here are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Diego’s Umbrella and those who don’t know them yet. Celebrated as San Francisco’s ambassadors of Gypsy Rock, these world-renowned entertainers have created an irresistible mélange that is entirely their own.
A Diego’s Umbrella show is a singular, ecstatic experience. One concert is all it takes to becoming a believer. Night after night they effortlessly blend eastern European sounds, marching drums, beautiful harmonies and catchy hooks with a showmanship that has all the fire and unpredictability of youth, marked by a chiseled refinement of years of experience on the road.
The group’s uncanny gift for pleasing crowds, from standard clubs to huge festivals such as High Sierra and Outside Lands, has earned them a zealous and ever-expanding following across the United States and Europe. Continuously touring abroad has always fed their aesthetic, and has resulted in incorporating the scales of klezmer, the strings of flamenco, and the energy of punk rock.
Their new material is some of the most exciting to date, tipping a hat to the raucous Croatian dance parties the band played in their early days. With a quest to fulfill and broadcast the true meaning of Gypsy Rock, Diego’s Umbrella continues to tour the world.
Hoist the Colors isn’t an “LA” band in any conventional sense. In a city that sometimes values style over substance, they are a working man’s band. They aren’t jaded, there is no irony or posing; Hoist the Colors is a group of genuine individuals who genuinely love what they do.
But Los Angeles has shaped the band. Like the cultural fabric of their city, their music is an eclectic mix, the product of different traditions coming together to create something totally original. And LA can be a brutal city. Ugly and sprawling, it has a tendency to wear you down, to swallow you up, and it’s made the band work harder, persevere longer, and come out stronger on the other side.
Hoist the Colors plays a blend of punk rock, traditional Irish music, and American folk and bluegrass. The band began humbly, in lead singer and songwriter Josh Linden’s living room in 2007. “A few friends and I were bored and began learning Irish rebel songs and Pogues covers on these acoustic instruments that we really didn’t know how to play,” he recalls. Soon the friends recruited a drummer and fiddle player, began writing their own versions of rebel songs, and started playing at local bars under the name Hoist the Colors. Raucous and spirited performances attracted a loyal following and word quickly spread. The band soon found themselves playing marathon pub shows that regularly drew packed houses, all blood, sweat, and spilled beer.