Gypsy Sally’s Nostaligic Blues and Soul at Black Cat

A tender touch of  blues,  jazz, and soul ripples through the wavelengths of this dive bar the first Friday of every month.

Started by Kyler Jacubowski in 2018, the east coast native having grown up in San Diego, has gotten some serious inspiration from  jazz, blues, and soul bands from the past and present. Kyler has a little more than 15 years of experience under his belt playing guitar and singing. The name Gypsy Sally came to him one night while he was listening to the  1968 Townes Van Zandt song, “Tecumseh Valley.” In the song, a bar by the name of “Gypsy Sally” is referenced.  A bar associated with bad memories in the song but also a place that the main character  finds the most comfort. A lot of gigs the band plays, are at local bars here in San Diego, so in a way, he found it to be quite fitting. With a similar guitar strumming pattern as the late folk artists Blaze Foley and Townes Van Zandt, it truly was, the perfect marriage of a name with the bands skillfulness. Tying in, the sounds of blues, and soul with a hint of jazz, the band almost creates a genre of its own with such diverse sounds in its music.

This evening was the second time I had seen these bands perform for their residency at The Black Cat Bar in City Heights. First up, around 10 pm we were graced by the three piece blues band, Good Gravy. With guitar interplay, a dashing harmonica melody, and the sweet chest powered vocals of Kyler J, what a way to begin the evening. With a sound the band refers to as “Street Blues” who really began in the midst of the pandemic in busking in the streets to stay active and shake the sorrows of the time. Then, for the second band, Kyler was joined by a bassist,  a drummer, and a local musician by the name of Danny Gutierrez playing back and forth between the congas and a melodica, to perform with them, the songs of Gypsy Sally  The band performed some of its hit songs including  How Long and Dry Your Eyes Blues And even an unreleased single “Hard Times.” To catch one of these bands in San Diego follow along with Kyler on Instagram for announcements and links to more music.

Photos & Review by: Paloma Louise