Gypsy and His Band of Ghosts release debut EP | Local Beat | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Gypsy and His Band of Ghosts release debut EP

"Folk was appealing because you could play it with a full band, or you could play with just a guitar on the street corner."

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Perhaps you've noticed a strange phenomenon in the last five years or so, in which those kids you'd always seen at all-ages punk or metal shows seemed to suddenly trade their studded belts and complicated hair for suspenders, unruly beards — and folk music.

Natural forces of fashion and, perhaps, aging bear some responsibility, but Gypsy and His Band of Ghosts front man Giuseppe Capolupo offers a simple explanation for his own shift: "Folk, for me, was an appealing thing because you could play it with a full band, or you could play with just a guitar on the street corner." 

Constant touring as the drummer for metalcore bands Once Nothing and Haste the Day gave Capolupo a lot of down time, which he spent honing his guitar skills. And it was in vans and hotel rooms that he began to write the songs which appear on his band's new EP, Shortcuts, Backup Plans & Detours.

Eventually, Capolupo enlisted guitarist Diego Byrnes, bassist Tony Tortella and drummer Scott Maniglia to play those songs at a friend's record release. "After we played the show, we said, ‘Wow, that was kind of fun. Maybe we should do that again,'" Capolupo recalls. 

It took three Kickstarter attempts — the initial financial goals proved too ambitious — and the help of a generous private donor to finance the record. It was released digitally (via iTunes and Spotify) earlier this month in hopes that the soft release would generate a little extra buzz, and money for the actual CDs. "That's kind of been the whole deal with this project," Capolupo says. "Grassroots, DIY, pulling out the middle man, keeping costs down, doing something real, something tangible."

The catchy, ultra-personal pop-Americana of Shortcuts, Backup Plans & Detours will likely appeal to fans of The Avett Brothers or Mumford & Sons, but there's also a rather endearing pop-punk undercurrent. Capolupo cites both Woody Guthrie and Ben Gibbard as primary influences, but Guthrie seems to be more of a philosophical influence than anything else. 

"Everybody has a story that needs to be told." Capolupo explains. "This band is kind of a tribute to life on the road." 

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