Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have been called “the hillbilly Pink Floyd,” which is an apt description, particularly if you throw in elements of Incredible String Band, Neil Young, The Band, Dylan, and maybe even some Frank Zappa as well. Their contagious brand of quirky Americana has taken them on tour across the UK promoting their fourth studio album, The Grand Slambovians which is also the name of the band’s latest reincarnation. Joziah Longo, (lead singer/songwriter for the band) describes the new collection of songs as – “A more extreme dose of what we’ve always been – a country prison music meets British invasion type of thing”. For the uninitiated, the band’s all over the map melodic avant folk conjures Tom Petty, Dinosour Jr., and a fuller Buffalo Tom, possessing an exotic instrumental arsenal in addition to standard rock regalia. Equal parts Washington Irving and Woodstock, the band taps a broad palette of styles ranging from dusty Americana ballads to huge Pink Floydesque cinematic anthems. Playing art school roots rock, sometimes folk and quirky Americana, they possess an exotic instrumental arsenal (accordion, cello, mandolin, theremin) in addition to standard rock regalia. “The entire root system of Rock Family Trees is embedded in Longo’s voice.”- The Big Issue, Scotland, U.K.
Paul Johnson and I caught up with Joziah Longo after the stunning show The Grand Slambovians did to kick off Camberley Theatre’s “folk & acoustic music with Attitude” nights in Camberley, Surrey, UK on the 12th April 2011 which was promoted in association with folking.com.
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Together since the late 90’s where they met in art school, they settled in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and formed Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. The band has toured nationally and abroad since forming in 1998. Known for electrifying live performances, and strong original music, they have a devoted and ever expanding fan base. In 2010 they brought their legendary Halloween show, “The Grand Slambovian Extraterrestrial Hillbilly~Pirate Ball’ to London’s Electric Ballroom and NYC’s Gramercy Theater. “Saturday was a blast! I want you to know how great I thought your show was – you guys really made the Gramercy shine and ooze with your own personality.” – Harvey Leeds, Live Nation NYC
“. . .simply one of the finest American bands” – All Music Guide
“They may term it ‘Hillbilly-Pink Floyd’ and sure, they have an air of both Floyd and maybe Bowie at times, atop their folkcountry roots (note, not fauxcountry) but it’s done with a warmth and comfort of a mystical Nebraska or poetic Crazy Horse.” – Sleazegrinder, UK