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Corvallis, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Corvallis, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Acoustic


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"Gumbo serves up new CD"

QUICK LINKS: Home > Entertainment > Cover
Casey Campbell | The Entertainer
Members of Gumbo, from left to right, David Fournier, Sid Beam, guest pianist David Feinberg and Joe Casprowiak gather for a recording session at Wild Rose Studios in Corvallis.
Gumbo serves up new CD
By Nancy Raskauskas
The Entertainer

CORVALLIS — After entertaining Corvallis and surrounding areas for five years, local musicians Sid Beam, Joe Casprowiak and David Fournier of Gumbo will release their debut album, “Never Tell Me To Quit,” on July 4.

The title track of the new CD has several meanings for the musicians, who have been playing individually for more than 40 years n never letting their instruments gather dust, and all still holding down day jobs.

Casprowiak works for Aptina, a company that manufactures sensors for mobile phone cameras, and is a former Hewlett-Packard employee.

Fournier is a manager at HP and Beam owns a sign shop in downtown Corvallis.

The CD also includes guest musician David Feinberg on piano/keyboard for 11 out of the 12 songs.

Feinberg teaches dance at Oregon State University.

Although Gumbo has been together for only five years, they’ve been prolific in giving performances around the mid-valley.

In addition to regular shows at venues such as WineStyles and Coffee Culture, many in Corvallis have been treated to informal shows at fairs and the Saturday Farmers’ Market.

“We call it rehearsal,” Casprowiak said.

Gumbo’s name references the thick, spicy stew by the same name that is a popular part of Southern cuisine, as well as spoken dialects in Louisiana and the French West Indies.

The band plays Southern standards, ragtime and old jazz — toe-tapping, irreverent and irresistible as played by the adept group of players. The group is also known for its amusing stage banter.

“You can see, we are not dealing with the aging process very well,” Casprowiak laughed at a recent recording session.

Beam plays guitar, Fournier covers bass, and Casprowiak picks up a clarinet, flute, saxophone or banjo depending on the needs of the song. Everyone chips in on the vocals and a few songs include washboard or violin.

Beam, Casprowiak and Fournier have all been playing since their teens.

Both Beam and Casprowiak attended Corvallis High School and have known each other since 1970.

Beam played in a group called Magpie from 1972 to 76 and Casprowiak played as “Joey Starlight” in the Fabulous Mudtones from 1976-81.

Fournier got his start playing in a New Hampshire rock band called the Mystery Images. He met Beam in 1971 and studied music improv and jazz theory at LBCC during his twenties.

Gumbo formed in late 2004, after Beam bumped into Casprowiak on the street. The pair began playing some of Beam’s original tunes, and soon brought bass player Fournier into the act.

“Never Tell Me to Quit” was recorded with new independent label Wild Rose Artists, owned by Theodore and Kira Wadman of Corvallis.

Oregon State University’s chief sound engineer Sam Kincaid, a member of local band Project 431, worked on the project.

The new CD includes nine original songs written by Beam and three vintage covers: “Money,” a 50-year-old tune by Stan Freberg and R. Raksin; “Porter’s Love Song” by J. Johnson and Andy Razaf; and “Happy Feet” by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen.

The last official recording of “Money” was by June Carter, yet the song is still valid commentary.

“It's a tongue-in-cheek, jubilant parody of the greed that caused our current economic quandary,” Beam said. “We have fun singing it and hope that lots of people at least get a chuckle out of it.”

Gumbo’s new CD will be available at their show at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 4, at River Bend Resort, 23650 Peoria Road, Harrisburg. The Severin Sisters will open at 5 p.m.

Gumbo is also scheduled to play at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 4, at the Red, White and Blue Festival on the Corvallis riverfront and will travel to the Choochokam Music and Arts Festival, July 11-12, on Whidbey Island in Langley, Wash.


WHO: Gumbo.


• 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 4, at the Red, White and Blue Festival on the Corvallis riverfront.

• CD release show at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 4, at River Bend Resort, 23650 Peoria Road, Harrisburg.

FREEBIES: The group is currently giving away free CDs of their single ‘Money.’

INFO: or 758-0123. - The Entertainer Corvallis albany Democrat-Herald

"This might be my favorite Roundup track yet."

Review Roundup: Brad Blume, Mark Lennon, and Gumbo
Written on October 16, 2009 – 12:40 pm | by whiskeychick |

Gumbo: “It’s Raining” - I think I just fell into a tiny bar on the outskirts of New Orleans. You know.. the kind with ratty stools, no booths, and a stage in the corner made of pallets. A sleepy guitar and some good day-drinking. This might be my favorite Roundup track yet. - Drunken Hillbilly - Country Music Underground

"Old and in the Groove: New coverfolk from late-blooming artists"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The folkworld is rich with young artists these days, and with their heroes and forebears; head out to any major summer festival, and you’ll find the full mix, from long-established sixties folkies to mid-career singer-songwriters my own age, from second- and third-album folkies in their late twenties working hard to prove that they have the stamina and talent to sustain the buzz to emerging newbies who tend towards the young and the restless.

