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Beat Circus - Boy From Black Mountain
Boy From Black Mountain is the third release from the determinedly eclectic Boston-based ensemble Beat Circus. Beat Circus is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Brian Carpenter. The music bridges a number of disparate genres including experimental music, Americana, cabaret, circus music, Appalachian string music, bluegrass music, old-time music, Southern Gospel, and funereal music. The current edition of the band features a unusual and versatile instrumentation. Brian brought in violinist Paran Amirinazari and violist Jordan Voelker (who also provide background vocals), trombonist Doug LaRosa, and the rockabilly-style rhythm section composed of upright bassist Paul Dilley, guitarist/banjoist Andrew Stern, and drummer Gavin McCarthy.
Boy From Black Mountain began shortly after Carpenter's son was diagnosed with autism in late 2006. He began writing songs inspired by the experience of living with his son during the time of diagnosis and treatment. Carpenter further dedicates the album to his father and grandparents, whose lives as watermelon farmers in the rural Bible Belt inspired some of the songs.
This is a very artful-yet-accessible album with great lyrics, memorable songs and rich orchestrations. In addition to the songs are a handful of haunting instrumentals which help to frame the overall work of the songs to a larger canvas.
Beat Circus are a powerful live outfit as well and are gaining renown for their compelling shows, gathering great notices in high profile magazines for their regular appearances up and down the northeast corridor. If they play near you, go see them - it's an amazing SHOW.
"...the band mixes carnivalesque tunes with rock moments. The rich and tight orchestrations feature a Morricone-inspired combination of harmonica, viola, banjo, guitar, tuba, violin, trombone, upright bass, and drums." — The New Yorker
"Boston's circus of malcontents not only has the chops but features a fallen hellfire preacher/band leader (the captivating Brian Carpenter) who simultaneously channels Nick Cave and Johnny Cash." — The Village Voice
You can hear a track from the album here
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