Friday, February 12, 2016 ♦ 8:00 PM
4545 N Lincoln Ave · The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall · 773.728.6000
Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni, the fervent musical couple who front their band, Caravan of Thieves, have traveled a fruitful yet challenging road since they met in late 2003. But over the years each new turn has brought them closer to their vision for what life, love and art should be in their world and how it relates to the people around them.
Shortly after meeting, they found an intimate connection with one another and began blending their voices, writing music, traveling and performing together as the acoustic guitar toting duo they simply called “Fuzz and Carrie.” Using the musical spirit to guide them, they found themselves in different corners of the globe, performing in clubs, festivals, street corners, parks and anywhere they could gather inspiration. Fans of their work as well as a variety of musical collaborators were early witness to their unmistakable chemistry and eager to jump on board with them. Eventually, with a little trial, error and adventure behind them, they arrived at a concept the two of them would soon call “Caravan of Thieves.”
Inspired by the big band swing era, the Quintette du Hot Club de France, Romanticism, musical theater and early American folk music, Caravan of Thieves quickly took shape in the hearts and minds of Fuzz and Carrie and subsequently established a need for them to extend their musical clan. In early 2008, they wrote a handful of songs in this new style and began to fill out their sound with upright bass, violin, an occasional accordion and any other willing participant they could recruit along the way. Caravan of Thieves was born.
By the end of their first year, the Caravan began to gain recognition for their distinctive musical vision, which inspired them to record and release their debut full length album, Bouquet (2009). So Fuzz and Carrie took their show and growing cast of characters on the road, sharing stages with a variety of artists such as Emmylou Harris, Dan Hicks, The Decemberists, Keb Mo, Tom Tom Club, Iron and Wine, Shemekia Copeland, Punch Brothers, Robert Cray, John Jorgenson and many others. They successfully connected with audiences on each of these diverse bills, proving their act to be appreciated by folk, pop, rock and jazz audiences of all ages.
A few albums and a few hundred thousand miles later, Fuzz and Carrie eventually reached a comfortable stride embracing their roles as show and album producers, songwriters and arrangers. They released Mischief Night (2010), The Funhouse (2012) and Kiss Kiss (2015), produced the shows and tours to follow, and continued to introduce a greater blend of styles, instrumentation and musical guests with each new album and tour. As a result, the live performance now covers a wide dynamic range and appeal with each show flowing seamlessly from intimate acoustic duets to entertaining and exciting junk percussion jams to big audience stomp, clap and sing alongs, all while maintaining their spontaneous “street performance brought to the stage” mentality they developed in their early days of performing together.
Fuzz and Carrie explain further, “We're driven to consistently entertain our audience, in concert and on our studio recordings, which lends to building a community of listeners who can be involved in our show and our creative process in some way, as well as a variety of artists who we can share our vision with. These elements allow our band and our music to be alive, have a soul.”
Their latest album release, Kiss Kiss combines the dark humor and sarcastic social commentary of their previous efforts with a few extra thoughts on love and how it brings both beauty and danger into all of our lives. Fuzz and Carrie's production ideas and diverse songwriting take the concept of Caravan of Thieves a giant leap further, blurring the lines as to which time and place the music may have come from. Songs that reverberate like classic tunes from generations past, yet still relevant to today, are accompanied by an orchestra of unexpected sounds. A tuba, beatboxer, tympani, treated piano, kitchen sink and other bells and whistles join the musical circus along with the tried and true stringed instruments and harmonizing voices Fuzz and Carrie first brought into the mix.
According to Fuzz and Carrie, “We are always attempting to write that song that was mistakenly left out of the book of standards. But the challenge for us lies in covering topics that most listeners can relate to while taking them to the edges of their imaginations by both lyrically and musically using as many vibrant images as we can to illustrate the story.”
Kiss Kiss finds the couple touching ground on both familiar and uncharted territory for them. On “Disappear,” Spanish flavored guitar and lush string arrangements accompany their haunting vocal lines while the festive feel of “Home”, colored by marching drums, circus organ and colorful chimes is juxtaposed with its melancholy lyrics about missing one's childhood and the comforts of home. “I Got You”, the most intimate and sincere track on the album, invites the listener into Fuzz and Carrie's living room for a paired down performance consisting of just an acoustic guitar and the two of them singing into one microphone. “Dead Wrong” howls of love gone bad and “This Must Be Love” introduces bouncy New Orleans grooves played on pots and pans with Fuzz and Carrie spouting animated metaphors about how lethal being head over heels in love can really be.
Over the last eight years and throughout several countries, the Caravan of Thieves have developed a loyal family of “Freaks”, a moniker both the band and their followers willingly and affectionately refer to themselves as. During that time, Fuzz and Carrie's ever expanding community of musicians, artists and fans have allowed their dream to live through each triumph and hurdle, and with each performance, each interaction and each new moment adding another layer of color to their story.