Less common, however, is the musician or band that breaks into the scene later in life. It’s an oft unspoken truism in music that starting out is for the young. But even as the mix of voices is new to us, artists who emerge in the prime of their lives also provide an audible comfort — with their natural abilities, with the music, and with the material — which can only come with maturity.

Today, we feature three relatively new bands comprised of older musicians who have only recently banded together. All sport a touch of grey, which can be a disadvantage in any market. All trend towards different ends of the folk spectrum, as befits our broad definition of the folkworld here on Cover Lay Down. But all share a rare combination of early career optimism and that confidence which results from years of self-reflection and self-awareness. The result is a diverse trio of new artists with nothing to prove, making a gentle sort of music that aims not for pop-production perfection, but something deeper and more authentic, and eminently folk.

The loose acoustic gypsy jazz swing of Gumbo, newly discovered by fledgling label Wild Rose Artists, includes clarinet and flute to compliment the guitar and bass, but their sound nonetheless sports shades of Hot Tuna or Garcia and Grisman in their best and most mellow later days, pushing ragged glory from a series of well-penned originals and classic pre-war tunes. Upbeat and joyous, more than anything else, this trio with over a century of experience under its collective belt sounds happy to be here, still making new records after years of work with other ensembles, still around to celebrate the world through fine “vintage Americana” music.

Gumbo’s debut album Never Tell Me To Quit, which can be sampled in its entirety over at internet radio-on-call delivery system Jango, is built around the original songwriting of guitarist and lead vocalist Sid Beam, who played in seminal folk group Magpie in the mid seventies, and the experienced support of wind instrumentalist and vocalist Joe Casprowiak and the jazz-trained bass-and-vocalist David Fournier. Like Sid’s originals, the album closer, a hugely fun cover of American blues and jazz standard Happy Feet, partners exceptional material with outstanding delivery; here, on this and two other songs at least a generation older than I am, the stew of experience and musicianship that is Gumbo shows its chops, proving that you’re never too old to come back to the fold, the fore, or the folk. - Cover Lay Down

"Lively and Charming"

Guitarist Sid Beam, multi-instrumentalist Joe Casprowiak and bassist David Fournier have been playing old-timey roots music and blues together for decades. Their recent group, Gumbo formed in 2004 to play Beam's newly penned original material, which has its roots solidly planted in jug band, hokum, and early jazz forms. The threesome, along with a few guest artists, displays its lively and charming music on 'Never Tell Me to Quit'(Wild Rose Artists), a set of mostly original tunes. On the atypical instrumental "Walt's Waltz", included here, Casprowiak's flute dances in 3/4 time with Beam's sprightly acoustic picking, Fournier's stately bass lines, and Dave Feinberg's elegant piano. - Jazziz magazine


Never Tell Me to Quit
Released 7/4/2009

1. Never Tell Me To Quit*
2. Old Time Song*
3. Travelin’*
4. It’s Raining*
5. Butterfly*
6. Samba D’ Else*
7. Alligator*
8. Money (A Tribute to Wall Street)*
9. Hound Dog Chorus*
10. Walt’s Waltz
11. Porter’s Love Song
12. Happy Feet

*Currently receiving terrestrial radio airplay in Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, California, Utah, Seattle, and in Oregon on KINK, KRVM, KLCC, Routes and Branches, and has been featured on Dan Maher's syndicated radio show, Inland Folk on NWPR.



“Tell the world not to turn, tell the hammer not to hit, tell the fire not to burn, but Never Tell Me to Quit."

Sid Beam’s title track sets up Gumbo’s debut album, Never Tell Me to Quit. The members of Gumbo, Sid Beam, Joe Casprowiak, and David Fournier have been honing their musical craft individually for 40 years. Playing together for the past five, they have hit a groove that comes across loud and clear in their first album.

With thoughtful and sometimes surprising instrumentation, Gumbo weaves both subtle and distinct phrasing into Sid Beam’s beautiful adventures in songwriting. Clarinet is not a common lead instrument in modern Americana, but nothing about Gumbo is common, so if it’s a surprise, it’s a welcome one. David Fournier’s creative bass contributions are the absolute underpinning in every track. On Hound Dog Chorus, his inventiveness comes through in a playful and mischievous hook that resurfaces throughout the song.

Sid Beam has an equally unusual mastery of a vintage swing-jazz style of guitar playing. If there is another split-second available to move to another chord form, or add another flurry of accent notes, he does it, and the effect is a joyous and infectious pulse, adding an undeniable energy to every song.

Dave Feinberg and Vinny Ray appear on the album as guest musicians. Dave Feinberg’s vintage-style piano enriches all 12 tracks, and Vinny Ray’s violin on Travelin’ is nothing short of inspiring. It is impossible to imagine the finished album without their contributions.

9 of the 12 songs on the album are Sid Beam originals. One of the three vintage covers is the 50-year old Stan Freberg tune, ‘Money’, which Sid has updated as a ‘Tribute to Wall Street’. It is an engaging and energetic romp of a song ironically appropriate for the current state of the economy.