Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams,
Flapjacks from the Sky
(High Noon, 2004)

Full marks must be given for the names of the band and the album. This is highly imaginative stuff that mixes a whole gamut of styles and yet manages to work.

You will find traces of folk, pop, bluegrass and Americana on offer throughout the 20 tracks (plus one bonus) on offer on this double CD album.

By the way, Gandalf appears to be the name of the band rather than an individual. Hailing from what they term "the misty hills of Sleepy Hollow, New York," the band has been building a strong following through live performances and television appearances.

There is a wonderful deep sound achieved on the tracks performed here. At times they have a timeless but time-specific sound associated with the late 1960s and early 1970s, although they are far from being a retro band. Songs like "Glide" and the wonderful title track give us a glimpse of what must be spirited live performers.

This band manages to convey a love of performance through recorded music.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Nicky Rossiter

8 September 2007

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