Last December, vocalist Cilette Swann and multi-instrumentalist Roman Morykit of Gypsy Soul called their forthcoming album, "The World Is My Country," their "best album yet," and now that it's out, others agree.
The album, released April 23, earned Top Seller in Pop and Rock, Editor's Pick and Staff Pick on CD Baby and, in July, won an Independent Music Award — the indie community's Grammy equivalent — for Best Cover for the duo's arrangement of John Prine's "Angel from Montgomery." Two of the tracks also were selected by Starbucks to be played in stores worldwide.
Who: Gypsy Soul
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31
Where: EdenVale Winery, 2310 Voorhies Road, Medford
Tickets: $20 for the concert only, $30 for hors d'oeuvres, wine tasting and the concert
Swann describes the award-winning and more accessible CD as contemporary Americana and pop.
"We're happier, and it shows," she says.
Although based in Jacksonville, the couple plays only about two or three shows a year in the area, including one Christmas show and one summer show. The latter will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, at EdenVale Winery, 2310 Voorhies Road, Medford. Guitarist and mandolin player Nick Garrett-Powell of Grants Pass and drummer Jim Sitter of Medford will accompany the duo, and singer and songwriter David Kai will open the show with a set at 6:30 p.m.
Gypsy Soul also will open for The Doobie Brothers' sold-out show Thursday, Sept. 5, Britt Festivals in Jacksonville.
The title of the duo's new album was proposed by Ashland author and motivational speaker Rick Kirschner and is an excerpt from Thomas Paine's famous quote: "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion."
So while the title sounds like a country album, "it's more about an approach on life," Swann says.
The CD opens with "Always Been You," an alt-country, Tom Petty-style song about realizing what you had all along.
The romance carries into the second track, "Love Is the Only Thing," a potent song with four-part harmonies and driving rhythms that serves as a reminder to value people over success and material gain.
On "Soul of a Girl," one of the Starbucks picks, Morykit plays fun, cheeky Dobro and back-porch blues, while Swann reminds young girls everywhere to enjoy their youth and live for the moment.
Swann's favorite, "You," is the least produced track on the album, as the duo lets emotion carry the song, a testament to the incredible courage of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.
"It's not the kind of album where you buy just one or two songs," Swann says. "We consciously made it more like a '70s record, where there are continuing themes from start to finish so it feels like a cohesive body of work."
"The World Is My Country" and Gypsy Soul's other nine albums will be available for purchase at its EdenVale show.
Tickets cost $20 for the concert, and $30 for the concert and a VIP reception, held at 6 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and wine tasting. Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/427622, www.gypsysoul.com and at Music Coop in Ashland.