Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bands in the Neighborhood: Gringo

This latest installment of Bands in the Neighborhood is on Gringo, a Latin-inspired band in the neighborhood. 

The band plays next on Saturday, May 21 at the Velvet Lounge (915 U Street NW).

Q: How did you all choose the band name?
A: The band’s name originates in part from 2 lo-fi Spaghetti Westerns - Requiem para el Gringo (1968) & Adios, Gringo (1965).  The first features what is probably the only showdown at high noon involving a solar eclipse.  Oh, and, we are gringos playing Latin-inspired music.  

Q: How did the band form?
A: James (guitar & vox) and Mitch (guitars) first started playing together while living down in North Carolina, then resumed as a duo after both ending up in DC.   The trio formed by adding Michael (percussion) whom we met after playing a show at a farm (see below).  

Q: How many members live in Columbia Heights  - whereabouts?
A: One; the percussionist lives in Realtor-defined  “Columbia Heights” (actually Park View) on Park Place.  Mitch is currently seeking to buy a homestead in Columbia Heights.

Q: Do you practice in CH? How many gigs in the neighborhood?
A: We primarily practice in Adams Morgan.   The first time we played live as a trio, we had the honor to play at BloomBars (October 2010) -  an inviting venue for both artists and residents.

Q: What are your band’s influences?
Spaghetti Westerns; tumbleweed; Ennio Morricone; Clint Eastwood; Paco de Lucia; Buddy Holly; Calexico; dust; Latin Playboys; Big Country; Johnny Cash; John Wayne; cacti; Blind Willie McTell; Pixies; David Bowie; Los Lobos; Pink Floyd; Leonard Cohen; Neil Young; The Evens; Julia’s Empanadas.

Q: Do you have any records out? What’s your next show?
A: Released an EP “Seven Shooter” in 2010. (
More tunes can be heard at  
Upcoming show:
Friday, May 20 at Axum Level X Lounge (1934 9th Street, NW). Saturday, May 21 at the Velvet Lounge (915 U Street NW).

Q: Gone on any tours? (any crazy and terrible tour stories)
A: The more memorable gig was a benefit concert at Stoney Lonesome Farm (Gainesville, VA)  where all attendees - mostly CSA members of the farm - wore secondary footwear so as not to dirty up the farmhouse. We remembered to bring all our music equipment, but had to borrow footwear.  It was our first show wearing slippers!  We’re really looking forward to our upcoming gigs in DC, especially since they are all within walking/biking distance.  

Q: What’s your take on the local music scene in Columbia Heights and DC?
A: The local music scene seems to be as diverse as its venues - BloomBars, Wonderland, Soul Vegetarian (on Georgia Ave).  DC’s music scene will be forever in the grateful shadow of Fugazi, and more recently, Title Tracks and Imperial China have been making some positive noise.

Q: If you had to rename your band for something in Columbia Heights, what would it be?
A: “Wardman” - after Harry Wardman,  ( or maybe “Burrito Breath” - due to all-hours popularity of Chipotle.


  1. Gringo is playing on Saturday night at Velvet Lounge, not at Level X.


  2. Thanks for the shoutout, hope you can come back again soon!

  3. I saw their show at Bloombars and have seen them elsewhere as well. Really good stuff, a unique sound, I recommend folks check them out on Saturday for sure!

  4. i like the "realtor defined" bit. nice.

  5. Thx to all attendees of our Saturday 5/21 show! GRINGO will be playing Saturday, July 23, 5pm @ Mid City Caffe [1626 14th St NW]

  6. Gringo's next show is on Thursday 10/20/2011 at 8 PM @ The Velvet Lounge See you there!

  7. Next Show: Saturday, Feb 11 @ 9pm at AXUM Lounge's Level X [1934 9th St NW]. Thanks!


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