Read the Love Letter
The past couple of years have been a wild journey for us, as the Gasoline Gypsies. We have learned so much about the powerful fuel that is love, community and connection, from you, our beloved fan tribe. This is our sincere love letter of appreciation for ya’ll. Thank you ever so very much, your amazing and loyal support continues to astonish us, every day…
In the summer of 2017, we released our second record, Killin’ Time, and we could feel that the messages of the songs were clearly resonating with the audience, both at live shows, and from feedback on our social pages…the Gasoline Gypsies also began attracting new attention as we were named one of three “Best Unsigned Bands in America” by JBL Electronics, and then, we won the Grand Prize in the Michigan State Fair Superstar Contest. Part of the contest prize package includes mentoring and advice from a bunch of experienced music and media pros, and we were excited to see how we might be able to learn from them. There were already several new songs that we were playing live and that were nearly ready to record, so we began working toward the next project, the one that would become “Vagabundos.”
With our new team of mentors, we were encouraged to assess the strengths and assets that that the Gypsies had already established. The first advantage that became abundantly clear was that the band had already established a loyal following of friends, fans and family that believed in us, and were our greatest cheerleaders, wherever we traveled. So, during that winter and spring of 2018, we began envisioning how we might improve the band experience for our fans, by spending more time with them directly, offering more insider access to our developing projects, and also inspiring them to connect with each other and create new friendships. It was our intention to create a circle of love and fun, where we could give back some of the amazing vibes that we felt from our fan fam. Thus, the Vagabundos tribe was born.
For us, success means joy, peace, and freedom, as much (or more?) as it does contracts, cash and recognition. So, we set out to create a business model for the Gasoline Gypsies band that remains grounded in that ethic, no matter what comes our way…
By the Spring of 2018, we could feel the momentum beginning to build. We won our first Detroit Music Award! We spent some time recording at the legendary Rust Belt Studios, where we laid down a new version of Robin Redbreast, the loving tribute to Caleb’s late grandmother that was on the first EP. This update included Jason Chaboneau on cello, and also harmonies from the State Fair Choir. We were so pleased with the result, we included the reboot on the new Vagabundos EP. With our brothers from the Native Howl, we threw a dual release bash at the Magic Bag in Ferndale in June, which sold out! We were geeked, and off on a amazing summer journey that took us on our first tour of the eastern US with the Howl, including stops in Manhattan and ?? We also hosted a whole slew of fan tribe outings, from fishing trips, to pottery wheel throwing, to backyard barbeques and rehearsal visits, so we got to know our core fans at a whole new level…
Summer 2018 also took us to the magical Beaver Island Music Festival on for the first time, and we began to see several specific geographic areas across the Midwest where the Gasoline Gypsies were rapidly building a significant fan following. We were creating solid friendships with amazing folks in these areas, too. Northwest Indiana, Sault Saint Marie, (Ontario), Petoskey, Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and several other towns across West Michigan…plus Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, and of course, our beloved PoHo, Port Huron and the Thumb of Michigan. We hosted our first fan tribe river camping trip in Alger, and were so thrilled and gratified by how special and magical it was for everyone who joined in. It was a super fun and exciting season, and we began dreaming again…what next??
…A music video featuring all the core members of the Vagabundos fan tribe, of course! At the end of October, on the one of the last fine days before winter fell, we gathered the tribe, pitched huge revival style tents, borrowed big ol’ Cadillacs (and a huge snake!!) for an epic 12 hour shoot at our home base in Jeddo, for Freaks and Non-Believers, with our amazing and super pro video producer pals Bryan McKinley and Dan Lorenz. This was a day that will live forever in Vagabundos infamy, for sure.
Winter is a great time to incubate new projects, and although we were still traveling around to gigs most weekends, we were also writing new songs and forming sweet new collaborations…like the one with Gypsy Vodka, High Five Spirits of Petoskey… as Spring 2019 was just breaking, we hosted another fan tribe gathering up north, staying with a couple dozen visiting Vagabundos at a shared motel in Petoskey, and packing the High Five Spirits tasting room for a hilarious night of music, laughs, and fun.
Around this same time, we gathered at the Fillmore in Detroit for the annual Detroit Music Awards, and this year, we took home THREE trophies, wow! Outstanding Video on a Limited Budget for Freaks, plus Outstanding Rock Recording for Vagabundos and Outstanding Rock Group. Officially blown away, yes, we were.