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Groove-minded musicians

Ashland's Frankie Hernandez and Medford's Michael Whipple lay down layers of riffs and beats in their "electro, acoustic, funkadelic pop."

Hernandez, whose "permanent" move to Texas a year ago turned out to be not so permanent, is back in the Rogue Valley, where he has teamed up with Whipple to present groove-based originals at local music venues.

In Texas, his home state, Hernandez developed a reputation as a trumpet player. However, his move to Ashland in 2005 and then subsequent return in 2011, furnished the chance to establish himself as a singer, songwriter, sideman and multi-instrumentalist in the area.

When he's not on the road, Hernandez also plays as a trio with bassist Jacob Ackerman and drummer Matthew Kriemelman and with State of Jefferson. Whipple is a member of Hot Gossip.

The duo will perform an acoustic show at 9 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at The Gypsy, 205 W. Eighth St., Medford.

Hernandez and Whipple met onstage during an open jam at The Gypsy's previous location, and Hernandez later invited Whipple to join him for Wednesday-night gigs at the former Osprey Brew Pub. The collaboration stuck, and the two groove-minded musicians have kept the project up.

They play originals and a variety of covers by Ben Harper, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and other greats. Their shows can feature as many as 10 instruments including guitar, trumpet, congas, djembe, flute and dumbeck.

"Frankie blends that Austin, Texas, Tex-Mex feel with some old-school Stevie Wonder and new-school Jason Mraz influences," Whipple says.

Hernandez, who has four albums out and one in the works, sings soulful, honest lyrics to go along with his up-tempo sound base.

"Sometimes it's funny and goofy, sometimes it's heavy and sometimes it's romantic, but it all comes from what's true to my heart, as corny as that sounds," he says. "It encourages folks to move forward in their lives from the inside out."

There is no cover to the show at The Gypsy. Call 541-770-1212.

Michael Whipple, left, and Frankie Hernandez play as many as 10 instruments in a set. - Photo by Jamie Lusch