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Review: Caravan of Thieves

March 27, 2013

By Kathy Edwards McFarland

Rarely do I write reviews of the top-shelf music we are privileged to experience in Denton. But last night, with the three bands my

husband and friends enjoyed, I was compelled to give a shout-out and quick review of A Taste of Herb, at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm St.,  Caravan of Thieves and Paul Slavens & Friends at Dan’s Silverleaf, 103 Industrial in Denton, Texas, March 26, 2013.

I’ll be posting reviews of the three bands separately.

Caravan of Thieves – from Connecticut. Jeffrey Barnes organized them to swing through Denton on their way to Colorado. Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni, (guitar, vocals, various percussive “instruments,” such as plastic buckets, pots and pans hit with egg whisks) are the writers and performers who gathered violinist Ben Dean and double bass madman, Brian Anderson to form  Caravan of Thieves.  Original songs are fresh and insightful, yet include covers of vintage rock and disco, somehow reborn in a folk-jazz style. Bohemian Rhapsody becomes a sing-a-long, I Will Survive and Staying Alive – a medley with driving percussion and violin solos. Audience participation (stomping, clapping, singing, dancing and making various animal-like noises) was encouraged throughout the performance.

The enthusiastic crowd insisted on a two-song encore, which Caravan of Thieves performed “unplugged” and on the floor, so the 10 p.m. Paul Slavens &  Friends show could set-up on stage. Last song – “Raise the Dead” had the house enthralled to the last note, causing a clammer at Dan’s “merchandise bar for CDs and T-shirts

These performers are gypsies, driving show-to-show in a large van to accommodate instruments and props for their engaging and interactive performances. But even when the group is called in for a last minute gig, such as the Dan’s Silverleaf show, (Last night Austin, in a few days, a grand tour of Colorado gigs) these entertainers rev up the energy for a stellar performance, winning over a new throng of “Freaks,” as Caravan of Thieves calls their fans.

They will be back.

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