The plot

Equal parts playful, ambient and ominous, Gringo Motel is an evolving music and art excursion that evokes reality as a picture show. The sound animates unusual love triangles, romantic betrayal, and runaway circus chickens through the desolate resonance of the American Southwest. Gringo Motel's influences include mariachi, spaghetti westerns, surf rock, circus music, and game show themes.

The backstory

Founded in 1999 by multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and artist Tom Scheponik, the band features a rotating lineup--contributing musicians stop in for recording and gigs as they please with no commitment.

"Return of El Lobo" (2005) illustrates a love triangle between a matador, a rooster, and a bull told from the perspective of a naive child painter.

"Shower Music for the Insane" (2006) continues the tale of love, betrayal and revenge as a doomed relationship runs its course, as Cesar the cat makes his recording debut with a mournful but poignant solo.

"El Pinko de Gallo" (2009) brings Motel patrons the story of three chickens that sneak off to see a gypsy circus, only to become unwilling sideshow stars.

"La Spectacle" (2015) A Bird Circus comes to town! tales of bird hitman, one footed hookers, aging acrobats, and a prankster who braids the hair of horses when women are not around.

"Above Snakes" (2017) The cantina band knows the folks pretty well in this town. Soundtracks for the barmaids, corrupt snake mayor, local policia, relaxing at the mud saloon, getting blurry eyed after a long haul.

(2020) We'll be back in the studio for our 6th full length album!



Tom Scheponik: nylon guitar, electric guitars, vibraphone, pedal steel, accordion, rhodes, organ, dobro, mandolin, upright bass, guitarron, percussion, whoopin and a hollerin.

Mark Gallagher: tenor and baritone sax

Gary Zampini: bass

Richard Breazzano: drums

Christopher Tolomeo: trumpet, trombone, siren whistle

(with special motel guests: Rob Hann, Daniel Harvie, Jeff Lager, Joe Hight, Ryan Kozar, Shara Howard, Radar Cunningham, Eric Prykowski, Matt Kunkle, Mat Gibson, Elliott Hasiuk, Rich Galster, Aleks Gylys, Rosie Langabeer, Katherine Scheponik, Patrica Cunningham, Woods Stevens, Kurt Fowler, Julia Alford, Joseph Getz and Cesar the cat)