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Grand Slambovians ~ 2013 October 5 ~ 6 On the Square ~ Oxford, NY

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Tink Lloyd
Tink Lloyd
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to see a photo gallery of the concert

Band Personnel: Joziah Longo, lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica; Sharkey McEwen, lead guitar, mandolin, backing vocals, lead vocal (on one song); Eric Puente, drums; Tink Lloyd, accordion, cello, ukulele, melodica, tambourine, cowbell, backing vocals ... also known as Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams

Set List

Grand Slambovians - Hurdy Gurdy Man {Donovan} - Very Unusual Head - medley: Very Happy Now / Epistle to Dippy {Donovan} / I Wanna Be Sedated {Ramones} - Suzanne {Leonard Cohen} - Hey Good Lookin' {brief improv} - Windmills - Lost Highway - Dulcinea {brief improv} - Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express {false start} - Oh Susannah {brief improv} - Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express ... intermission ... Northern Sea - Sullivan Lane - Tink (I Know It's You) - Box of Everything - Talkin' to the Buddha - Alice In Space ... encore ... Tiptoe Through the Tulips {brief improv} - Munchkin Song {brief improv} - The Invisible - Pushing Up Daisies

Scroll down past the video for pictures, review, and photo gallery.


"Very Happy Now / Epistle to Dippy / I Wanna Be Sedated":


The night after the Circus opened the new Towne Crier in Beacon, NY, they played a show that was the complete opposite in many ways in the tiny hamlet of Oxford, NY.

The Towne Crier show of October 4 was held in a big, shiny, new professional venue with lots of name bands on the upcoming schedule, a New York Times photographer in attendance, a local mayor sitting in on one song, an additional musician on bass, a big stage and roomy seating area, a highly professional show, and lots of hoopla, with 240 enthusiastic people in the audience.

Tonight they played a tiny hole in the wall in front of 60 people who were crammed in like subway riders at rush hour. Obviously happy and feeling relaxed after yesterday's tour de force, they played the goofiest, loosest show I'd seen them do in a long, long time. One glance at the above setlist will show you that Joziah was happily drawing upon his vast mental storehouse of popular songs from all eras to keep the band on their toes and sprinkle the usual Slambovian setlist with a lot of enjoyable surprises.

6 on the Square is just as professional as the Towne Crier, in its own way. It's a nonprofit folk venue housed in an awkwardly shaped space on one side of the village green. It was attractively decorated with musical instruments on the walls and old vinyl records hanging from the ceiling. Extremely tiny tables seated six people each (I'm thinking they would have done better to eliminate the tables and have rows of seats only, but the space is so small maybe they have no place to put the tables). The stage was about fifteen feet wide, 5 feet from front to back, and about 6 inches high off the floor. The drum kit took up half the stage. At stage left, Sharkey had a space about 3 feet by three feet. On stage right, Tink (and her many instruments) shared a slightly larger space with Joziah. I was worried that Joziah would trip over one of the drum stands, but the worst that happened was an encounter with his microphone stand, that was literally standing in front of the stage in the audience, where it was inevitable that an audience member would bump into it at some point in the evening. This venue was exactly like a 1/4 scale model of the Towne Crier.

The space was so small there would be no room for the traditional Mummers' parasols during "Alice In Space," and before the show a resourceful fan named Jerilyn handed out tiny umbrellas, the kind you get in the fancy drinks in a Chinese restaurant.

And it was a magical night. They played two songs from the new Folk album ("Hurdy Gurdy Man" as well as "Suzanne"). Again, Sharkey got the lead vocal on the Ramones portion of the crazy "Very Happy Now" medley -- what Tink called the enhanced 3-D version of the song, and I was ready with my video camera. (Link to the video is higher up on the page.) The plan was to end the first set with "BiPolar Express," a song during which Joziah and Sharkey usually meet at the center of the stage to trade slide guitar riffs for the intro. This time they were on opposite sides of the drums, since there was no place for them to get together; they played the slide guitar riffs; and Joziah stopped the song, saying: "That was the best intro to that song we've ever played, too bad I don't have my harmonica." So to roars of laughter from the crowd, they stopped the song while Joziah fetched his harmonica, and before starting it all again, tossed in a verse or two of "Oh Susannah."

Joziah, obviously in a very good space after last night's success, was even more talkative than usual. While introducing "Talkin' to the Buddha," he started to talk about keeping items in a box (they had just done "Box Of Everything") and was searching for a word for the place where people keep treasures. Sharkey suggested the word "chest." For unknown reasons this set off Joziah onto a journey into an entirely new story about, well I'm not sure, really, but it had to do with traveling into a sub-basement and meeting God.

The final touch to this even better than usual visit to Slambovia was the final song. Lately the band have been playing "The Invisible" as the encore, with sometimes a second, uptempo encore. Today's choice was "Pushing Up Daisies," a song that is not only musically upbeat, but carries a beautiful, uplifting message about the power everyone has to make the world a better place.

This show was a good example of why it's a good idea to go to see this band more than once, since it was very different from last night's show.

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