It would appear Gypsy Tailwind's tumultuous ride has lost its backing breeze. There was talk of a new record this summer, but "it's done. It's dead," says Anna Lombard, the on-again, off-again, on-again singer for GT. After joining with singer/songwriter Dan Connor to surprise Portland with a thrilling vocal pairing in 2008 and the debut Halo Sessions, following up with 2009's Grace, and then leaving the band to have a kid while Amanda Gervasi took her spot for 2010's Decades and Days, Lombard has now left the band again — and taken the band with her.
Tracks have already been laid down, and plans are in the works for the debut show from ANNA, the last Saturday in October on LL Bean's outdoor stage. For the moment, at least, Tailwind's drummer Chris Dow, bassist Colin Winsor, guitarist Max Cantlin, and mandolinist Ben Trout are tagging along.
While getting back in the saddle with Gypsy has been a good ride, says Lombard, "over the course of the last year, my artistic vision and what I want to do music-wise is very different from the sound that Gypsy Tailwind has . . . Gypsy Tailwind just wasn't the right band for me. I'm not an alt-country singer, and I didn't realize that for a really long time. It worked, but at some point, I have to figure out what I really want to do."
She says she's been inspired lately by old-school R&B, the likes of Susan Tedeschi, the blues. "I want people to connect with me as a singer," she says, "but also as a writer, and that's opened up completely different doors for me." She started collaborating with the likes of Cantlin and Trout and all of a sudden there was a whole new vein of music streaming out; Lombard's also had the chance to bounce ideas off the likes of Nigel Hall, Jon Nolan, and Zach Jones, among others, as she's started to hone her nascent songwriting skills.
Along the way, she's also picked up an association with Geordie Gillespie, a long-time Sony Music exec, who's started up music marketing and promotion consulting firm Unleashed Music and thinks Lombard could be some kind of big deal.
So . . . ANNA? She laughs: "We tried for months to come up with a band name!" And who knows if it will stick. "I think that the band is something that will continue to evolve. We're all on board and we want to see how it goes. It will continue as long as people are stoked to keep playing. I'm lucky to have a lot of talented people who are interested in working with me."