An Interview with Caravan of Thieves

Here’s a good song for Halloween, “Raise the Dead” by Caravan of Thieves.

Caravan of Thieves are a fun band to play at your Halloween party because of songs like Monster, Ghostwriter and Butcher’s Wife that treat appropriately macabre Halloween type themes, but that’s not the only reason.  They’re also a band that celebrates the things that really make a holiday like Halloween fun, dressing up in costume, and letting it bring out your wild side.  To be sure they do their fair share of songs about kind of creepy, macabre themes, but there’s a playfulness to it.  Think more Dia de los Muertos or even CarnivalMardi Gras or a Gypsy Fair, than crass commercialism, blood and gore!  It’s a party for one and all! 

At the LIG Coffee House

At the LIG Coffee House

Just over a month ago, on Sunday September 22, I had the pleasure of seeing them play in the Coffee House of the Life is Good Festival. Every year at the festival I discover some act I’ve not seen play perhaps not even heard of, that blows me away, and this year Caravan of Thieves was it. They were the total package: original, creative songs played by talented musicians who knew how to put on a show and engage their audience.

Fuzz on Percussion

Fuzz on Percussion

The Coffee House was a new feature of this year’s festival, with its lineup chose by Ryan Montbleu, an artist who had similarly excited me at a previous LIG Festival. The lineup was varied and interesting, ranging across musical styles, but they minute this band came out it was clear they were standouts. They had a bunch of pots and pans screwed on a pole, carried well-weathered instruments, and were dressed like gypsies. It was immediately clear they paid a lot of attention to performance, as well as the music.

When they begin to play, the songs take center stage with wildly creative songs. The music incorporates a variety of musical styles including Jazz, Classical, Pop, Rock, and both American and European Folk traditions. They lyrics are witty, engaging and entertaining. They are also literary, managing to employ poetic devices to paint scenes and evoke emotions, they they remain accessible and are delivered in a performance that invites audience involvement. It’s not to be missed.

Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni

Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni

At the heart of the band is the husband and wife duo, Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni. On October 14 I had the opportunity to interview them during the West Coast leg of their tour. It was fun to talk with them. They are almost as perfectly in sync when talking about their music as they are when they sing it together on stage. Perhaps that is why it all works so well. Fuzz, Carrie, Bassist Brian Anderson and violinist Ben Dean are a well-oiled machine who read each others cues exceptionally well. It makes for a great show.

Listen to the full interview below. We talked about the origin of the band, their approach to songwriting, current and future projects, and of course the pots and pans percussion kit. Fuzz is amazing on that setup!

Enjoy the interview and let me know what you think.

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