Andie Kay Joyner and Heather Stalling had to experience life before they felt ready to write about it. When they met in the early 1990's, both were already accomplished musician/vocalists. Stalling was an award winnig fiddler coming off a two-year run as a support player in Branson, MO. Joyner was still a teenager, but had sung in front of thousands of people at countless performances. Each had grown up in musical families that exposed them to bluegrass, folk, and traditional country music. For the next decade, the girls further groomed themselves for their own band by separately backing Texas artists, such as Mark David Manders, Max Stalling, Johnny Lee, Tommy Alverson, Bob Schneider, and others. The girls took a Tuesday night residency at the legendary Dallas honky-tonk, Adair's Saloon for almost a year. After several failed relationships, a handful of song-worthy misfortunes, and countless all-night jam sessions, their songwriting began to draw from very specific situations. Soon, there was more than enough material to complete an album. Ms. Stalling and Ms. Joyner even co-produced their debut CD, blacktopGYPSY, with Austin resident Adam Odor at famed Cedar Creek Studios. The album is a montage of styles representing the songwriters' varied influences and phases of musical interest. The traditional country material one might expect of a fiddler and country vocalist is certainly there. blacktopGYPSY moved from the studio to the stage early 2006, and with the addtions of stellar musicians, Steven Cooper on lead guitar, Phillip Cardon on drums/percussion, Jay New on bass guitar, and Darcy Starcher on background vocals, are turning the page to a new era in Americana music.
Andie Kay Joyner - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Heather Stalling - mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Back Up Vocals
Phillip Cardon - Drums, Percussion
Steven Cooper - Lead Guitar
Jay New - Bass Guitar
Darcy Starcher - Back Up Vocals
- "Your Turn to Cry"
August's Feature Artist of the Month
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The heart and soul of this self-titled debut CD, blacktopGypsy, is Heather Woodruff and Andie Kaye J...The heart and soul of this self-titled debut CD, blacktopGypsy, is Heather Woodruff and Andie Kaye Joyner. These two exceptional musicians have spent most of their lives preparing for this dynamic partnership. Joyner and Woodruff were both raised in small east Texas towns on big heaping helpings of musical encouragement from their families. Joyner got hooked at 5 years old when her family got an electric piano and an old country songbook. In those early years, she and her parents performed as a trio for local events, with her mom on bass fiddle, step dad on guitar, and Andie doing the vocals. That soon led to singing with a bluegrass band, and at 13 she began working with several Opry bands as a backup vocalist. Woodruff started down her path at 3 years of age playing the fiddle. As a child, her parents entered her in fiddle contests all over the state, in all age categories, and taking top honors most every time. Woodruff even played the Ryman Grand Ol’ Opry at the ripe old age of 10. Heather also spent several years backing Branson bands to hone her art.
The gals got acquainted in the early ‘90s. Then for the next ten years or so, Woodruff and Joyner toured with other bands, performed together at Adair’s in Dallas every Tuesday for about a year, and shared a house for a while, where they began quite a bit of collaborative songwriting. They took touring jobs either individually or together backing several Texas music artists like Mark David Manders, Max Stalling, Tommy Alverson, and Johnny Lee (Woodruff on fiddle; Joyner as vocalist). During this phase they perfected their “world-class hotel jammer” method of songwriting when their schedules coincided. Eventually with an overflowing and multifaceted collection of songs, and lots of musical touring highway time under their belts, it was a natural evolution of talent, life experience, song collection, and timing that blacktopGYPSY was born. The name collectively reflects the roots and foundation lifestyle of the 2 talented women at the core of this amazing musical synergy.
BTG’s recording feature Woodruff on fiddle and mandolin and Joyner’s vocals. They are joined by John Moore on drums, Rodney Pyeatt on lead guitar, Steve Cargill on bass guitar, and Lloyd Maines on steel guitar and dobro. BlacktopGYPSY and Adam Odor produced the collection. All the songs were written or co-written by Andie Kay Joyner and Heather Woodruff. Although the collection reflects the backbone country/bluegrass fiddle and vocals of the pair, the musical styles and genres run a very varied and eclectic course.
