The Samsonite Gypsies formed on stage at The Mercury Lounge in downtown NYC back in the spring of 2017. Starting a crowd funding campaign, they raised a few grand for plane tickets and set up a recording studio in guitarist Dany Delepière’s living room in Brussels, Belgium for a week. The result was their first self-titled debut album “Samsonite Gypsies”
The band truly is a melting pot of styles, influences and backgrounds. It is also a well-seasoned group of performers as can be noted by looking at their individual bios. Singer/guitarist Patrick McGuire was born and raised in New York but moved to Ireland some 15 years ago, Vocalist Mem Nahadr, producer/ master engineer James P Nichols and drummer/producer Curtis Wright Jr. are New Yorkers, while saxophonist Geoff Blythe hails from Birmingham, England and guitarist Delepière is a native of Belgium.
Asked what the music means to them and the message behind it, Guitarist Delepière sums it up best while describing an epiphany he had when recording. “One of our singers Mem has albinism and I remembered a time in the past when I was performing with an all African band for a while and whenever they introduced me live they would say” “We know he’s white on the outside but, don’t worry, on the inside he’s black” Dany laughs. “I realized with great joy while working with Mem and recording the Gypsies album that I have a kind of albinism too, that we all do in the way that people judge us from the outside and not what’s on the inside.” He goes on to say “This band, this music, represents in some way, a future kind of society where black is white and white is black and that accepting our sameness and our differences instead of resisting them is a gift we’ve realized.” “We want to share this experience”.
Their new album is scheduled for release this spring-summer of 2020 through CDBaby, iTunes, Spotify etc..
A graduate of Coventry School of Music in the U K, Geoff started his professional career playing sax for Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band. Shortly after, Geoff became a founding member of EMI recording artists Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Responsible for the horn arrangements that gave Dexy’s their signature sound; their debut album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels became a hit, spawning 3 UK top 20 singles. Geoff then formed The Bureau, touring with The Pretenders in both the UK and USA. He then became a member of the TKO Horns, touring and recording Punch the Clock with Elvis Costello and the Attractions. Other TKO recordings include Nick Lowe, The Fixx, Difford, and Tilbrook, amongst many others. After a short stint with London based EMI recording artists The Neighborhood, Geoff moved to New York, where he brought his signature sound to the Celtic rock band Black 47. In 2011, Geoff released Lost in Space by GI Blythe featuring band members drawn from various previous projects, both in the USA and UK. Recent projects include collaboration on The Team that Dreams in Caffs. A book of photos and memoirs about the original Dexy’s Midnight Runners for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s archives. In 2016, GI Blythe released his most recent work The Ghosts of Bleecker Street. Other credits include music for TV, film, Theatre, classical composition, and appearances in 2 major motion pictures.
Dany studied guitar with Pierre Van Dormael (Berklee school graduate) and harmony with Jean Marie Rens (Brussels conservatoire). He has performed with several artists in Brussels including, Blues (William Topaz Chess Band), African music (Makosa with producer Sam Mbemde (Cameroun), Rwanda music “Bosco band", several Funk & R&B projects, The Samba school, and also performs in his local Jazz trio. He cites his influence and favourite musicians as Miles Davis, Bill Frisell, John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat, Neil Young and Frank Sinatra to name just a few. Dany is also a painter, sculpture (Braine l’Alleud Art school graduate) and Kendo Japanese fencing 7 dan.d text
Pronounced: "MEM NAAHAAD" (also known as M. Nahadr and simply "M"), is an internationally acclaimed American performance artist and multi-octave vocalist best known for the performance of the song "Butterfly", composed by Yoko Kanno and lyricized by Chris Mosdell for Cowboy Bebop. She is also an author, composer, poet, filmmaker, and human rights activist.xt
James P. Nichols
Master engineer, producer
James P. Nichols is a recording industry executive producer and master engineer. Nichols' involvement in the recording industry began in 1973 when after studying recording at The New School For Social Research, he obtained an Assistant Engineer position at A1 Studios in New York City, where he worked for two years under Herb Abramson, one of the founders of Atlantic Records. He then moved on in 1975, to Sound Mixers, which was primarily a jingle studio recording Burger King and Volkswagen 30 second spots in the day and dance records at night. He then worked for Electric Lady Studios where most notably he assisted, engineered, and performed with The Clash on the “Sandinista!” album. He is credited under the alias "J. P. Nicholson"ext
Vocalist, Acoustic guitar
Patrick McGuire is a Singer/Songwriter originally from New York now living in Galway. For over 30 years he has been writing and performing original music and been involved in several other projects, most notably as a member of “Paddy A Go-Go” (A hip-hop/trad-music co-operative out of NY) and as a touring member of “The Eileen Ivers Band” as vocalist. He has two studio albums entitled “Big Brown Sofa” and “Love Songs for Astronauts”. TV appearances including “Late Night with Conan O’Brian” and RTE’s “Kenny Live”, and he wrote and produced soundtrack music for Oxygen Channel. On the big screen, two songs from “Big Brown Sofa” were included in the John Shea directed film “Southie” and he also performed the classic anti-war ballad “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” for the closing credits of the HBO production “A Bright Shining Lie”. His most recent work is two self-titled CDs entitled “Hunger is Good Sauce Parts I and II”.d text
Curtis Wright Jr.