'All y'all' watch Gringo Star play
Gringo Star: They're just two Petes, a Nick and a Chris, sitting at a table at Boone Saloon before Saturday's show, but there's definitely something about these guys.
Maybe it's exhaustion. They did just come off an excruciating tour schedule, playing with acts like"And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and the Black Lips.
Maybe it's their temperament. Nick Furgiuele's sharp wit isn't what you'd expect from a professional rocker.
Maybe it's their roots. After all, Pete and Nick Furgiuele do hail from Boone.
Maybe it's the fact that the guys seem to be able to play everything, swapping from keyboard to guitar to drums to tambourine.
Maybe it's Pete Furgiuele's hair.
Or maybe, just maybe, it's their music, a lively combination of garage rock and Motown with some Beatles thrown in for good measure.
Whatever "it" is, they have it, and it's not going away. Ask the folks at MTV. They put Gringo Star at the top of their "five bands to watch" list.
You could just ask Pete and Nick Furgiuele's dad.
Sam Furgiuele, the town of Boone's own attorney, can't say enough good things about his kids, and watching him nod his head Saturday at the show at Boone Saloon is like watching a father at his son's graduation, proud and astounded at how it all happened ("His excitement will transcend everything," son Nick said).
His boys have come a long way from Watauga High School, and, as they prepare to release their second album, they're psyched to show their strings in their hometown. Now if their collaborator, Lightnin' Ray, could only get over his gambling problem, they joked.
The band released its first album, All Y'all, in 2008, and this year it crosses the Atlantic, to be released May 7 in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Gringo Star is more than a job to these guys.
"It was the only good excuse I had to drop out of college," Chris Kaufmann said.
"Got to tell the parents something," Nick added.
They've told the whole world something.
Gringo Star was in Washington D.C. last week. The foursome has played everywhere from Lollapalooza to Europe. It's a taxing tour schedule, but they're still upbeat.
"Pete's going to do a book on the secret, so we can't divulge it," Nick joked.
The real secret to dealing with life on the road?
"The caffeine intake quadruples," Pete Furgiuele said.
In between stints in Chicago and West Palm Beach, the guys call Atlanta home, but you may remember the King Street Blues Band, haunting the Mellow Mushroom in the '90s, before the "big city lights" lured Pete and Nick from Boone.
"We got all the hippies jamming," Nick laughed.
And Saturday their old crowd was back, with even more energy, dancing on and off bar stools.
While they don't know when they'll be back to the Furgiueles' hometown ("It depends on how many people show," Pete joked before the standing-room-only crowd arrived), the High Country has a pull that will keep bringing them back.
"And Sam just fed us an enormous breakfast," Pete DeLorenzo said.
With perks like that, how will Gringo Star be able to stay away?
Gringo Star's next stop is April 16 at The Earl in Atlanta. From there they hit Columbus, Ga., and head south towards Miami with no end in sight.
To experience Gringo Star for yourself, head to http://www.gringostar.net.