This song was the beginning of my Gypsy Journey. The leap of faith that I took in 2012 after leaving behind my life in LA. I booked a trip to Germany from New York. My first stop was Denver to spend a few days with my daughter. I spent almost every night playing open mics and checking out live venues to gig at. The night before leaving to New York I went to an open mic at a dive bar in downtown Denver. It was so empty, only one table and one other performer. I decided to stay and play anyway. Once on stage I told the one table that I was a traveling musician on my way to New York and I shared my intension for this trip of proving myself that I could do this anywhere. A woman at the table decided to buy all the cds I had with me and asked me join her to tell her more about myself. I shared more in depth about my life and at some point she left the table and asked me to wait for her, when she got back she handed me $500 and told me this was so I didn’t have to worry about money and to just focus on what I had to do. 

This was the beginning of a beautiful experience. In New York I spent my days playing in Central Park to make some money for food and drinks. I would also walk all over manhattan to find venues. I was able to book a show on that week and the rest was open mics and open jams. 

Then off to Germany. I spent most of my time in Braunshweig where a childhood friend lives. I was able to book shows, a radio interview, private shows, even played at a elementary school.  I also met other musicians to jam with and play on stage. And I won first place at a karaoke contest 🙂 . 

On my way back to the States I spent one the best 24 hours of my life in Amsterdam. I was able to perform 2 shows that day. First on the street with a busker that allowed me to play with him and then to play my own set then that night I ended up playing in front of a huge crowd where a cover band let me played during their brake. I had about 200 people singing along to my rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. It was magical.  Then I went back to New York for another week, now with more connections I actually played 2 shows of my own and opened for other musicians I met. I returned to Denver to spend more time with Olivia and then to Mexico City where I met Jordi because I needed a drummer to play a couple of shows there. Then I flew to California to play 2 shows in LA and took my car up the coast and made my way to San Francisco passing through Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz where I busked during the day and perform at night.  It was a very intense rhythm of life.  

All through out the travels I would find places to practice and compose. That’s where Trip was born. This song carries all the different emotions, tales and images of this experience. From epic nights to moments of loneliness and self doubt. It took a lot from me, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I would often question why I was doing this but also the adventures that every day would bring fuel me to keep going.   Parts of the song takes me to Central Park, Staten Island while looking at NY city landscape, the canals in Amsterdam, the beautiful parks in Germany, the beach in Santa Barbara, the city vibe of San Francisco, Coyoacan in Mexico City and specially all the people I met along the way. It was such a great experience.

The song was finished with Jordi Mari. It was our first collaboration as a duo. I hope you enjoy this trip.

I was going through my pictures and I found a 5 year old one. At first I had the usual thought of how quick time passes by but then I was just enchanted with memories of that time.

It was a time of self realization as an artist. I was discovering new ways to make songs and I wanted to use elements of the music that has influenced me.

I had 5 songs that I composed using the guitar, a drum machine and an electric bass. Spent hours in solitude experimenting, probably each song had dozens of versions. Then I pushed my comfort zone to finish this project.  In my search for a gig I stumble on an opening spot for Eric Gales (Awesome Blues Guitarist) at the Key Club in the Sunset Strip. Awesome venue!! I booked it not having a band and unfinished songs.

My next step was finding musicians to do this.

I called my friend Mike first, he played percussions for me before during the Gypsy Muse times. He couldnt do it but recommended Alastair Wilson, a local drummer. I called Alastair and explained to him the situation. We had like 5 weeks to finish 7 songs and play a gig. He was up for it.

It was great, we rehearsed a ton and with the help of having him to work with, the songs really matured.  We had the setlist ready but no bass player yet. I was ready to take on the gig as a duo but Alastair had other projects with local bands and he mentioned this bass player he knew from one of them, Mario Gonzalez.

Mario came to jam one night and was up for the challenge, I think we had 3 weeks before the gig at that point. He rehearsed with us and I sat with him a few nights to help writing the bass parts.

I believe this picture was taken a night before the big show. We stopped by at an Open Mic and brought all our equipment. It was the “practice” gig.

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The next night at the Key Club was an incredible experience. We took the audience by surprise. A trio of flamenco progressive rock, out of the desert of California, where just a drip of water helps beautiful things to bloom.

I learned it just takes action in life if you want things to happen. And to enjoy the ride… it is definitely the best part.

This is a picture of the gig at the Key Club. Hollywood, CA.

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Listen to Self-Portrait of El Javi Trio.