Tear Into a Box of Everything at The Acoustic Cafe
A Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams are an American alt-folk rock band heralding from Sleepy Hollow, New York. Their unique sound has been described as a quirkier Tom Petty with songs that range from ballads to Pink Floyd influenced anthems. They are armed with an arsenal of instruments including an accordion, cello, guitars, percussion, slide mandolin, theremin and ukulele.

The Grand Slambovians Tear Into a Box of Everything at The Acoustic Cafe

This capricious band has a sense of humor - releasing A Box of Everything on April 1, 2014. The album showcases remastered fan favorites along with three previously unreleased studio tracks. The Slambovian Circus of Dreams have performed at major festivals and venues thus steadily growing their loyal following. On April 26, 2014 they played at a more intimate setting - the Acoustic Cafe at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Park Ridge, New Jersey.

On Saturday night the band was a four piece sans a bass player. They had a bit of a gypsy look about them. As The Slambovians took the stage a blend of bird calls along with weird sound effects filled the room as they launched into "Rocket". The Slambovians first song was a rocker with three of the four singing.

"How you doing, thanks for coming out," greeted front man Joziah Longo (guitar/lead vocals). He introduced the rest of the group who was Sharkey McEwen (lead guitar/mandolin), Eric Puente (drums) and multi-instrumentalist Tink Lloyd. The autobiographical "Grand Slambovians" was a creative blend of foot-tapping blue-grass grooves with rowdy rhythms mixed in that concluded with a wild blast of drums.

Mentioning Peter Pan books the third song of the evening evoked the good spirited fun of Tinkerbell. "Tink (I Know It's You)" was a peppy piece that melded spunky jams with subtler moments. Longo explained that "Very Unusual Head" was written for fragile people such as musician Syd Barrett. The song had a curious German drinking hall influence infused into it.

The Grand Slambovians Tear Into a Box of Everything at The Acoustic Cafe

Joziah humorously jested that they poised as a folk band for the big money. This meandered into an account that when they were in England they met a driver who had worked with The Clash and The Ramones. This story flowed into "Very Happy Now" a mash up of rapid punk progressions with vocals echoing of folk-singer Donovan. It was a clever composition with The Slambovians singing some Donovan lyrics at a fast pace that ran into The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" with a cow bell.

"Hillbilly Pink Floyd was how one reviewer had described the band," said Longo. The next imaginative tune fit that portrayal. Atmospheric sounds combined with the accordion as the acoustic and electric guitar dueled during "Flapjacks from the Sky". Longo mentioned that this track has been played with a whole orchestra yet it worked well in this configuration also. They closed the first set with "A Box of Everything" a lively love song. During the break the group was available to meet with fans.

Joziah called "Pushing Up Daisies" an old Slambovian waltz. This animated tune certainly had the circling patterns of a waltz. "Talking To The Buddha" was a tip of their hats to the band King Crimson. It had elements of philosophy unfolding through an engaging prog-rock jam. Their encore started with an old 1940's tune called "16 Tons" with a cello underlining the hardships of a coal miner's life. After a few more jokes about the big money in folk music The Slambovians appropriately closed with "Alligators", which included the lyrics "think it's time to go". Yet, there appeared to be a deeper meaning behind the song with dramatic instrumentation that meandered into The Beatles "Hey Jude".

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams presented a whimsical and witty set at The Acoustic Cafe. The venue is located at 25 Fremont Road in Park Ridge. The Acoustic Cafe periodically host concerts such as The Slambovians on Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons. Upcoming events for 2014 include Toby Walker and Brother Sun. Often their concerts are for charity. The proceeds from The Slambovian Circus of Dreams show went to the OLM St. Vincent's Haiti Scholarship Fund a program that allows students in middle/high school to continue their education, which means that The Acoustic Cafe Concerts are a good time for a good cause!

The Grand Slambovians Tear Into a Box of Everything at The Acoustic Cafe

Related Links: For more information on THE GRAND SLAMBOVIANS and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - |

(Originally Published on April 29, 2014)




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