in funk, jazz, rock, reggae and Latin/Mexican in bands all over the world.

In the past he gigged with Indi outfit, Martin & Co along with various other outfits.

With influences like Mumford and Sons, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, Tallest Man on Earth and Gaelic Storm inspiring him, its no wonder he plays with soul.

McAlpine has played all the major folk festivals in Australia including Woodford, Port Fairy and the Canberra National Festival. Originating from Scotland and growing up with strong Celtic influences, its little wonder he was drawn to playing the mandolin and electric fiddle, especially the octave mandola as it creates a folksy world music ambience to his songs.

However, being a quirky Scotsman, his musical influences have been the likes of Paul Kelly, Hunters and Collectors, The Waifs, Crowded House, U2, Johnny Cash, Drop Kick Murphys, and The Pogues to name a few.

It’s no wonder he was drawn to Indi Irish band, Sporting Paddy to express his musical bent. Say The Whisky Gypsies, “The Whiskey Gypsies antipodean-styled ‘Celtic folk-inspired music’ blends ominous, virtuosic instrumentals to add new interpretations to popular contemporary acoustic tunes. Their haunting melancholic ballads and urban beer-soaked anthems capture the cusp of new age in roots music, as trail-blazed by bands such as Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers.

Imagine the sound of a mandolin piercing a misty morning forest, or a fiddle evoking merriment amongst a colonial miners swell in some distant gold rush gathering, and you will begin to let the Whisky Gypsies musical magic capture your soul and spirit…”

The guys often invite guest musicians, which results in a performance of high-energy jigs and polkas spiced with their original tunes.

The Whisky Gypsies will continue playing at festivals around Australia and continue playing to great crowds around Melbourne in small, intimate bars and cafes that sell good wine, great whisky and provide tantalizing ambience.

Café Moto promotes good music and is Motor Bike friendly. When their liquor license is established, Moto will open up their big courtyard to bands, music and partying. In the meantime you can catch quality music from The Whisky Gypsies and other guest artists inside their roomy café.

If you can’t make it to Cafe Moto, catch the Whisky Gypsies at one of their many other gigs around town. Check them out on Facebook.

Friday 29th January @ Brass Razu, Main St, Mornington. 9pm

First published in Mint Magazine – January 2016

Author: Anne-Marie Tunks

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