Like most Monday nights in this artsy city, I was hanging out with my writers group. We went to Nolan’s to talk about life (very common for us on a Monday), but as soon as I decided to head home, I received a text from Kiaralinda:
Going to Pub with Caravan of Thieves … Join us????
Also common for a Monday is that Kiaralinda and Todd are often out somewhere with really cool people—friends, musicians, artists, people who do things, make things, expand creativity … so, of course I accepted the invitation. They always open my mind to new ideas, even late on Monday nights.
Plus, Caravan of Thieves is the group who brought Emily Dickinson back from the dead.
Although I love all of their music, I’ve binged watched Raise the Dead more than I should admit. The lyrics are phenomenal and I’m pretty sure my foot stomping is almost in line with theirs. I love the whole song, but especially the line: This is Miss Dickinson, go ahead and tell her, her poems really lived on ….
Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni formed Caravan of Thieves in 2008. They added violinist Ben Dean and bassist Brian Anderson, and in 2009, released their debut album, Bouquet. Since then, the group has released Mischief Night (2010), The Funhouse (2012), and their latest, Kiss Kiss, which came out last week.
Even though it was after 10:00, the 8thAve Pub was hopping. I headed out back and got to meet Fuzz, Carrie, and Ben. Brian was in Miami, but the three included him anyway, even offering to make up a few quotes—things he would have said if he were with us.
Whenever I have the opportunity to talk to visiting musicians, I always wonder what they think of our town. Fuzz smiled when I asked. “It’s like a Bohemian hippie town. That was my first impression,” he said. “But there’s money here, too. You need both elements for the arts to succeed.”
Ben explained how they had pulled up in front of Casa Loco at 2 a.m. and noticed what a cool neighborhood they were in. “There was a pink elephant … and a lot of selfies.”
The group is used to live performances, bringing audiences into the mix, but they’ve never done a commission meeting. “We had no bass. No guitars. We showed up and it was like a street performance,” Fuzz said. “That’s a big part of what we do—to bring the free-spirited feeling, like street performers in the park, trying to connect with people they pass.”
According to their website, “the band has had the pleasure of touring with such great artists as The Decemberists, Iron and Wine, Punch Brothers and Emmylou Harris.”
Their music is a bit of Funk, a little Soul and Gypsy Jazz. There’s a swing influence—some Latin—on their latest album. “The trick is how to keep moving forward while maintaining our sound,” Carrie said.
They have nothing to worry about there. If you know their music, you won’t be disappointed, and if you’ve yet to discover them, you can’t miss their Safety Harbor show. It’s happening Thursday, April 9 at Sideshow, 737 Main Street, which is a partially-covered outdoor venue with casual seating. Wine, beer and softdrinks are available for purchase and plenty of parking can be found along Main Street. Tickets are $20 through the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center or $25 at the door. Doors open at 7.
One more thing I love about Caravan of Thieves is that they apparently love cemeteries. I do too. Whether you agree or not, I just had to mention it. They take on love, life, and some thought-inspiring subjects in their lyrics. They put those words to music, they get your hands a clappin’, and your feet won't be able to help but stomp.
They also tell a hell-of-a good story.
See you at the show! - Laura