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Slambovian Circus of Dreams ~ 2017 January 21 ~ Greenwich Odeum ~ East Greenwich, RI

... by Joanne Corsano ... joanne@picturelake.com

Slambovian Circus of Dreams
Sharkey McEwen, Bob Torsello
click thumbnail to see a photo gallery
of the concert

Band Personnel: Joziah Longo, lead vocals, guitar, bass, harmonica; Sharkey McEwen, guitar, mandolin, vocals; Felipe Torres, drums, percussion; Tink Lloyd, accordion, cello, flute, tambourine, cowbell, recorder, backing vocals; Bob Torsello, bass ... also known as Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams ... or ... The Grand Slambovians.

Set List

Grand Slambovians - Lost Highway - Pushing Up Daisies - Baby Jane - Very Unusual Head - Very Happy Now/Epistle to Dippy/I Wanna Be Sedated - Folsom Prison Pinball / I Wish - Step Outta Time - Life On Mars {Bowie} - Genius ... intermission ... Moondog House - Solve It All Daily - Rainy Grey [old Ancestors-era song, recently revived] - Tink (I Know It's You) - Here Comes the Sun {Beatles} - Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express ... encore ... Golden Slumbers intro / The Invisible - Angels We Have Heard On High / Gloria

Videos

Pushing Up Daisies

Rainy Grey

Angels We Have Heard On High / Gloria

Review

I've seen this band quite a few times, and they are always good, but sometimes they really outdo themselves. This was one of those nights. One of the reasons was the presence of a bass player, the energetic and skilled Bob Torsello, who sometimes got so excited he jumped up and down while playing, as if he were a member of Parsonsfield. Having the bass in the mix really enhanced many of the songs, including "Tink (I Know It's You)."

Joziah dedicated one song, "Baby Jane," to the Women's Marches that had taken place in thousands of places around the globe earlier in the day. According to Slambovian mythology, one day the women are going to stand up, tell the roosters to sit down, and they will usher in one thousand years of world peace. We need that right about now. "Baby Jane" is a wonderful song all about the empowerment of women. Since Joziah usually uses that intro to lead into "Tink," I assumed they weren't going to play that one tonight, but when they did, I was surprised and pleased. Joziah announced: "For your folk edification, Sharkey will play slide mandolin." Oh yes. It was that slide mandolin that hooked me during my first visit to Slambovia, and I can't imagine ever getting tired of hearing it.

Tink announced that the set list would include songs from each of their studio albums, and to complete that promise, the band played a song that they used to play all the time but that lately has been neglected, the brilliant "Genius." They played several songs that aren't on any album, at least not yet (they are, they said, working on new recording), including one old song, "Rainy Grey." They wrote the song 20+ years ago, under the dark cloud of Kurt Cobain's death, and it reflects some of the heaviness of that tragedy, but it was musically very compelling. Joziah played bass on the song. As he was introducing the song, Joziah told the audience to go ahead and pull out our iPhones and video ... so, well, I did.

Another treat was in the category of spontaneous improv, an almost complete version of George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" on which everyone played, as if they were expecting it.

Sound and lighting were good in this recently restored venue, which has had a 100 year history as a vaudeville palace and a movie house. It is in beautiful condition now, with a chandelier in the foyer, comfortable seats, and a high stage affording good visibility for everyone and plenty of room for the musicians. Concert Going Partner and I were somewhat surprised at how busy a place East Greenwich, RI, still decorated with seasonal lights, is on a Saturday in the middle of January. The restaurant right across the street even had a half hour wait, so we moseyed down the street a block or two and had a very nice meal in the pizza shop down the way.

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