"Carolina" is a velvety ballad about the sorrow caused all the way around by a man with a cheating way of life. A letter sent to the one cheated on, by the other party involved in the cheating gets this response from the one cheated-on:
“Dear Tennessee: I got this letter sent from you.
I’ve had my suspicions, now I know just what to do.
If you want him you can have him. Your wish has just come true.
I hope someone writes you a letter when he does the same to you.”
"Ain’t Your Mama" is jazzy blues with a soft rock base and has lots of great fiddle. The story of a relationship with a Mama’s boy.
“You look like a man; you act like a boy
She’s still calling you her little bundle of joy.
Why don’t you grow up and get from under her wing.
You know you can’t compare her to me.”
"Crying" is a hard driving country ballad about a manipulative relationship.
“(When you’re crying)
One small drop is all it takes
to wipe away all of your mistakes.
I’ll give in and I’ll take the blame.
You know how to make me stay.
You know I won’t walk away
when you’re crying.”
"Give You Me" is a rocking fiddle tune about a one-sided relationship and how you convince them they won’t ever have what they want from you.
“Don’t you wait around
For something that will never be.
Thinking that you love me
but you don’t
When you get to know me
I know you won’t.
I can’t give you what you need.
I can’t give you me.”
"Ring" is a quirky fiddle blues in a wonderful blend of Americana-meets-Pop. When you finally have enough lies and shattered trust, the phone just rings.
“Now you’re burning up my phone.
Begging me baby to come back home.
You can leave your lies after the tone
If you think I’m listening
Well you got me wrong
You see I’m not the fool I was before.
I hardly think of you anymore.
I think I’ve seen a change in me.
Now I let that telephone ring.”
"Your Turn to Cry" is a soft rocking song about what goes around, comes around.
“She must be doing the things to you, you did to me.
I can’t keep the smile off my face, seeing you in misery.
And I hope I don’t sound bitter, sweetheart
Giving you a piece of what’s left of my mind.
It’s your turn to cry.
Your turn to you wish you could lay down and die.
I hope you finally see
What you’ve done and what you did to me.
Now that it’s your turn to cry.”
According to Joyner, "Voices" was inspired by a Nissan dealership. Riding together to a gig, the pair were startled by the PA system at the car dealership. Woodruff mentioned, “I hear voices. To which Joyner responded with, “I see illusions – guess it’s all in my head.” The song was well on it’s way to completion by the time the venue was reached. It’s a wonderful country 2-step that leaves the listener wistful and longing for better days.
“I hear voices, I see illusions – guess it’s all in my head.
Now I’m stuck here while you’re somewhere
when you should be here instead.
Are those your footsteps in the hallway
Did I hear you call my name?
I think your memory has driven me insane.
You said you had to leave me
That I would only bring you down
You used to call me crazy
You should see me now.”
"This Time" is about lost love, too many leavings, and turning the tables. The intro is an unusual Gaelic folk song style with some accordion. The minor key gives it a spooky, slightly unbalanced feel. You keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. So much more subtle and smoother than “Goodbye Earl!”
“No more waking up on your side of the bed
No more fighting with the voices in your head
I think I found a way to keep you here tonight
I won’t make you suffer; you won’t make me cry.
You won’t rest in peace in the bed I made for you.
Looking up at me standing in the morning dew.
This time I know you’re not coming home.
This time I won’t be waiting by the phone.
You’ve been walking over me
You’ve been walking over me.”
"Better Days" is a great soft rocking love-gone-wrong song. The lyrics provide a vivid visual image.
“Smooth shot of whiskey; sweet glass of wine.
Thinking of places you can take me.
Waking up with you on my mind.
