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Feeling The Groove: Señor Gringo

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By Johnny Griffith

We’ve all had THAT moment when we’ve been out enjoying ourselves and our friends and family on a patio somewhere on a gorgeous day. The food is delicious, the wine is perfect, the weather is the stuff people in Wisconsin dream about … and as you are sitting back enjoying everything, you notice a band about to play and think the moment couldn’t get any better.

And then they start to play.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that they’re bad, they’re just not the right band for THAT moment.

And it’s because they’re NOT Senor Gringo, who seems to always be right for the moment.

The Tyler-based quartet is a musical force that isn’t afraid to think outside the box and bring just the right blend of Latin-infused jazz and rock to venues around the area that require a little more finesse to the set list than raw power. With a lineup full of seasoned musicians, Senor Gringo definitely has the musical prowess to bring the precision and consistency to the stage that is sure to please those who are wanting something a little different from the norm and love to sit down and just enjoy the music. With a mix of originals and covers, everyone is sure to find something that pleases while listening to a Senor Gringo set, and a lot of old favorites with a new twist are sure to surface as well.

I recently had the pleasure of catching a set at Taco Fest in Marshall back in September and I’ve been trying to catch them for an interview ever since. We were finally able to sit down this past month and talk a little bit about the origins of the band and to get to know Senor Gringo just a little better.

Johnny: So let’s get to know everyone first, what is the current line up of the band?

Senor Gringo: Senor Gringo’s lineup currently consists of Alex Blair on bass, Don Elbert on keyboards, Keven Ewalt on drums and percussion, and Richard Callahan on guitar.

Johnny: Okay so how did you all you meet?

Senor Gringo: We have played together in various bands over the years. The music scene in East Texas is pretty close actually, and we’ve all been involved with some project together at one time or another.

Johnny: Playing together over the years is one thing, but when did the idea of Senor Gringo actually first start taking shape?

Senor Gringo: Well, about seven years ago, Tony Marsh, who is a past guitar player, had this idea of starting a band that played music similar to XM Watercolors, where the nylon acoustic guitar plays melody versus traditional vocal music. The rest is history from that point.

Johnny: So what about the name? It’s pretty recognizable. How did you guys come up with that?

Senor Gringo: Well, we came up with that name because of the Latin influence and the fact that most of us are older, seasoned musicians. It just kind of stuck after that.

Johnny: Do you happen to remember when and where the first Senor Gringo gig was?

Senor Gringo: Absolutely. We were the very first band to play Lago del Pino here in Tyler.

Johnny: So you guys have one of the more unique sounds in this area with the Latin-infused groove that, in some cases, evokes threads of Santana as well as others. How have people in East Texas responded to what Senor Gringo is doing?

Senor Gringo: Well, truthfully, it all depends. If we are playing a Country bar, it isn’t necessarily so good, but most of the venues we play do appreciate our talent and the fact that we are different. I would say one of the most consistent criticisms we hear is we are mostly an instrumental band and they just don’t get enough vocals. More times than not, though, the listeners end up staying longer and really focusing in on the music.

Johnny: So is Senor Gringo staying busy around East Texas currently?

Senor Gringo: It definitely depends on the season as to how much we play. In the spring and summer, we can play a lot, but in the late fall and winter it dwindles down to about one or two gigs a month.

Johnny: Where would you say Senor Gringo’s home base really is? Are you primarily in Tyler, or have you branched out to some surrounding areas?

Senor Gringo: Currently, most of our gigs are Tyler area specific, although we do play Jacksonville, Athens, Longview, and Marshall. We are always open to more areas as the opportunities come.

Johnny: What would you say has been the most memorable gig to date?

Senor Gringo: A few years back, we were playing an outdoor summer festival down in Athens and it ended up being one of those magical gigs! We were on a large stage with an amazing sound system, a fantastic audience, and we were just on fire! {[It was] easily one of those moments that sticks with you.

Johnny: Has  Senor Gringo done any studio work or are there plans for any studio projects coming up?

Senor Gringo: We actually have done some studio work in the past, but at present there are no future recording plans. We are doing strictly live shows at the moment

Johnny: So if you had to sit down and explain to a potential first timer to a live show what the experience was about to be like, how would you describe it?

Senor Gringo: We’d say they are in for a completely different type of experience for East Texas. They’re about to hear a combination of original and contemporary Latin-flavored jazz-rock played by talented musicians with the ability to improvise and flow with the crowd.

Follow Senor Gringo on the web at facebook.com/RockinLatinJazz/.

 

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Music

July 18th: Little Universe at True Vine Brewing

Little Universe returns to True Vine Brewing Company in Tyler Saturday, July 18, 2020, hosting the fourth edition of their “Party of Unison” concert series.

