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Gypsy Soul: Winners And Losers
Gypsy Soul - Winners And Losers CD Album Review

Gypsy Soul: Winners And Losers

Melodic Hard Rock
3.5/5.0

Lost within, but now escaping from, the black hole of bands that should have made it big is LA's Gypsy Soul. Created in 1987 by notable guitarist and producer Ronnie Montrose, the band featured exceptional axeman J K Northup and vocalist Johnny Edwards (who would go on to play with Foreigner). Northup has had a distinguished career over the years playing with Paul Shortino, XYZ, Ted Poley, Liberty N Justice, as well as many solo works. Gypsy Soul recorded a bunch of songs, and they demo-ed, played, and pitched them to both fans and record company execs alike, the latter with no success. The band disbanded in 1989, but their music is collected for this compilation album, Winners And Losers for UK's Escape Music.

Gypsy Soul Band Photo

Gypsy Soul

Two perspectives can be formed about Gypsy Soul. On the one hand, their sound is straight out of the late Eighties LA hard rock scene, with influences heard from the same, by then, warmed over musical scene, but also from Bad Company to Humble Pie to Whitesnake. In this sense, you've likely to have heard this before. There's nothing new under the sun, as a wise sage once said.

Alternatively, between the songwriting and musicianship, there was a boat load of refined talent in Gypsy Soul. Johnny Edwards is an exceptional vocalist, with a versatile style that draws from rock to soul to blues. And Northup is a fine guitar player. His riffs are harmonious and brisk, his solos vital and vigorous. The songs are loaded with sweet melody, fine vocal harmonies, and abundance of groove, and some great catchy refrains. But jumping back to the first perspective, this is what we should expect from a band in that moment in time. In 1987, bands of this character were in abundance, with every label looking for the next exploding Poison or Bon Jovi to increase their profits. Gypsy Soul was essentially a little fish in a huge freaking lake.

Nevertheless, with a package that includes 14 songs at 55 minutes, some song highlights should be made. Needless to say, there's an abundance of straight up rockers here, with the best including Fire And Water, Survival In The Streets, Rough Life, and The Kid Is Back In Town (which kind of reminded me of a UFO song, not sure why). A slow grooving ballad comes with Ready For The Rain, with Edwards sounding quite passionate. A real groove monster is Candy Apple Red, sounding something of a Warrant song. A true blues feeling, notably in the guitar line, comes with slow burning She's Waiting.

While they my have not hit the big time, Gypsy Soul proved to be an eager and talented band, creating classic Eighties era melodic hard rock. If you were present in the day or simply a fan of this timeless music, you will enjoy Gypsy Soul's Winners And Losers.

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The Bottom Line

While they my have not hit the big time, Gypsy Soul proved to be an eager and talented band, creating classic Eighties era melodic hard rock. If you were present in the day or simply a fan of this timeless music, you will enjoy Gypsy Soul's Winners And Losers.

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