Coffee bursting in the morning
What I need to start the day
Roll out the smoke in the evening.
One hit of you takes me away.
To the day I woke up to see the sunshine
Before the clouds got in my way.
There was a time I didn’t need you in my life.
Lord knows that I’ve seen better days.”
"If I Were You (I would leave me)" is a beautiful acoustic waltz with haunting fiddle, mandolin, and great Maines dobro. This is about really caring for someone, but knowing that they deserve much more than you can give them. It was the first song the pair ever penned together, and although simple, is has a powerful message: “It’s really hard to know you are hurting someone when you don’t mean to or want to” is the point they are trying to make according to Joyner.
“I don’t know why you put up with me.
And only see things that you wanna see.
After all of this time, I put you out of my mind so selfishly.
If I were you I would leave me
I’ll never be what you want me to be
How could you stay?
I would have just walked away
Set yourself free.”
To catch blacktopGYPSY live, check their schedule on http://blacktopgypsy.com/
or visit them at http://www.myspace.com/blacktopgypsytexas. CDs are available at Bill's Records and Tapes (Dallas), CD World (Dallas & Addison), and on line at http://lonestarmusic.com . Either live or recorded, you won’t be disappointed.
Written by Cheryl Arthur, August 2006
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If you think the new Dixie Chicks record is good (and it is), you'll probably want to take blacktopG...If you think the new Dixie Chicks record is good (and it is), you'll probably want to take blacktopGYPSY's self-titled release to bed with you. Singer Andie Kay Joyner may not have Natalie Maines's pipes (who does?), but she and her partner, ass-kicking fiddler Heather Woodruff, write a mean song and sing with a blood-in-your-eye attitude. With blacktopGYPSY, Joyner and Woodruff have served notice that there's an interesting new outfit with a unique twist on the Texas music scene. There's plenty of I'll-slap-your-face sass in "I Ain't Your Mama," and Woodruff's "Your Turn to Cry" screams "payback time." The album is a catalog of emotional crimes, of both omission and commission. That isn't exactly a novel idea, but Joyner and Woodruff, who aren't interested in the Miss Congeniality title, manage to add new and interesting twists. Don't expect any of that woe-is-me, heart-on-my-sleeve stuff. Knock these girls down, and they bounce right back up and poke you in the eye.
The Best Albums of 2006 That No One Told You About
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This record starts really slowly with what I guess are supposed to be the "hit" songs, but if you ge...This record starts really slowly with what I guess are supposed to be the "hit" songs, but if you get beyond those, you will find a well written, produced, and performed album, with one standout, "This Time," that can only be described as brilliant.
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Fiddle player Heather Woodruff and vocalist Andie Kay Joyner played in Mark David Manders’ band f...Fiddle player Heather Woodruff
and vocalist Andie Kay Joyner
played in Mark David Manders’
band for years but would hole
up in their hotel rooms writing
songs until the day they decided
to go out on their own to form
blacktopGYPSY. They are self
proclaimed “world class hotel
jammers” who bring their tunes
to the stage at Poor David’s
Pub this month. (214-565-1295;
Please see images for tear sheet.
AIN’T YOUR MAMA
RING OF FIRE
THERE'S NO ANGEL
IS THIS LOVE
GIVE YOU ME
I FOUND THE LIONS
THE WAY I AM
YOUR TURN TO CRY
ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY
WILD AND BLUE
PRIDE AND JOY
SKY IS CRYING
IF I WERE YOU
PASS ME BY
PRETEND I NEVER HAPPENED
GET OVER HER
SING ME BACK HOME
TOO FAR FROM TEXAS
NO GOOD FOR ME
I THINK I LOST IT
LOVE AT THE 5 & DIME
I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE
INVITATION TO THE BLUES
TROUBLE IN MIND
I STILL MISS SOMEONE
|Jun 20, 2013 Thursday||TBA||Golden Light Cantina||Amarillo, TX, US|