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June 19, 2014 7:33 am

The Gypsy life for them: Quartet brings ‘newgrass’ sound to local stages

Written by Tom Lawrence

The Willwood Gypsies opened the Summer Concerts in the Park Series in Washington Park Friday night. From left, Greg Litton, Jeanne Krebs La Moureux and Emily Andrews perform a John Prine song during the show. The Willwood Gypsies opened the Summer Concerts in the Park Series in Washington Park Friday night. From left, Greg Litton, Jeanne Krebs La Moureux and Emily Andrews perform a John Prine song during the show. Tribune photo by Tom Lawrence

Call them what you will — four local musicians are making a mark in the local scene.

The Willwood Gypsies performed at the opening night of the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Summer Concerts in the Park Series on Friday. It’s a quartet, although just three of the band members were able to make the gig.

Jeanne Krebs La Moureux, Emily Andrews and Greg Litton performed their “newgrass” music at Washington Park. Dr. Travis Graham, the fourth member, was in Jamaica, so he had a good reason for missing the show, Krebs La Moureux said during the show.

“We had to tease him about that,” she said Tuesday.

Coming up with a name took some time, Krebs La Moureux said with a chuckle.

“That was a long, arduous process. We had a lot of good ideas,” she said. “We wanted to have some local flavor with our band, and there’s where the Willwood came in. It’s not easy to get four people to agree on the name of the band.”

While the group has performed under the name The Willwood Gypsies, the full name is the Willwood Gypsy Stringband. Krebs La Moureux said the music is more important to them than the moniker.

“We go by either-or,” she said.

All four members sing and they are starting to introduce originally written songs into their shows.

Krebs La Moureux, who plays guitar, teaches music at Parkside Elementary School as well as Clark Elementary School. Emily Andrews, who plays bass, teaches music at Eastside Elementary School in Cody.

The two teachers performed together as a duo before adding Litton, a multi-instrumentalist who, when he is not on stage, works as an engineer for General Electric, and Dr. Graham, a Cody radiologist.

The band has since played at The Red Zone in Powell as well as at bars on Cody. They prefer “newgrass” music — which Krebs La Moureux defines as “progressive bluegrass” — but they also sing and play pop-folk tunes and classic country songs.

She said she and Litton are both veterans of performing with bands and are writing songs for the group. Band members joked on Friday that they are still working on their stage banter.

For more on the band, go to www.facebook.com/WillwoodGypsies.

The next concert in Washington Park is set for 6 p.m. Friday, June 27. The Undesided will perform; admission is free. “Food Truck Friday” vendors will offer food and drinks.

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