Corvallis, OR Oct 27, 2009-10-27
Three Oregon musicians in their mid-fifties are proving that it's never too late to pursue your passion, and that sometimes, when you focus on having fun, great things happen. With the attitude that "50 is the new 30," they believe their band Gumbo has the magic to do just that.
Their debut album, “Never Tell Me to Quit,” available online from Amazon, CD Baby and Itunes, is a testament to their focus and spirit of fun and passion. Evidently their recipe is working because Gumbo is already drawing attention from listeners around the country.
Locally, Gumbo is stepping out of their home base in Corvallis for much-anticipated performances at Cozmic Pizza in Eugene November 5, and at Mississippi Pizza Pub in Portland on November 15. Gumbo will also be opening for the headliner, Misty River, at the Winter Folk Festival January 23 in Florence.
Sid Beam, Joe Casprowiak, David Fournier, and Dave Feinberg of Corvallis, Oregon, have been musicians and friends for more than four decades. In 2004, Beam decided he had put his songwriting ideas off long enough, and an explosion of creativity began pouring forth. He bumped into his friend and multi-instrumentalist Casprowiak on the street, and invited him to begin performing the new material locally. He invited bass-player Fournier into the mix, and the band 'Gumbo' was born. Although he's not an 'official' member of Gumbo, piano player Dave Feinberg supports them at most of their performances, and contributes his considerable talent to every track on "Never Tell Me to Quit," released by Wild Rose Artists.
As young men, they married, started careers, raised children, kept the bills paid, and continued to play music. Today, Casprowiak and Fournier work for technology companies, while Beam owns a sign shop and Feinberg teaches dance at Oregon State University.
Songs from the album are getting good reviews and significant radio play on Americana and Folk radio stations across the country, and Gumbo is rapidly gaining International fans on Internet radio stations like Jango.com. "These times call for fun, happy music" says Casprowiak. "We aspire to play music and put on shows where everyone has fun and the happy music stays with you for days."
The fledgling independent record label, Wild Rose Artists believes Gumbo's talent and energy will have wide appeal. "It was actually quite risky", says Theodore Wadman, president of Wild Rose Artists, "but Sid's compositions and the band's delivery is so unique. Why not launch a band in their 50s if you really love the music and fans really love their show? Americana music is definitely on the upswing right now and these guys are at the top of their game."
"This is an unusual move, but it is truly a privilege to be working with Gumbo at the most creative time in their lives" says Kira Wadman, producer. “The fact that we stumbled into their lives at this point in their careers is just part of the adventure. Had I met them 20 or 30 years ago, I doubt that all of the essential elements would have been as perfectly ripened as they are."
The late blooming aspect was highlighted in a recent review on the music site 'Cover Lay Down'. The album review is titled 'Old and in the Groove' and the entire review can be read online at the Cover Lay Down website.
While the majority of Gumbo's fans are in the Boomer age group, the band attracts younger enthusiasts too. Mike Bazanele—an avid Eugene fan in his mid-twenties says, "Just picked up your album, and was promptly whisked back in time to before I was born. This music makes me nostalgic for a time I never knew."
Writing about an instrumental track on Gumbo's debut album, Micheal Fagan, founder and editor-in-chief of the music magazine, JAZZIZ, says, "Whether someone likes folk, new acoustic, smooth, trad, instrumentals, vocals; there’s no better track than your “Walt’s Waltz”. It’s absolutely beautiful, great execution and timeless. It’s the kind of song that makes our readers pick up the (JAZZIZ) CD packaging and say “who’s that?”
Gumbo's original songs are written by Beam. In an interview video on YouTube video titled ‘Never Tell Me to Quit’ the members of Gumbo call their music ‘swing’. It is also known as ‘Folk’, ‘Americana’, and ‘Gypsy Jazz’, but no matter what it’s called, the infectious sound makes you smile and feel the passion and magic that Gumbo’s members bring to their art.
Contact Kira Wadman - Wild Rose Artists
541-758-0123 or 541-908-0561 cell