Hearing front man Matthew Paige say, “I am the blues, baby,” is like a magic spell–you don’t (and can’t) question it. You just abide in the trance, maybe unaware of its power at first. But, before you know it, you are hooked on the addictive potion Blackfoot Gypsies: stir and serve. The four-piece conjures a Delta drug, a kind of audible substance that draws from Chess Records and The Marquee Club of London, while harmonica tones drench you in the moody South and intoxicating and stylized vocals sink you deeper in the spell-bound, blues wonderland. After the formal and informal conversations with the guys, Matthew, Zack Murphy, Dylan Whitlow, and Ollie Dogg, and several live show experiences and many album rotations later, I can confirm that I have become happily dependent on their musical concoction.
And to make matters better, Blackfoot Gypsies have just released their debut album on Plowboy Records. Handle It is like their ten-track commandments, an album that so totally captured their wild-child spirits and dirt and blues intent on tape. It was only fitting that these vintage-inspired musicians recorded the album at Fry Pharmacy, a repurposed 1920s pharmacy with the motto, “the most Memphis studio in Nashville.” The album is not just what us listeners have been waiting for, but it sounds like the kind of album that the band has been craving to create. Their identity has expanded from the founding duo to a four-piece, but even through this growth, the musical mission of Blackfoot Gypsies has never changed. It has only become more present and more refined through its moonstruck sound and ability to command a room in a matter of seconds.
If you don’t hear them coming, you’ll be sure to see them coming. You can’t miss the wardrobe, totally indulgent in vintage apparel and dripping in feathers and leather, and it’s all a part of the authentic and original recipe that makes this blues-blood band everything that they are. To help you find your own look and fulfill your closet needs, check out their Nashville Five below on the top five places to score vintage gold in Nashville, as told by Matthew Paige.
And to get a dose of their magic, celebrate with Blackfoot Gypsies tonight at The Basement for their record release show.
Nashville Five, by Matthew Paige
1. Goodwill Outlet Center in Berry Hill
This place is a wonderland. This goodwill takes all the dirty stuff they have been given from cool old dead peoples houses or straight up donations and sell them by the pound! In big blue bins. It’s really an adventure going in there and joining the mosh pit that happens when they bring out a fresh bin of goodies. I have found more cool hats, clothes, bags and any imaginable knick-knack Nashville peeps have just given away. I know it’s not a secret, but shhhh, it’s THE best place in Nash to score.
2. Music City Thrift in Madison
It’s just over the border from the hippest “East Nashville” and that’s when the bargain vintage magic begins. This place has a lot of regular stuff, but every once and a while you find that Gold nugget that’s been waiting for you. I saw a tanning bed next to an old organ next to a $2 vintage Nascar sweatshirt… Let’s just say, it’s worth the dig!
3. Fanny’s House of Music
This place is hard to walk out of without a brand new list of instruments, clothes, and handmade local art that will soon be at the top of your “need” list. These lovely ladies have a great selection of AMAZING vintage guitars and instruments and are the nicest people you could want to support. Drop in, and you’ll find yourself in line drooling over the well priced collection they keep maintained.
4. Southern Thrift in Donelson
This place is a great place to drop in. They grace the back wall with an enormous American flag, and there’s lots of space to peruse the hand drawn price tags of Nashville’s second hand. I scored an old Sears & Roebuck guitar for $17 bucks! It’s one of my favorites, and it was just sitting there! Like any thrift store, it’s not always great, but when they’re in the good, you better be ready for a surprise. Home goods and books are steeped in groove there too. Dig in.
5. Live True Vintage
This married couple runs this vibey little shop on the corner of Gallatin in East Nash and pride themselves on affordability of their finds. GREAT selection of Western wear and quality clothes that feel like they’re part of their own personal collection. They’re passionate about it, and it shows! If you need a unique piece for any reason, this couple will not disappoint. Turquoise and belt buckles and unique pieces from Nashville’s secret past. If you want the gold without the painful search of the flea market but don’t want to be charged 12 South prices, THIS is the place. Live true people!