Olives and garlic? Alice and Carlos? Ala Chingara? No...Ala Zingara. Those are
just a few of the creative interpretations people thought they heard escape the
mouths of Dignan and Parks during a show. But that is what exemplifies this band.
Celtic rock? Eastern European punk? Brazilian bossa? Alt country? Yes...Ala Zingara,
or the literal translation, in a gypsy style.
This Seattle quartet swims upstream and has a great time doing so. Their newest
album and third release, Murder of Crows, is a collection of well crafted songs
that follows this Ala Zingara philosophy. For example, the hard hitting pseudo
world prog-rock title track, "Murder of Crows," is followed by the
beautiful Jobim soaked bossa, "Seu Ser." They also went all out when
inviting new sounds into the recording process. There are vibes, musical saw,
finger cymbals, gongs, brake drums, tenor sax, trumpet, sitar, tabla, dobro,
tres, accordion, lap steel and a comical Greek chorus to supplement their already
unique sound. To listen to the first two albums, Murder of Crows is the logical
next stop on the road they have been traveling and one can hear the edge Seattle
has given them since they relocated there from Moscow, ID in 2002.
This commitment to aural diversity is also reflected in their instrumentation.
Parks and Dignan share most of the lead vocal duties while Larson provides a
dynamic female voice to the mix. The guitar, bouzouki, and acoustic/electric
upright bass also create an infinite variety of textures. To shore up the heavy
rock groove for their live performances, Ala Zingara has added drummer Casey
Miller. Miller's resume includes the bands Stranger Neighbor, Straw Dogs, and
Jam On White Bread to name a few. One of the songs that has been a proven crowd
pleaser is the medley of "Zorba the Greek" and Johnny Cash's "I
Walk the Line." And it is not unusual to hear "opa" from the
crowd one moment and then "yeehaa" the next.
All of the hard work and commitment to a unique product started to pay off
last year when NPR's nationally syndicated radio program, Day to Day, featured
Ala Zingara as one of the best bands of 2004 and Ala Zingara shared the stage
with Tony Furtado at the McCall Music Festival in Roseburry during the summer
of 2005. From Sitka, AK to Eureka, CA, Ala Zingara continues to build a loyal
and loving fan base.
Robert Parks-bouzouki,acoustic guitar, vocals
Megan Larson-upright bass, vocals
Brennan Dignan-electric guitar, vocals