Slambovian Circus is at Music at the Mission

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WEST MILFORD-Music at the Mission, West Milford's premier music venue, presents Gandalf Murphy and the of Dreams on Saturday, Oct. 23. Music at the Mission is located at the West Milford Presbyterian Church at 1452 Union Valley Road, West Milford. Tickets are $20. Showtime is 8 p.m. Visit its website -, or call 973-728-4201 for further information. "They (Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams) fumble onto the stage, talk freely to the audience as if they knew you forever, tell you their names, "Just so you know who's playin' for ya," and then proceed to take you away, according to a press release. The music is simple and relatively straight forward, very familiar yet strangely unique and transporting. These good thieves steal freely from the music they love, all kinds of music. They write great stories and know how to paint the scenes with their respective instruments not too flashy, flashy enough. Formed in 1998 in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., Gandalf Murphy and The Slambovian Circus of Dreams quickly became known as one of the most intriguing new bands in the Hudson Valley. Voted the ‘Best Unsigned Band of 1998' by the Hudson Valley AFM, the group quickly graduated from playing small coffeehouses and open mics to playing some of the best venues in the region, ie. The Bottom Line, The Towne Crier, Bowery Ballroom, The Palace Theater, Club Passim as well as festivals like Clearwater Hudson River Revival and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, headlining and sharing the stage with Dar Williams, Greg Brown, Ani DiFranco, Garth Hudson, Pete Seeger, Fred Eaglesmith, Cui Jian, The Kennedys, Jeffrey Gaines, and many others. The circus seems to defy the concept of generation gaps. College students invite their parents to circus shows. Parents come back with the younger siblings in tow. This band is a strange phenomenon; hardcore folkies to hard rock purists have embraced them and spread the word. The band's debut release, "A Good Thief Tips His Hat", was voted ‘Album of the Year' in the "Rhythm & News" Reader's Poll 2000 and was the only local album to be included in "Mixx Magazine's" ‘Best Albums of 1999,' alongside national level acts. As earthy as the music seems, The circus has a spiritual side - "Talkin' to the Buddha," "Call to the Mystic," "Living with God," "Flapjacks from the Sky". Dancing freely between existing religious and philosophical mythologies their music is not only uplifting and empowering but fun, a lot of fun. As Woody Guthrie said: "It's not enough for a song to be good, it must be good for something."