REVIEW: Gypsy Jayne – Alive and Wandering (1992 cassette)

GYPSY JAYNE – Alive and Wandering (1992 independent cassette)

There is still way too much music that was only released on tape.  Gypsy Jayne (formerly Wildside) were from Oakville Ontario. What they lacked in originality, they compensated for in classically trained guitarist Johannes Linstead. He ‘s a Juno nominee with several flamenco albums today.  Back in the early 90s, he shredded the electric.  We talked about this band briefly during Record Store Tales, but they deserve a closer look.  They were a solid quartet, with a great singer and musicianship.  All that exists of Gypsy Jayne today is their sole cassette:  six songs and a guitar instrumental.

It’s easiest to compare Gypsy Jayne to Illusions-era Guns N’ Roses; they probably had a similar set of influences.  Their namesake song “Gypsy Jayne” opens the tape with a mid-tempo Izzy-like vibe and a hell of a chorus.  Singer Andy Law had a good glam rock voice, but it’s clear right away the guitarist is something special.  The solo is carefully composed and serves the song.  “Whiskey Blues” also has a Guns vibe, particularly the Axl-ish vocals.  The guitar playing is more Van Halen than Slash, but the song smokes.  “As Good as it Gets” boasts some cool slippy slidey intro guitars before going full Guns.  Great tune, blistering solo.  Influences are quickly forgotten as the song repeatedly kicks your ass.

Beginning side two, it’s a new version of “Ready, Willing and Able”, the song they recorded as Wildside on Raw M.E.A.T. #1.  Sleazy rock, L.A. infused.  You can’t tell these guys are from an upper class town in Canada, except perhaps by the schooled guitar approach.  “So Wild” takes it slow, crawling in your ear canal and letting the groove do the work.  “Leave You Now” is acoustic nostalgia, a song about “Chasing all our dreams” and “living crazy nights, lazy days.”  For composition, this could be Jayne’s best song.

“Leave You Now” by Gypsy Jayne

The final track is “Romanza”, a lovely solo classical guitar piece by Linstead.  This foreshadowed where he’d be going in his future.  It’s a nice coda, like Randy Rhoads would have done.

This one’s going to be hard to find — there is no listing on Discogs.

4/5 stars


  1. The thing with this stuff Mikey is the year in which this came out(1992)
    All about timing. I read MEAT all the time as I subscribed but I don’t recall these guys.
    Interesting stuff.
    Discogs is the music Bible,isn’t it!??


  2. Holy Crap! I love Johannes. I had no idea he had a rock album. His flamenco music is sensational. I put him on, Jesse Cook and Rodrigo y Gabriela and just enjoy. They help me wind down at night a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holy crap indeed! Now here is a comment I did NOT expect this morning. I had no idea he was known in the US.

      I will send you these songs when I get home!

      PS – I love Jesse Cook too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know about the rest of the US, but I do know him. I had heard some flamenco music and I went to Itunes and looked up artists that did it and he was one. I tried it and loved it. Same way with Jesse.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Would you be willing to send me these tracks please? Lost this cassette and another related cassette when I loaned them out. Might even have a story or two about these guys.

    Liked by 1 person

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