Grass Child Gypsy
In the early 90’s, Grass Child Gypsy sprung to life from the melee of rock/post-metal collective ‘Witch Hazel,’ a group founded by GCG members Kurt Briggs Schindler, Brant Roscoe & Barry Forsythe. With the addition of bassist Tommy Hill (founding member and chief songwriter for the neo-flamenco group Rumba Tribe), the band set forward on a different path; creating music with danceable influence channeling Schindler’s Virgin Island roots and the improvisational influences of then-current Bay Area artists. The powerful and playful lyricism and songwriting, combined with instrumental prowess from this group of multi-faceted players took shape quickly and caused the group’s following to grow at a furious pace.
Following the band’s first self-released and self-titled full-length album and Hill’s departure from the group, area bassist Jonny Tindall joined in 1996 and added his own non-traditional style to the already successful collective. Improvisations, songwriting and live performances took natural shape for the quartet; who often invited other instrumental players to join the lineup on stage and in the studio.
In the hope of capturing the successes of a handful of EP releases and years of live performance and composition, the band wrote, recorded, produced and released a second full-length album in 1999, aptly titled ‘Evolution.’ The sophomore effort by the group showed an increasing affinity for calypso and reggae, as well as an increasing degree of syncopation and polish. Evolution’s release placed the band on stage with dozens of national caliber players ranging in genre from rock, reggae, blues and world beat.
The original Grass Child Gypsy disbanded in the early 2000’s as the result of Schindler’s return to the Caribbean; a place where he has since seen great success as a touring solo performer and founding member of the wildly popular Marisol y Los Drunk Dumplins. The remaining members reformed in California in 2009 as ‘grass child’ with vocalist Sarah Madsen and have been invited to perform at regional festivals and main stage appearances with the likes of Gregg Allman, Los Lonely Boys, Blues Traveler, Jimmy Cliff and more.
2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of the longest standing lineup of Grass Child Gypsy, and the group has planned a series of reunion shows with Schindler, anchored around BottleRock 2016 to celebrate.