North Georgia Americana duo Gypsy Outfit are gearing up to release their debut album, 1969 (out July 10). It’s an alternately twangy and rocking slice of nostalgic longing for the time of their parents’ generation. The days of endless, mysterious blacktop, out of the way diners and the inviting neon of roadside motels. It dives into nights of youthful drinking, smoking, kissing and falling in love. Tom Waits once said, “I think all songs should have weather in them. Names of towns and streets, and they should have a couple of sailors. I think those are just song prerequisites.” 1969 has this in spades (minus the sailors), as the album takes listeners on the journey of a life well-lived, across the U.S. from the deserts of Albuquerque to the pine forests of Georgia to Tennessee street parties.
With an army of rare vintage equipment at their disposal, Gypsy Outfit achieve a sound reminiscent of The Flying Burrito Brothers or The Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo. In September 2019, guitarist/vocalist and primary songwriter, Brandon Maddox and vocalist/violinist Kate Lovely sought the expertise of producer/engineer and owner of West End Sound, Tom Tapley, to record 1969. Tucked back into west Atlanta’s warehouse district, Tapley and the Gypsies found the inspiration to lay down 13 tracks in 3 days and breathed new life into their original vision for the album.
1969 has been a labor of love for Maddox. He’s been playing some of these songs for nearly a decade, but has never put them down to tape until now. Lovely joined the project in 2017 and began adding fiddle parts to Maddox’s existing originals and the band was born. The pair now writes together as a duo, playing shows as a full band with the same musicians who played on the record. Keep an eye out for Gypsy Outfit and their trusty wagon, Ramblin’ Rita—they’ll be hitting the road to support 1969 as soon as anyone is allowed to leave the house again.
Glide is proud to premiere “Blue Light Special,” (below) the second single from 1969 – a nostalgic anthem of rebellion and cars and creating our own idea for forging an identity. The track wins with its lonesome fiddle breezing through hummable hooks forging an Appalachia pop sound that combines the worlds of Elephant Revival, Old & The Way and The Avett Brothers.
“‘Blue Light Special’ is a song inspired by our love for the classic muscle car,” says Maddox, “It’s partly derived from a story my Pawpaw Dale used to tell me, and part from a few of my own woulda-been speeding tickets. Dale’s pride and joy was his 1969 Mustang with a 428 super cobra jet engine that he’d drag race on weekends. I guess it’s just in our blood. I knew I needed to write about those stories and memories.”
“People instantly loved “Blue Light Special” the first few times we played it live,” says Lovely. “Any lead-foot kid who grew up wanting to get out of a small town can relate. Plus, it’s upbeat, catchy, and we have a blast playing it. Really, it’s a perfect storm.”