Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams explored by IHEG intern Lee Taylor who'd never heard of them. They play the Horse on Sat. Sept. 19th

First area of research when discovering a new band for me is to find out where they are from. Upon a swift Google, I came to find that there is no such town as Slambovia. So Gandalf Murphy and Co. are creative, even on the surface. Next thing on the judge de facto is appearance. Aside from a name that spawns images of sci-fi hobbits in "Gandalf Murphy" (a made up name, a la the blowfish named Hootie), the long haired guitar and accordion wielding members look like they're in a world of their own.

The absence of major label and big time media help in the band's eleven year history has thus far given the Sleepy Hollow, New York band a license to build a niche following. Their local following is so big, the band hosts an annual Halloween party, the Grand Slambovian Hillbilly Pirate Ball.

They let their freak flags fly. Their sound is all over the map, but not to cover up any shortcomings. They nail it for different reasons in their songs. "Pushin' Up Daisies" is a mid-tempo number with distorted guitar harmonics, walking bass lines and deep harmonies like Pink Floyd or some strange under-the- radar '90s drug-and-flannel rock band.

"I see you looking through her eyes, there ain't no disguise for what you do to me," lead singer Joziah Longo sings on "Picture" off of last year's "The Great Unravel" album, lamenting love and loneliness with a sort of Neil Young croon mixed with some dirty slide guitar and attitude like southern country-punks the Drive-By Truckers.

Hudson Valley Magazine named the Circus "Band of The Year" for the past three years while their latest studio release "Flapjacks From The Sky" has been hailed by many.

Keeping it all in the family, Longo has had five children with accordion player Tink Lloyd, two of them are now in the band, Chen on bass and Orien on cowbell and keyboards. This is not a family band, but a family rocking unit. Recap on why the locals can't get enough: a name like no other, family matters, roots-flavored psychedelia!

You can get tickets here for their show at 7PM, Saturday, September 19th at the Iron Horse.

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