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“Songs imbued with mystical stirrings and idealism… they take the stage by storm!”
– The New York Times
“They have an air of both Floyd and maybe Bowie at times atop their folkcountry roots (note, not fauxcountry) – but it’s done with a warmth and comfort of a mystical Nebraska or poetic Crazy Horse.” – Sleazegrinder, UK
Together since the late 90’s where they met in art school, the band settled in Sleepy Hollow, New York, forming The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. Known for their electrifying live performances the band has toured nationally and abroad, playing a moody but uplifting americana with an extensive instrumental arsenal (accordion, cello, mandolin, theremin). For the uninitiated, the band’s all-over-the-map melodic avant-folk is equal parts Washington Irving and Woodstock, tapping a broad palette of styles ranging from dusty Americana ballads to huge Pink Floydesque cinematic anthems. “The entire root system of Rock Family Trees is embedded in Longo’s voice.”- The Big Issue, Scotland, U.K. The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have been called “the hillbilly Pink Floyd,” which is an apt description, particularly if you throw in elements of Incredible String Band, Neil Young, The Band, Dylan, Bowie and Syd Barrett.
The band runs its own label, with 4 critically acclaimed studio albums “The Grand Slambovians”2010, ‘The Great Unravel’ (2008), 2004’s double-disc ‘Flapjacks from the Sky’, and ‘A Good Thief Tips His Hat‘ (1998) in its catalogue. In 2014, ‘A Box of Everything’, was licensed to Red River/Sony Red as the band’s ‘greatest hits you’ve never heard’. The bands next studio album, ‘A Very Unusual Head’ is scheduled for release summer/fall 2016, unleashing their hauntingly signature songs on the world once again. Guests on the album will include friends and fellow New Yorkers including guitarist Gary Lucas, Willie Nile, and many more.
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams are:
Joziah Longo (lead vocals, guitars, harmonica), born in Philadelphia, grew up playing traditional country, folk and mummers music with his father. Performing professionally from the age of 13 doing Dylan covers, he moved to New York to pursue his muse. Playing venues ranging from CBGB’s to Carnegie Hall as a headline performer, Joziah was also the first American songwriter invited to perform in mainland China in the early 90’s, signaling the end of a decade-long ban on Western music. Since 2010 Longo has worked with Broadway’s Circle in The Square Theater in New York City. Joziah wrote the music for 2 original productions, directed by the legendary Theodore Mann and is currently working on another project with new theater director, Jonathan Mann.
Multi-instrumentalist Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, flute, theremin) comes from a long line of feisty Irish musicians which brings a spark to the band’s music as well as performance. Tink has worked with Joziah since meeting in the 1980’s.
Sharkey McEwen (guitars, mandolin, backing vocals), longtime musical partner of Joziah, has Louisiana roots but grew up in L.A. where he cut his teeth on the club circuit before coming to New York in the early 90’s. His inventive, evocative playing is a strong counterpoint to Joziah’s songwriting. He is has been the band’s main engineer and co-producer with Joziah since their first album.
A New York area native, Felipe Torres (drums, percussion, backing vocal) has been a musician and teacher for nearly 20 years. Having toured extensively throughout the USA, Canada and Europe, performing in a multitude of musical genres, Felipe brings a variety of drumming and color to the Slambovian world. His approach is directed and inspired by the mood and lyrical imagery conjured by the newly found musical kinship in Joziah and the band’s work. Felipe’s teaching website can be found HERE.
All photos: Stuart Berg