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The Grand Slambovians ~ 2014 March 21 ~ One Longfellow Square ~ Portland, ME

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Band Personnel: Joziah Longo, lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonica; Sharkey McEwen, guitar, mandolin, backing vocals, lead vocal on "I Want To Be Sedated"; Eric Puente, drums; Tink Lloyd, accordion, cello, tambourine, cowbell, ukulele, melodica, backing vocals ... also known as Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams ... or ... The Slambovian Circus of Dreams.

Set List

Grand Slambovians - Sunday in the Rain - Very Unusual Head - Very Happy Now/Epistle to Dippy/I Want To Be Sedated medley - [Pete Seeger story] - Suzanne {Leonard Cohen} - Hurdy Gurdy Man {Donovan} - Tink (I Know It's You) ... intermission ... Northern Sea - Sullivan Lane - The Letter {The Box Tops} - Windmills - Box of Everything - Talkin' to the Buddha - Sixteen Tons - Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express ... encore ... Golden Slumbers intro / The Invisible

Scroll down past the videos for review and photos.


"Very Happy Now medley"

"Sullivan Lane"

"The Invisible"


Eric Puente
Eric Puente
Click on the picture
to see a photo gallery of the concert

Off to the hip small city of Portland, Maine to see the Slambovians for the third time this year. The band have played this excellent venue before, but not for several years, and Joziah apologized to the audience for neglecting them, and promised they would return. The room was not quite filled, but the audience members were very enthusiastic and one could tell Joziah & Co. felt welcome.

It was an excellent show, up to their usual standards, and this was with a handicap. Lead guitarist Sharkey McEwen had a rubbery stretch band slung around his shoulder helping to support his arm. The band flowed loosely out from behind his jacket in a rakish kind of way. He also needed help from the drummer to sling his guitar over his shoulder. Sharkey has recently had shoulder surgery, and while he's recovering from this, needs help for the arm. It didn't seem to affect his playing or his mood, but I'm sure below that confident, upbeat exterior he was feeling at least some discomfort. That boy's a trooper.

Six months ago the new Towne Crier Cafe in Beacon, NY was opened by the Grand Slambovians, and around this time Joziah and Tink had the privilege of spending some time with Pete Seeger. Later on at a memorial for Pete, they performed the song "Suzanne" as a tribute to Pete's wife Toshi, and this has become a staple of their live shows. The song appears on their recent CD, Folk, along with two other songs performed tonight, Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and the fun improv, "Sixteen Tons," during which Tink plucked the strings of her cello like a stand-up bass.

A Circus show without an unexpected improv would be like a breakfast without orange juice, and tonight's tasty treat was "The Letter" (the song by The Box Tops), which popped for no apparent reason out of Joziah's vast mental storeroom of songs from the rock 'n' roll era.

One Longfellow Square is a venue I would visit more often if it were closer to home, since it is a very good place to see a show. The sound is particularly good. The good big stage affords plenty of room for the Slambovians and their many musical instruments. The venue sells coffee (welcome on a cold night like this), soft drinks, and various adult beverages. The main seating area consists of eight or ten rows of folding chairs and a balcony of about three rows of seats. It's in a busy section of Portland just off of Congress Street, with restaurants and other concert venues, and arriving on the early side helps to find a decent parking spot. The stage had a grayish-purply curtain as a backdrop that was good for picture taking, and where I sat in the front row, just slightly on the Tink side, gave me a chance to get some decent pictures of drummer Eric Puente. This is not always the case at every venue, so I took advantage, thus explaining the predominance of Eric in the photo gallery (up and to the right; click on the thumbnail for the photo gallery).

More Slambovians

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