Great Plains Gypsies
One Dark Day
First Appeared at The Music Box, August 1999, Volume 6, #8
Written by John Metzger
Listening to the Great Plains Gypsies' recent release One Dark Day is enough to cause disorientation, leaving one confused as to just which decade it is. Most of the tracks on the album sound as if they could have been written and recorded during the '60s and '70s. That's not meant to take anything away from the group. It's just that its music is steeped in traditional sounds, and it regularly mixes American folk tunes — both Kentucky Moonshine and Ruben's Train appear on the disc — as well as cover songs by Bob Dylan and Neil Young into its concert performances.
Underneath the surface of the music, there are hints that the Great Plains Gypsies is a '90s group just waiting to explode. The electric guitar performances of both Dan Whitaker and Scott Schenke pack quite a bite, while bubbling with a restrained intensity that gnaws at the flesh of the songs. The Legend of Kye Lafoone rages along like The Feelies performing a rockabilly number, while The Beauty of the Other Side features a dark, swirling blend of organ and guitar.
One Dark Day was released in April 1998. However, it was recently picked up by Chicago's Beluga Records and should receive a wider distribution later this summer. There's no doubt that the Great Plains Gypsies are a band worth keeping an eye on. ½
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1999 The Music Box