The circus is coming to town

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:27

Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams performing at Music at the Mission West Milford — Get your tickets and head over to Music at the Mission on Saturday, Dec. 10 to join the circus. 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. Upon returning recently from the UK this fall where they spread their contagious brand of quirky Americana from Glasgow to Penzance, the band completed work on its fourth studio album, “The Grand Slambovians.” The advent of “The Grand Slambovians” is both the band’s latest reincarnation and the title of their new soul-stirring CD. 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. Together since the late 1990s when they met in art school, they settled in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., 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 New York City's Gramercy Theater. There's something in the water along the Hudson River which continues to inspire creative souls - bandleader and songwriter Longo, known for tall tales and philosophizing is currently finishing his second musical with Theodore Mann scheduled to open this coming spring at the Circle in The Square Theater in New York City. The ultimate Do-It-Yourselfers, the band runs its own label and has previously released three critically acclaimed studio albums - 2008's “The Great Unravel,” 2004's double-disc “Flapjacks from the Sky,” and “A Good Thief Tips His Hat” in 1998. The show on Dec. 10 will be a special holiday celebration. Tickets are available online at, or at Harvest Moon Health Food Store. Music at the Mission is located at the West Milford Presbyterian Church, 1452 Union Valley Road, West Milford. For information, call 800-613-1455.