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UNF student, coalition of harmonic gypsies take over the republic

Shawn Fisher, a UNF political science junior, and the Jukebox Gypsies signed to one of the biggest record labels in the country, Universal Republic, July 24. The band originated a little over a year ago straight out of Jacksonville, said Fisher, a UNF political science junior.

Fisher, lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist, reluctantly began playing the guitar as a teenager.

“I didn’t pick up the guitar until a year after my mom bought it for me. I was just a teenager and not that into it,” Fisher said in a Florida Times-Union interview. “Growing up I didn’t have that much of a musical background at all.”

At 13 years old, Fisher’s infatuation with musicianship began: He honed his musical skills as he dabbled in the art of writing lyrics. By age 16, he self-distributed his first CD, Identity. Fisher said when he entered the collegiate world, his fan base grew along with his musical sophistication.

“I joined a fraternity, and my fan base grew five fold,” Fisher told the Times-Union. “In college I started writing more rockin’ songs, and people thought the sound was really starting to evolve, but it just wasn’t with the right musicians.”

But with his new management at Skinny Boy, Fisher found the musicians he was looking for in his group of wandering brethren: the Jukebox Gypsies.

The band consists of Fisher, Brad Moxey on drums, Scraggle on bass and Casey King and Robbie Vanosdol on guitar.

These musical rovers‘ rocker style is reflective of some iconic 80s legends.

“I would say our style is just some good old rock ‘n’ roll,” Fisher said. “I think we’re like a mix of Aerosmith and Tom Petty.”

The band’s search for a record label began when they recorded their first self-titled CD that was released in early April, Fisher said. The band then considered five or six different record labels before it landed with Universal Republic three weeks ago.

“Right now we’re doing a lot of planning for our first album with Universal Republic, which we hope to have out in stores by the first of next year,” Fisher said. “We’re doing a lot of writing for the new record right now.”

In addition to the writing, the Jukebox Gypsies are embarking on an abundance of traveling in the upcoming months.

The band just returned home from a weekend run that lead them from Nashville and Cookeville, Tenn. down to Atlanta, Fisher said.

“We’ve been touring for about 25 days out of the month,” Fisher said. “We are coming home for a few weeks to do some writing, and then we’re off again for a two month tour starting in October.”

While Shawn Fisher and the Jukebox Gypsies are playing throughout America, Fisher says he’s personally rocking Weezer, the Goo Goo Dolls and Jack’s Mannequin.

While these artists are an inspiration to him, Fisher has some encouraging words for future musicians.

“I would say just write really honest music, and be honest in what you do,” Fisher said. “It’s a long, hard road, but be confident in what you do.”

Fisher is taking the 2009-10 year from UNF to better tour, plan his future and write more material. He is the only one in the band who is studying at UNF.

To hear Shawn Fisher and the Jukebox Gypsies and learn more about the band visit their MySpace page at myspace.com/shawnfisher.

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  • C

    ChristySep 10, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Yeah, we knew it when we 1st heard these guys…& the voice behind the guys (on Myspace
    )! Wow…what a whirlwind of a ride to see them play in person & then watch them turn to fire. Can’t wait to see them again & again!! Keep it lit!