PUBLISHED SEPT. 22, 2016
By ANDREA SHAY
While no one can say Gumbo Boogie is a secret — they’ve played everywhere from Jacksonville to Key West and beyond — they still qualify as one of Florida’s must-hear hidden gems.
The band plays what one founding member, Ryan Langley, calls “blues rock country-flavored by New Orleans, Louisiana.” Although over time a few of the members have changed, the band’s been together for 21 years and has played for popular venues like House of Blues and Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate. They’ve also played at large sporting events put on by the National Football League, NASCAR, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League as well as collegiate events held by Florida State University and the University of Florida, among others.
Their current guitarist, Mark Miller, brings a blues contribution to the band’s sound, and bassist Steve Wigginton has worked with boogie woogie piano great Diz Watson.
Gumbo Boogie’s set list makes them a hit for fans and venues alike, since their vast repertoire reaches as far back as “[The] 1900s on up to some ’90s, up through the ages,” said Langley. “Any decade, we can probably do a song from it.”
When asked about their style, he spoke about how they have changed with each addition or loss of members. Wigginton, for example, has influenced the band because of his emphasis and experience with the blues, but in the past the band has had a stronger Louisiana or Zydeco influence.
Gumbo Boogie now plays all over the Southwest Florida area and Langley encourages people who haven’t heard them or their style to “give it a chance. It’s lighthearted music that’s timeless.”
You can catch the band in Bradenton at Clancy’s Irish Pub at 6218 Cortez Rd. W., every fourth Saturday; and at Aces Live, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., every third Sunday. They’ll also be playing as the opening band for Marcia Ball at Aces Live Thursday, Oct. 6.