MP3 Zenphonic - Cyber Gypsies
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12 MP3 Songs
POP: Folky Pop, ROCK: Jam-band
Show all album songs: Cyber Gypsies Songs
After being cradled as an infant in "a furry blue guitar case," it is not surprising that the leader of the band
Zenphonic, singer-songwriter Oceana Gayden, decided to pursue music as a career. Especially since that guitar
case belonged to one of the world's influential guitarists and songwriters.
As the daughter of Mac Gayden, Oceana was born into an environment steeped in groundbreaking music. Her
father is not only a celebrated studio musician who played guitar on legendary recordings by Bob Dylan, Linda
Ronstadt, Joe Simon and J.J. Cale, among others, but he is also a hit songwriter and producer, best known for
penning the perennial pop and R&B hit, "Everlasting Love." As a member of the bands Area Code 615 and
Barefoot Jerry in the early '70s, he helped create the blueprint for the emerging Southern rock and country
"I didn't know about Barefoot Jerry, but my earliest childhood memories - I remember there was always a
band there," twenty-something Oceana recalls from her home in Knoxville, Tenn. "We had guitars everywhere,
we had microphones everywhere and of course, my dad's furry blue guitar case, which was my favorite hiding
place when I was still small enough to fit inside.
"The biggest room in the house was always the band room," she continues. "So anytime I was bored, I would
go in there and play with the microphone. I would dance while the band was practicing. It just gave me such
a fun childhood."
Growing up, Oceana studied classical violin, but she still heard the call of the rock and soul music that surrounded
her as an infant. "The older I got, I kept gravitating back to my dad's music, the music he was doing
before I was born and shortly thereafter - you know, Southern rock, Skyboat's Hymn To The Seeker album,"
she says. "When it came time for me to do music, I knew from the get-go I wanted to work with my dad. I
wanted to hear the guitar he played on "Caney Fork River Daze" - you know, just that jammin', all-out
Although he had mixed feelings about his daughter pursuing a career in music, Mac eventually agreed to
accompany her into the studio. Ironically, the resulting music was not even close to Southern rock, even
though it included plenty of his signature guitar work. Instead, working with a number of musicians who would
become members of her band including her older brother Mac Gayden Jr., Oceana explored a variety of poprock
themes with an ease and sophistication that belies her limited professional experience.
The twelve songs that make up Zenphonic's debut album, Cyber Gypsies, reflect the lessons in popular music
Oceana soaked up as a child from inside that guitar case. Not only lessons learned from her father and his
bandmates, but also from artists like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Steely Dan, who were recording in adjacent
studios to Mac's band Skyboat when she was only a few months old. (Stevie Nicks rocked her to sleep
during the Rumours sessions.)
Even though Mac produced the album, make no mistake: Cyber Gypsies represents Oceana's musical vision.
Ten of the songs are originals and there are two covers: Wayne Carson's "The Letter" and Skyboat's "Stepping
Stone." Her originals demonstrate a familiarity with the pop-rock lexicon and a depth of songwriting rarely
found in one so young. But if nothing else, Oceana knows how high the songwriting bar is set.
Cyber Gypsies also proves her to be a more than capable vocalist. She has a strong voice with a full tone and
a broad range. Besides handling all the lead vocals, she harmonizes with herself on a number of the tracks.
After the album was completed, Oceana began to perform live shows around the Southeast with the musicians
who have now joined her in Zenphonic. As to the origin of the band's name, she explains, "I have a heavy
classical background, so Zenphonic came from a play on symphonic. At the same time, I'm writing socially
aware lyrics. So I put those things together and came up with Zenphonic."
Although Zenphonic's journey is just beginning with the release of Cyber Gypsies, it is the fulfillment of a
musical dream for Oceana Gayden - a dream that began in a furry blue guitar case.
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