Gypsy Switch
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Gypsy Switch


Band Americana Blues


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"Swampy Sexy Blues"

Sister Moon (Independent)
Gypsy Switch
By Tim Roberts

Beware. A full-strength, all-at-once dose of Sister Moon from Louisville's Gypsy Switch can induce the need to make a pilgrimage to a voodoo shop in New Orleans to stock up on mojo candles and van-van oil and visit a cemetery to swipe a bottle full of graveyard soil. And if you can't take the trip, it makes you want to watch Angel Heart and turn down the sound so you can play the CD as your own soundtrack to it.

ister Moonis damned hypnotic and intoxicating: swampy blues songs that sail through a heady fog of lavender perfume, erotic gris-gris that walks with zombies and slow dances with Aphrodite. Consisting of vocalist Daphne Luster, Chet Surgener, Rick Ennis and Paul Hatchett, Gypsy Switch plays the kind of blues that doesn't make you want to slam back a shot of Bourbon and shout "Yeah" at the top of your lungs. Instead, it makes you want to take deep swallows of red wine and get up and grind your hips.

Throughout Sister, we get lots of Dobro and slide guitar, along with other types of traditional acoustic instrumentation and simple percussion, all of which backs the band's featured instrument: Luster's womanly-curves vocals.

The brief instrumental "Sunset" acts as an invocation to the entire recording, followed by "Black Cat Trail" and its sleepy use of the electric sitar from guest performer Warren Ray. Things perk up with the camp-meeting excitement of "When the Sun Goes Down." Later, there's a blues-rock explosion with "Get Behind Me," and the band steps out of the darkness for a few minutes with a breezy instrumental called "Moonstone" that features Peter Searcy on cello. Then things get swampy and mysterious again in the final two selections: the title track and the ambiguous "On Another Day."

Notable, too, is David Barrick's work in mixing and mastering the CD. Barrick was engineer and co-producer of The Mighty Jeremiahs self-titled recording and Taildraggers' Skeptictank from last year. Both were potent blasts of blues and rock, but one had a religious message and the other made you think of a long, hot night in a small crowded bar with loud music and sweat. Barrick was also behind John Mann's 2005 Hands in the Pavement. Like any good producer and engineer, he can shift his ears to match the general theme of what a band wants to do and coax out all the sounds the band is capable of making. Someone who can, in voodoo terms, walk among the worlds (with zombies, too, probably).

With its swampy blues sound in songs full of vague erotic mystery, Sister Moon from Gypsy Switch has something in common with concept records like Dark Side of the Moon, Rush's 2112, or Paul K's Wilderness of Mirrors: It gets deep into its sound and theme and drags you in with it.

You have no choice but to go.

- Louisville Music News

"Switch Hitters"

By Mat Herron

Gypsy Switch formed in 2004 when singer Daphne Luster, who used to live above the Atomic Saucer coffee shop next door to Lisa’s Oak St. Lounge, met Chet Surgener, a Harlan, Ky. native reared on AM radio. Surgener was playing drums in Gillespie’s band then, and Gillespie had invited Luster to sing at the open jam.

“She was the voice I was hearing in my head when I wrote, as opposed to the annoying one that came out of my mouth when I would record the tunes myself!” Surgener said.

In three months, they cranked out 19 songs. It was Luster’s first “official” band, she said. Before then, the U of L graduate with a cultural anthropology degree worked in a rural village in Ghana for an organization called Operation Crossroads Africa.

“Our intent was to develop a micro-enterprise for the women in a small rural village called Ekumfi Atwia. Once we arrived and began our project, it turned into an entirely different regimen,” she said. “We ended up doing a wide variety of projects ranging from pineapple and soybean farming to refurbishing a day nursery school. My favorite part of being there was going to the weekly gathering in the village, which included dancing, singing and drumming. Ghanians are extremely immersed in music and celebrate it almost everywhere. When I returned home … I realized that it was important that I make my life passion my career.”

