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Slambovian Circus of Dreams Duo ~ 2017 March 11 ~ First Encounter Coffeehouse ~ Eastham, MA

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

Joziah and Tink
Slambovian Circus of Dreams Duo
click thumbnail to see a photo gallery
of the concert

Personnel: Joziah Longo, lead vocals, guitar, harmonica; Tink Lloyd, accordion, ukulele, sitar, flute, kazoo, cello, tambourine, floor tom, Chinese bell, melodica, cowbell, backing vocals

Set List

Sunday in the Rain - Silent Revolution - Very Unusual Head - Look Around - The Never Was - Bees - Step Outta Time ... intermission ... Ding Dong Day - Brilliantly Dumb {about one minute} - Absolutely Beautiful Friggin' Day - Jackson {Johnny Cash, fragment} - Ring of Fire {Johnny Cash} - Brilliantly Dumb {the whole song} - Pluto's Plight - Like a Rolling Stone {Dylan} - Oh Susanna - Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express ... encore ... Very Happy Now / Epistle to Dippy {Donovan} / I Wanna Be Sedated {Ramones}

Video

Tink and Joziah explain "Slambovia" and perform Oh Susanna / Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express

Review

This show was something different -- and very special -- from Slambovia.

When I heard that Tink and Joziah were going to perform a duo show, just the two of them, I was very curious about what this would be like. (I told Joziah at intermission that I wasn't going to use the word "skeptical," but Joziah said that was the word he used!) According to the advance publicity, this was a look behind the Slambovian curtain, or, according to Joziah, the "music without the musicianship."

But that last part was a lie. There was plenty of musicianship by both Joziah and Tink. When the full band is present, Sharkey's guitar playing tends to overshadow everything else on a musical level, but tonight Joziah showed he could more than hold his own on guitar. And if you think Tink usually plays a dizzying variety of instruments, check out what she played tonight. I count eleven instruments, NOT counting the fact that she played more than one accordion, including a new one that she has just acquired. She played the new accordion on a new song called "Pluto's Plight," which was full of amusing puns about the recently demoted member of the solar system. She also played a floor tom and a delicate Chinese bell on a new song called "Brilliantly Dumb," and a kazoo on a song I am calling "Ding Dong Day," with which Joziah started the second set. I suspect this might have been from one of Joziah's children's musicals that were performed at Circle in the Square a few years back.

This show was a chance for the duo to perform a whole gaggle of new songs. They included a couple that I have heard at recent concerts and some that were new to me. "Bees" featured Tink on sitar making a bee-like drone (and was the first of two songs featuring science, the Pluto number being the other one). "Step Outta Time" with her flute playing and "Absolutely Beautiful Friggin' Day" with her cello both sounded just fine without the full band. The highlight of the night, however, was a new song called "Brilliantly Dumb." They started the song, on which Tink started by pounding the floor tom, then switched to the Chinese bell, and then she picked up a red melodica, and the song was enthralling, but as soon as Tink started on the melodica the music stopped. The musicians looked at each other. Tink said: "That's the wrong guitar." Clearly the tuning was not right for the melodica she was playing. Both musicians and the audience laughed heartily. They regrouped by switching to another song, but got back to "Brilliantly Dumb" later.

This show was also a chance to really listen to Tink. There are times with the full band that her contributions are drowned out by a lead guitar, drums, and sometimes bass. Not this time. She really was in her element, switching from one instrument to another, and delighting the audience with her abilities on all of them. She's even a good tambourine player; she really knows how to play percussion. And we could hear her backing vocals clear as day, too.

The most fun thing about the show was the interplay between Joziah and Tink. They've been married for 35 years, raised five children, and used to fight a lot (according to Tink), but watching these two individuals performing on stage together, you can just feel the love and happiness that they find in sharing this music. Tink was really enjoying herself, laughing enthusiastically, telling stories, and having a lot of fun. There was some good natured teasing between the two, leading Joziah to start a few bars of the song "Jackson" (that Johnny Cash number about a quicky divorce), but then he switched over to "Ring of Fire." He does a mean Johnny Cash. He also does a mean Dylan ("Like a Rolling Stone").

It didn't surprise me any that they were really good, but I was a little surprised at how much they rocked. I didn't expect them to perform "BiPolar Express" or the "Very Happy Now" medley without Sharkey and Felipe, but they did, and the songs really worked. It was also a pleasure to hear the two older songs with which they started the show, "Sunday in the Rain" and the wonderful "Silent Revolution."

This venue, the First Encounter Coffeehouse in Eastham on Cape Cod, is about an hour drive for me. The name is a reference to the "first encounter" between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. They have been hosting folk and acoustic music in this converted Universalist church for some forty years. Rows of reasonably comfortable padded seats faced a fairly big stage. The sound and the light were good. It was a freezing cold night, so Concert Going Partner and I were happy to get there early enough to find a parking space on Samoset Road just across the street from the venue. It's easy to find; just turn west at the Windmill and it's a very short distance down on the right heading toward First Encounter Beach. Like any good folk venue, they had yummy baked goods and hot cider to snack on during the intermission. The venue is in the midst of a fund raising campaign to update the building, and I wish them luck with this, since it's a great place to see a concert and I hope they stay in business for at least another forty years.

More Slambovians

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