“There’s something about the band’s witty, spirited gypsy folk-jazz that is so new and yet so familiar all at once.” – Washington Post
Enter “The Funhouse”: where the Caravan comes screeching to a halt in a melodic symphony, and out pours heavenly harmonies and the gypsy sensation, Caravan of Thieves.
The Bridgeport natives are mysterious and spooky, creeping around the carnival ride after-hours where they will steal your heart and play it back to your ears tenfold.
The Thieves have established themselves as a family and their knitted relationship makes their music and live performances that much more enjoyable.
Ringleaders Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni began performing as a married-duo after they discovered their love singing and harmonizing together. Thus, a melodic melting pot of guitars, vocals and percussive instruments has woven as seamless as their marriage – proven and road tested.
After many years of performing alongside street performers, the Thieves welcomed violinist Ben Dean and double bass madman Brian Anderson. With their family now complete, the quartet has been on the road in growing popularity.
Fuzz felt that it is hard to measure the band’s growth at any given point in time. Since the Thieves duo-days, they have grown to include elaborate stage rigs, witty dress and 1930s feel in contemporary form.
“It is always different when building a band in your hometown,” said Fuzz. “We just wanting to play as much as we could as a band.”
The family’s “gypsy jazz and pop influence has redefined the meaning of Caravan of Thieves, because we are always expanding over time and developing our act and sound,” said Fuzz.
Regardless of the venue, the Thieves always have the audience involved by singing, clapping rhythms or even luring fans from the crowd on stage.
“If they are doing it too, it’s more fun,” said Fuzz.
Fans usually have a “whoa” reaction, said Carrie, especially when the Thieves whip out their infamous rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or spins on Talking Heads and Michael Jackson tunes.
You can find “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Caravan of Thieves second album “Mischief Night,” which was recorded live on Fairfield Theatre Company’s StageOne on May 1, 2010. The local response to the band’s music, as well as on-stage antics made this album a necessity.
In their most recent effort, “Funhouse,” the Caravan animates their music, making it ridiculous, like an amusement park ride. The 15-track album leads us in through “The Funhouse Entrance” and sends us on our way with the creepy ghouls of “The Funhouse Exit.”
Album favorites like “Rise the Dead” began to sway up and down like a melodic merry-go-round. The upbeat and percussive “Eat You” puts a literal twist on a love song stolen by the Thieves as you travel from the singing violin to freaky guitar solos.
“Funhouse” is more addictive than the tooth-craving sweets and cotton candy. The grit and twang of the stringed quartet make the album the prize at the end of the ride.
On Nov. 29, the Caravan will be coming full circle to the hometown stomping ground on StageOne.
“We want to make sure that every show is different and more exciting than the last time,” said Carrie.
“At a venue like FTC, we treat it with special care and it keeps us on our toes,” said Fuzz.
Not only has Caravan of Thieves performed countless times at FTC, but the intimate venue was Caravan’s first show (where Fuzz and Carrie played as a duo).
The fun doesn’t stop, as the Thieves plan on making a new record early in the new year.
Rumor has it, “If Django Reinhardt, the cast of Stomp and the Beatles all had a party at Tim Burton’s house, Caravan of Thieves would be the band they hired,” according to caravanofthieves.com.
Their ability to mirror a diverse audience proves the Thieves quite capable of sealing the hearts of jazz and folk to rock-goers alike. It is no wonder the band has shared the stage with artists such as Emmylou Harris, Dan Hicks, Glen Campbell, Nanci Griffith, Iron & Wine and John Hammond.
Now, step right up and get lost in the funhouse that is Caravan of Thieves as they take over FTC once again.