Party of Unison #4 will feature headliners Meredith Crawford Band as well as Meat Sandal, a liquid light show. Music is from 7-10pm; Christian Deibert, of Good Shed recording studio in Canton, will be running stage lights and sound. Little Universe opens with a regular set, Meredith Crawford follows, and Little Universe returns with a second set of longer jams and other surprises to close the night. “Never miss a second set!”

Included in Little Universe’s second set will be the first live performance of their just-released four-song EP, “The Riot Part1: Looking Outward.”

“The Party of Unison” will be at True Vine’s expansive outdoor concert stage; physical distancing will be observed, but True Vine is open at full capacity so best to arrive early!

True Vine Brewing Company is at 2453 Earl Campbell Pkwy., in Tyler.

About Little Universe from Facebook:

In early 2017, on the heels of the split-up of his band, Fabian and The Breaks, singer/songwriter Fabian Michael Moran began the search to start a new project. By summer, bassist Preston Light and drummer Darrell Monk had joined forces to start crafting new material. Later that year, the three began working on an ambitious double album titled “Everything Is Nothing”, a call back album to early rock and roll and 70’s fuzz rock. They enlisted the help of seasoned studio owner/producer/engineer and close friend, Christian Deibert of GoodShed Studio in Canton, TX, and began tracking in the fall. But before the album’s completion, the band was forced to take an 8-month hiatus for personal reasons. They never gave up on the album and reconvened the tracking after the break.

It was during the second birth of the band that lead guitarist Cameron O’Reilly was asked to sit in on one of the songs for a studio session. The band and he immediately found chemistry and Cameron was asked to join the band full time. Much of the previous guitar work Fabian had laid down was cut, and Cameron and he re-tracked guitar parts for more than half of the record. The album was released digitally on Halloween 2018 and physically in November 2018, almost exactly a year after its conception.

Quickly after the release, the band enjoyed radio play from TCU radio in Fort Worth and were featured on 97.1’s Loud and Local, even before playing their first show. With roots in DFW and East TX, they began their multi-region show schedule and continue to stay busy life, as well as working on writing the second album. They plan on every record is a double album showcasing a wide variety of music genres and styles. They also plan to release singles and one of a kind merch for their most loyal fans.

They are quickly becoming known as one of the more solid outfits in the Texas rock scene, sharing stages with notable artists at iconic venues and gathering a fierce group of fans sending out the signal and spreading the message!

The name Little Universe came from Fabian’s intense love of astrophysics and a Neil Degrasse Tyson reference. We are all our own little universe, comprised of the same ingredients that form the stars. The band slogan is “Stella Carmina”, Latin for “Star Songs”. Simply put, Little Universe means creation and inclusion. The band hopes to foster a culture of free-thinking, kindness, compassion, and art, as well as continue to make rock and roll on their own terms, with no rules!

Little Universe (4 of 5 are Canton residents) is:

  • Fabian Michael Moran (songwriter, lead vocals, guitars, and piano)
  • Cameron O’Reilly (lead guitar, backing vocals)
  • Chris Goodson (drums, backing vocals)
  • Jake Wilburn (bass, backing vocals)
  • Nick Schaefer (guitar, organ, sax, backing vocals)

Amongst Little Universe’s past local shows was a memorable performance at the 2019 East Texas Music Awards at The Texan, in Athens.

More Info

LITTLE UNIVERSE: Website: www.littleuniverseband.com
FB: @Littleuniverseband
Insta: @Littl3Univers3
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5v8o5CpfwY2o0Vd86ULK3S?si=oiJGNLgDQO2nSnk66EsBuw
Itunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/little-universe/806186975

TRUE VINE BREWING COMPANY: https://www.facebook.com/truevinebrewing

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Downtown Tyler

Rose City Strong: Buy Cool Swag & #supportlocal

In these trying times, everyone wants to help and do their part. One way is to support local businesses. You can do so and get a cool t-shirt in the process!

VisitTyler and EGuideMagazine.com have teamed up and created a cool line of t-shirts, mugs, stickers, caps, and more!

Check out this cool swag and #supportlocal by being #rosecitystrong!

SHOP HERE!

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Downtown Tyler

Live Music Guide, Tyler TX

 

In the constantly changing world of Covid-19 pandemic, we at EGuideMagazine.com are making every attempt to keep our Big Calendar updated. However, we suggest that you still double-check with the businesses to confirm that the events are still happening.

To list or make any changes to this Live Music Gig Guide for #tylertx, please e-mail to eguidemagazine@gmail.com or text 903-530-2041.

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