Vail Valley: This Circus is a family affair
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado -I’m serious, if you could only see one concert in Colorado’s Vail Valley this fall, Gandalf Murphy is that show. This group is so talented and yet so under-the-radar for most people, I feel it is my duty to help spread the word. This is music making at is best. Great songwriting, with soulful yet uplifting lyrics that stick in your head the first time you hear them. For those of us of a certain age, this is the kind of music we grew up with. Albums that you fall in love with immediately, and listen to over and over again. Formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York in the late ’90s, Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams is one of the best known and loved bands in their home state, singled out as Hudson Valley Magazine’s “band of the year” for the past three years. They have a very dedicated fan base that travel hundreds of miles to see them live. Unfortunately, they don’t make it out to our part of the country that often, so when we learned they were coming out west, we booked them immediately. Joziah Longo does the songwriting, plays electric and acoustic guitar, as well as the harmonica and is the lead singer. Citing influences as diverse as Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Incredible String Band and early Pink Floyd, Longo describes the band’s music as “punk-classical-hillbilly-Floyd.” One of the best things about this band is they don’t fit neatly into any category or genre. Each song is unique in a style that is appropriate to the lyric and intention of the songwriting, yet all songs work together to create an experience that is greater than the sum of all the parts. Other members of the band are: Sharkey McEwen on lead guitar, backing vocals and mandolin; Tink Lloyd on accordion, cello, flute, piccolo, theremin and backing vocals; Tony Zuzulo on percussion; Chen Longo on bass guitar; and Orien Longo on cowbell, synthesizer and backing vocals. Part of what makes this band so special is the chemistry between the musicians. And a big part of that chemistry comes from that fact that they are family. (Tink is married to Joziah and Chen and Orien are their twin sons.) As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, this is a concert not to be missed, but don’t take my word for it. Come see for yourself! The show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday night and tickets are reasonably priced at $20. So the risk is minimal, but the potential experience is priceless. Local favorites The Laughing Bones will open for the Slambovians for a great night of music. This concert is the first of three in our fall line-up of singer/songwriters and will be followed by Vienna Teng on Oct. 24 and Ellis Paul on Nov. 12. We are offering a locals special to see all three concerts for the low price of $45 with no additional fees; a 33 percent savings off the single ticket prices. For more information on these artists and to listen to their music and videos, visit our Web site, http://www.vilarpac.org. I hope to see you at the concert.