Vail Valley Foundation presents Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Jan. 12 |

Vail Valley Foundation presents Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Jan. 12

Kris Sabel
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyGandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams will be performing in Beaver Creek on Jan. 12.

Editor’s note: Director’s Corner is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

Every once in a great while you hear an album ” one that you know nothing about ” that makes you stop and take notice. And then you listen to it again and again … and again.

“Flapjacks from the Sky” by Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams was one of those albums for me.

An agency sent me their two-disc CD. Though I didn’t know the band by name, the cover art was intriguing enough to make me actually open the case and give it a listen.

And listen I did. I was immediately captivated by these artists. The style of the music is difficult to label, but if you like the music of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, you will love this band.

They have been compared to Pink Floyd, The Band, The Beatles, The Who, Tom Petty, the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan. However, these comparisons, while true, in some ways really don’t take into account the quality of this band as a whole. T

he work is original and creative, the lyrics are inspired and the message is positive. This music is a treasure chest of classic rock, folk, country and psychedelic rock.

Critical acclaim has been widespread and passionately positive.

All Music Guide called them “simply one of the finest American bands out there on the road.” The New York Times called the band’s repertory “filled with lively songs that are imbued with the mystical stirrings and idealism suggestive of the 1960s.” And Kynd Music raved “don’t say I didn’t warn you, because with a charisma bordering on cultish, the Slambovians will lure you in and they will become your favorite new band.”

The Circus emerged from the misty hills of Sleepy Hollow, New York and exploded on the Hudson Valley music scene in 1998. They regularly play major folk music festivals and venues, to sold-out crowds.

Featured recently in Relix Magazine, the New York Times and on the CBS hit show, Joan of Arcadia, the band’s charismatic live performances and whimsical blend of folk, rock, hillbilly and pop have simply captivated audiences and critics alike.

I have a sense that as much as I love their music on CD, it will be much better when seen live. Four wonderful musicians who between them play guitar, harmonica, mandolin, accordion, cello, flute, piccolo, percussion and theremin (if you are unfamiliar with this instrument check it out at Wikipedia).

To get a sense of their music and live performance energy, please visit the new Vilar Center website at, and find their listing in the events calendar for January 12.

I am so excited to see this group I hope you will join me for what I anticipate to be a mind-blowing experience. As one reviewer said “They’re not just a band. That’s something like saying the Bible is just a Book.”

I hope to see you at the theatre!

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