Album Reviews

The Drugstore Gypsies

The Drugstore Gypsies

Artist:     The Drugstore Gypsies

Album:     The Drugstore Gypsies

Label:     Edgewater Music Group

Release Date:     03/03/2017


This is an unabashed rock n’ roll debut album. In the vein of great Southern bands like The Kentucky Headhunters. Blackberry Smoke, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and others, the Drugstore Gypsies have a sound most of us grew up with but don’t hear often enough in today’s bands.

Founded in 2014 by entertaining front man Duke Ryan and lead guitarist Dillan Dostal and anchored by the rhythm section of drummer Rey Chapa and bassist Korey Davis, the Gypsies have already played in excess of 200 shows throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. They recently added John Wilson to play Hammond organ and rhythm guitar, making this unit a quintet, adding guests on horns and keyboards to produce even a bigger sound for their inaugural studio effort.

The opening riffs of “Drugstore Gypsy” will inevitably bring to mind the Stones and the late Chuck Berry. References to rum and gin indicate that this is a “work hard –play hard” soundtrack as you’d guess from other titles like “Black Label Boogie,” “Show Up Show Down,” and “Breakin The Law.” The latter as well as the aforementioned “Drugstore Gypsy ”and “Live The Life” feature a three-piece horn section backing the band’ crunching sound. “Running To,” “Indian Summer,” and “Keep You Rollin’ On” lean closer to Americana and are a bit more memorable for their hooks and enduring choruses. These three tracks feature especially strong songwriting and indicate that the band has an auspicious future.

Mostly though, they exude the bravado and testosterone you’d associate with young Southern males. As you get ready for those spring and summer road trips, bring this one along. Turn it up.

—Jim Hynes

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