The swinging gypsy pop band, Caravan of Thieves, will be parading into Louisville this Thursday, March 15th, for a show at Uncle Slayton’s. The band members include: Fuzz Sangiovanni (vocals, guitar, hat), Carrie Sangiovanni (vocals, guitar, hubcap), Ben Dean (violin, flexibility), and Brian Anderson (double bass, insanity). This theatrical troupe of musicians has shared the stage with other great names such as Emmylou Harris, Dan Hicks, Glen Campbell, Nanci Griffith, The Decemberists, Keb Mo, Tom Tom Club, Iron and Wine, Punch Brothers, Tony Trischka, John Hammond, John Jorgenson and many others. I had the privilege of interviewing Ben Dean and was delightfully surprised to get input from the entire band.
I read that the band started with a married couple, but how did you (Ben Dean- violinist) get involved?
Ben: “Fuzz and Carrie had a show in Hartford where I was going to school. My band at the time opened for them and I sat in on a Beatles tune, I think it was Rocky Raccoon. Soon I was playing regularly with them around New England and during this time we were adding gypsy and early swing influences to the music.”
What has been your favorite show to date and why?
Ben: “There have been many exciting and rewarding shows. One experience that really stands out is the festival we played in Iqualuit, Canada. It was near the Arctic Circle and the band performed at a world music festival for Canada Day. There were all night bonfires and I tried muskox pasta.”
What is the band's song writing process?
Fuzz: “Carrie and I usually kick ideas around for a while before they see the light of day, before we even decide to finish them. We need to make sure they are worthy of completion, and then worthy of bringing to the rest of the band to work out the final arrangements. Many of the songs are written then rewritten a few times over before they get into steady rotation.”
Carrie: “Some songs start with a musical idea, but many start with a lyric, if they have a good message or catchy, interesting phrase, the music tends to write itself around it. It’s the easy part sometimes since we have a general idea of what we want it to sound like, it’s not like we're gonna decide one day we're now a reggae band. And if we really run into problems, we summon our ghost... We often give the ghost writing credit for the songs.”
Where do you foresee your band going, or what goals do you all have?
Carrie: “To build a big enough name to build enough funds to build the most elaborate junk collection for the stage that we can.”
What's the best and worst thing about being on tour?
Ben: “We each have our opinions...”
Fuzz: “Best thing is the food, worst thing is the food”
Carrie: “Best thing is leaving happy people on every stop and getting to see new places. The worst is it's really grueling. No, not really.”
Ben: “Best thing is traveling; worst thing is not having your own bed.”
Brian: “Best thing is the music, worst thing are the hotel washcloths.”
For people who aren't familiar with the band, what would you say to entice them to come Thursday, 3/15?
Fuzz: “If you want to experience something different, sing along, snap along, stomp along, sssssnake along, and if you don't mind mixing your folk, swing, gypsy and pop together with a twist of all-but-the-kitchen-sink percussion, you should come out and join our circus of freaks!”
Caravan of Thieves just premiered their new music video “Raise the Dead” on the American Songwriter Magazine website this month! Watch the video below.
CARAVAN OF THIEVES w/Tristen Brooke
Thursday, March 15
8:30 PM / 8:00 doors
$8 / 21+ with ID
Photos and video: courtesy of Caravan of Thieves