Interview by IndiePulse Music
Based out of Dana Point, CA, Papermoon Gypsys features Kenny “Big Daddy” Williams who fronts the hot Orange County band along with his daughter Lexi G. The Papermoon Gypsys will give you a big dose of Blues at its core and a wild side of Rock and Roots added to create their own unique blend.
Kenny started playing at age 7 and went on to learn theory with jazz guitarist Mark Anthony. Kenny also studied a year with classical guitarist Roberto Torres. Later, before she was famous, he studied tapping with Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson) and before touring with country band, Big Sky, studied with telecaster maniac, Will Ray (Hellacastors).
During the 80′s Kenny made a name for himself on the Sunset Strip with heavy metal band, Defiant and had his song “Nightstalker” played on local radio KNAC. It was on solid rotation at hundreds of college stations around the country which put him in the encyclopedia Metellum also earned a degree in sound and video engineering. He attended at the Institute of Audio/Video Engineering.
These days he has succeeded in bringing a whole music scene to beach town Dana Point, with the city’s first music store and school. Even though there have been imitations, Kenny has tried to bring the quality of LA musicianship to Orange county. He has sought out the best of the best musicians and teachers to bring a quality of education that can’t be surpassed.
Kenny currently is the leader of the Papermoon Gypsys, in which he plays guitar. The band has been taking the southern California area by storm.
However, this story is about the next generation of musical talent and genius to from this “Royal Line”, Lexi G. – whom after a short period of time returned to the stage to stand beside her father and bring a powerful range of vocals to the music and continue in her father’s footsteps.
In related news sources and reviews, the press is more than enamored with Lexi’s Talents, as well as with The Papermoon Gypsys.
“Lexi G and her soulful tones steal the show on ’70’s-style blues-rockers like “Love Medication,” the Allman-esque “It’s Complicated” and the mystic, East Indian psychedelia of “Halls of Chandrian.”
“On ‘Halls of Chandrian’ Lexi G’s vocals are bright and cultured, while guitarist (Kenny) Williams sprinkles hints of sitar-like sounds throughout. ‘She’s Tough’ is right out of Elmore James’ music stream, and Williams is tight on the slide with a boogie groove. Nice!
“Kenny Williams plays guitar and handles some of the vocals, and when he takes a lead, it drives hard. Lexi G handles both rough bar-flavored growls and smooth-as-silk vocals, and anytime she steps behind a microphone is the start of an enjoyable journey. A ton of promise for the future.”
“They have the grit, the raw power, and the excitement to get the crowds going and give them a show they will never forget.”
Kenny “Big Daddy” Williams, guitarist and principal songwriter and leader of The Papermoon Gypsys, whom recently took home two LA Music Critics Awards: ”Best Blues Artist” and “Fan Favorite”, topping a very competitive field had said in recent article in IndiePulse Music Magazine “We’re honored and, of course, thrilled to win not just one, but two LA Music Critic Awards, in what was a very competitive field,”. “Big Daddy” continued with saying “We personally know many of the bands that competed, and were up against some very talented musicians. Thanks to (LA Music Critic Founder) Robert Leggett for recognizing and involving Papermoon Gypsys in these awards,”
IPM: Hi Lexi, walk us through the process that brought you back to the band Papermoon Gypsys?
Coming back was a big decision for me. I went on a pursuit of knowledge when I left intending to finish my degree in college before pursuing anything else. After some thought and a few major life experiences I decided to come back. I couldn’t stay away from performing and having that amazingly fun connection with my family (just in case you didn’t know, my lovely mother Kimberly does most of the photography for us and networks quite a bit as well).
IPM: On a scale of one to ten, ten being highest, how well would you say yourself and Papermoon Gypsys co-front person, Kenny “Big Daddy” Williams, get along in the band dynamic?
I’m not willing to put a number on that just because being family AND being band members can be challenging and rewarding in many different ways.
Separating “Big Daddy” from “Daddy” can be difficult and even frustrating but when we can read each other’s minds on stage and “click into” the music, it feels like we get transported to another dimension. The feeling is totally addictive and what I imagine pure creativity is.
IPM: If you had a child, who are some of the music artists you would encourage he/she to listen to first?
Wow, how much space can I fill here?? – Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Allman Brothers, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens…so many more I could happily go on for pages. I would want my child’s life to be full of music with such well woven complexities that you can hear something new even after listening to a song your whole life. Music that makes you stop doing whatever you’re doing to just stop and listen and marvel. Music that bonds itself to you and you’re forever better for it.
Music brings me joy on such a deep spiritual level I would dearly want that in my child’s life as well.
IPM: As a Child of Music, who are some of the music artists Lexi has listened to, past and present?
Oh man, I used to have the oddest playlist as a kid. I can remember sitting at my computer doing homework or playing games and listening to a mix of: The Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Avenged Sevenfold, Tom Petty, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Fall Out Boy and Green Day.
I’m an only child so I stuck to the music my parents thought was cool and man am I glad I have really cool parents.
These days I still rock out to my favorite classic rock and great new alt rock bands such as Glass Animals, Young The Giant, Portugal, The Man, Imagine Dragons and more.
IPM: Let’s talk geography. Do you enjoy playing live shows more in the OC where you live, or in LA at places like The Mint, where Papermoon Gypsys performed recently?
Geographically I like to stay in my zip code but that comes from my love of my own home and primarily introverted pursuits. That’s right. I said it, introverted. I love to perform on stage and connect with people after my sets however afterward the fun is over I need some time to go back home and recharge my batteries. Read a book. Play a game. Big Daddy on the other hand could totally out party me and he’s twice my……knowledge level.
The Mint was an absolute blast though and what an experience it was. I always feel honored to share the stage with talented musicians and that night was one for the books for me.
IPM: Who taught you how to sing?
I’ve never had any prolonged formal training save a few bouts of lessons here and there so I would say my talent is mostly homegrown. I rely heavily on my musicians’ ear and Kenny’s tips/tricks to be able to deliver a song the way I want to. I love to experiment with my voice in my car and try singing all sorts of different ways. I definitely roll the windows up when I do this.
IPM: Have you written any cool tunes lately? Are there any songs or anything with a social/political slant?
Big Daddy does most of the songwriting but I’m always there to help if he can’t find the right word to find into his flow. I always try to put my own spin on his songs as well which I find makes for some really cool music from two very different generations.
IPM: Spill the Beans here: What’s one outrageous/crazy/zany thing you plan on doing onstage before you call it a day?
I’ve always wanted to lay down on stage, kick off my shoes and sing a song. It sounds silly but sometimes that’s how I’ll rehearse my music so I can feel the full range of my voice and feel the earth beneath me as I do it. If I’m barefoot and on the floor I’m the most connected I can be to my craft and that could mean a really powerful performance. Or a wacky and entertaining show!
IPM: You sort of rock the hippie/gypsy look in your stage attire. Who taught you your cool sense of fashion?
My parents really helped me develop my style for which I usually need a hand. I’m a very earthy girl and while a tank top and jeans with boots is my usual go to outfit it doesn’t suit me entirely on stage. I’m much wilder on stage and I usually try to find something I feel powerful in….and a bit like Stevie Nicks.
IPM: Any parting thoughts to our readers around the world?
Complacency is your enemy.
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