Gypsy Soul to present pay-what-you-can livestream
After canceling 15 live shows through May, one of the valley’s leading musical acts, Gypsy Soul, is choosing to go digital through the coronavirus siege, livestreaming a gala concert from a Medford home studio.
The concert, called “Force Majeur” (it means a “greater force” or act of God that changes the terms of a contract), is slated for Saturday, March 28.
Gypsy Soul, composed of Cilette Swann and Roman Morykitt, have been touring with their act for 22 years, developing their popular “roots-based, acoustic soul, an umbrella of Americana, bluegrass, Celt, folk, rock and country sounds.”
The couple always is working on live performances and, trying to adapt to local circumstances related to stay-at-home orders, “now we have to translate the live adventure we love to a new online experience.”
“Our platform allows for music mixed with conversation, and we will respond live to online messages from the audience,” said Roman. “We are coming from our home studio in Medford, so it will sound good, and we’ve done livestream a half-dozen times before.”
Far from bemoaning the inconvenience of a pandemic, the duo say, the crisis offers important shifts in global culture — and that will be reflected in their songs and on-stage conversations.
“In the big picture,” says Roman, “it’s going to show the flaws in the American medical system and oblige people to make sacrifices they’ve never had to make, as a country. You can see people are having a hard time with it, moving small business to a different paradigm, an enormous shift. We can’t go back to the usual.”
Cilette adds, “It’s an opportunity also for a spiritual awakening. Too few people have had it too good. Most of our friends will be hit the hardest. It’s a course correction. We will emerge more civilly-minded, with more of a moral obligation for those who are more vulnerable.
“It’s going to bring into sharp relief the poor who can’t afford a month at home and can’t afford preventative treatment, so they go to work when they shouldn’t,” she said. “We’ve all known this, but it’s been hidden. The economy may look like it’s doing well, but, for most, not really I hope we can make America kind again.”
The livestream act is scheduled for 5 p.m., Saturday, March 28, on a “pay-what-you-want” basis. Go to the website
gypsysoul.com, click “shows and dates,” and find a “virtual tip jar,” where you can use PayPal or a credit card to start the show.
The pandemic, of course, prevents a live show with its high energies and live sounds, but Cilette notes Gypsy Soul is motivated by the fact that “everyone needs a lift right now. It’s so frickin’ depressing. We want to give people the feel of community, levity, healing. Talking to the audience has always been a big part of our show. It’s funny to see them come in stiff and then see them softening up during the concert. We open up, too. It’s an exchange we truly experience.”
Still on the schedule (for now) is Gypsy Soul’s 20th annual gig at Grizzly Peak Winery, scheduled for 6 p.m., Aug. 22. It’s at the end of East Nevada Avenue, east of Ashland.
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John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.