Luster and the group’s passion is evident on their new album, Sister Moon, which is receiving airplay on 91.9 WFPK-FM. Gypsy Switch celebrates its release Saturday at Pour Haus (1481 S. Shelby St., 367-9611). Doors open at 9 p.m., admission is $5.

- Louisville Eccentric Observer

"Gypsy Switch, Kimmie Rudolph"

Listening to the CD "Sister Moon", it's no surprise Gypsy Switch's singer's name is Daphne Luster!! her soulful, smoky voice shines brightly, leading the way through an excellent lineup of melodies and songs. The intro, Sunset, at a mere 38 seconds, starts it off with a bang and the rest of the music follows suit  check out the piano solo on Get Behind Me, and the congas are a nice change to the usual Kentucky-styled music. Moonstone, an instrumental, is excellent. And I am not ashamed to admit there was a tear in my eye when listening to It's No Secret

. I'd love to see this band in concert, My car was rocking as I rode along the highway, and I bet the venue that hosts Gypsy Switch would be no different.

- Bitchin Entertainment Reviews


Debut, Sister Moon, released June 9, 2007

"Black Cat Trail," from Sister Moon is receiving air play on 91.9 WFPK-FM, Radio Louisville.



When you listen to the foot stompin’ grooves of Gypsy Switch, it is no wonder people are steadily becoming attracted to this down home eclectic group. The music of Gypsy Switch is infused with hints of Blues, Rock, Soul, and Kentucky Grass Roots, deeming them quite a unique Americana band. In the Fall of 2004, Chet Surgener and Daphne Luster formed Gypsy Switch after meeting at Lamont Gillespie’s 100 Proof Blues Jam, featuring renowned guitarist Steve Ferguson of NRBQ. Their first experience together was a recording session, as Chet had composed several songs that were well fit for Daphne’s soulful voice. Recording that afternoon led to late nights and more collaboration. Beginning as a duo, Daphne and Chet composed 19 songs between August and December of 2004. They steadily began sharing their music with their friends, pickin’ tunes on the porch and in their basement, as well as playing acoustic gigs in clubs throughout KY. Today the band consists of four members, which includes, Daphne Luster (lead vocals), Chet Surgener (recording engineer, guitars, percussion, and vocals), Rick Ennis (percussion, viola, and vocals), and Paul Hatchett (guitars, keys, banjo, and mandolin).

Daphne began singing and playing piano as a little girl while living in Darien, GA. Throughout her youth Daphne’s singing led her to attend the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, KY where she studied musical theater and began composing music on piano and writing lyrics. In 2001, her love of music and Anthropology took her to Ghana in West Africa where she spent 3 months living in a rural village. It was there that she discovered her need to make music the central focus her life. Daphne’s vocal style is frequently compared with the stylings of old soul singers. People are usually dumbfounded that a woman 5’2 can wail with such confidence and emotion
Raised in Harlan, KY, Chet began playing music at an early age and has been playing, engineering, and recording music for more than 20 years with numerous bands in the South. In addition to playing with Gypsy Switch, he frequently records bands in his studio, and plays drums with at least three or more bands on an ongoing basis. Gypsy Switch is the first project in which Chet has co-written, produced, and played multiple instruments on all of the works in entirety. Paul Hatchett and Chet have been playing music together for nearly ten years. Paul is also a native Kentuckian and resides in Glasgow where he enjoys composing and playing music, as well as tending to his farm in the hills. He too is a busy multi-instrumentalist, classically educated, with an eccentric talent for accuracy, patience, and grace. Paul is a visionary artist and shares his abundant flexibility in Gypsy Switch, not only playing with them, but also arranging and composing on several of their original works. Rick Ennis began playing gigs with Gypsy Switch by sitting in with the band on the djembe. Rick’s stage presence attracts most listeners as he captures them with homemade percussion instruments and contagious playful energy. Together, with their wide range of experience and limitless talent, there is not much that this band can’t get away with.