"Beat Circus has created a singular intriguing sonic identity by filtering certain bizarre old-time American and European pre-jazz styles through a progressive contemporary fearlessness."
- Weekly Planet
"Brian Carpenter’s narrative songs evoke cabaret, Wild West saloons, circus sideshows, and Old World gypsies...but the prodigious musicianship and stylistic miscegenation is all modern; the results, refreshingly entertaining."
- All About Jazz NY
"A fantasy locale of carnival nostalgia and Victrola nightmares..."
- Philadelphia City Paper
released 29 January 2008
Beat Circus was formed in 2002 by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Carpenter. Beat Circus delivers Weird American Gothic stories of children, dreams, fatherhood, revenge, redemption, and murder. Dreamland is their second album and is a uniquely fierce record of dark narrative songs and instrumental works, which is loosely based on historical events associated with turn-of-the-century New York and Coney Island. Brian leads a nine piece ensemble with a unique and exciting instrumentation: Brian Carpenter-vocals, pump organ, harmonica, trumpet, Käthe Hosletter-violin, viola, Julia Kent-cello, Alec K. Redfearn-accordion, jawharp, Ronn Caswell-tuba, Curtis Hasselbring-trombone, Brandon Seabrook-tenor banjo, mandolin, slide guitar, Briggan Krauss-saxophones, Matt McLaren-drums and percussion as well as other musical guests. You can hear echoes of Tom Waits, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kurt Weill, Carla Bley, Hans Eisler, Bernard Herrman and much much more here, but what it all combines into could only come from Beat Circus! Included is a really nice 12 page, full color booklet with lots of historical (and creepy) imagery!