Caravan of Thieves shares their roots
For the for past decade, the Caravan of Thieves has been delighting audiences with its well-crafted originals, tight harmonies, superb musicianship and a flair for the theatrical that melds Gypsy jazz with acoustic folk-rock. Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni started the Caravan after performing as an acoustic duo for a number of years. The group has since recorded four albums to date, and Fuzz and Carrie released an acoustic EP, “Maple Hill Sessions, Vol. 1,” in 2016. Fuzz also plays guitar in Deep Banana Blackout. The good news for Caravan of Thieves fans is that, after a brief hiatus, the band is back. On Dec. 22, the Fairfield Theatre Company (FTC) presents the "Caravan of Thieves' Not So Silent Night." The band’s lineup consists of Dan Asher on upright bass, Nicole Scorsone on violin, and Fuzz and Carrie on guitars, vocals, and everything else. The musical pair took time out to talk about the roots of Caravan of Thieves as well as their own music with Mike Horzycun.
Mike Horzycun: The FTC show, “Not So Silent Night” — what’s on the set list?
Fuzz Sangiovanni: Though we have a holiday number or two, we’ll pull out of the hat; it will largely be a mix of favorites from all four Caravan albums as well as the Fuzz and Carrie “Maple Hill Sessions” album.
MH: Caravan of Thieves has been on a brief hiatus. What kinds of projects have you been working on, in the interim?
FS: We’ve been licensing some of our Caravan music to film and podcasts, and Carrie and I have been working on some educational programs as well. I’ve been performing with a few of my old musical partners doing some funk and jazz gigs as well as writing music and putting some new songs of my own together for potential shows and recordings in 2019.
MH: The band evolved as an offshoot of you two performing as the acoustic duo, “Fuzz and Carrie,” correct?
Carrie Sangiovanni: Yes. We started as a duo and then had been exploring the indie rock world for a bit but found that we missed the sound of our harmonies with our acoustic guitars. After some immersion in the catalogues of the Gypsy swing era and playing some gigs with a newfound violinist, we realized we could maintain the intimacy of our duo, still featuring our vocal harmonies, while infusing the driving rhythms and colors of Gypsy jazz and other styles we loved.
MH: There is also a theatrical element to the group that comes out not only in your many music videos but also on stage.
CS: We created a visual style and theatrical banter that would compliment the satirical storytelling in our music. We loved getting creative with our videos and setting scenes that would enhance the vibe and essence of the songs.
MH: Fuzz, this one’s for you. How do you incorporate your Deep Banana Blackout involvement with everything else that you’re busy doing musically?
FS: I’ve been doing Deep Banana Blackout for 23 years now, so it has seen many phases, from playing over 200 dates a year across the globe to doing a handful of local shows. We [Deep Banana Blackout] only do 5-10 shows a year at this point, so it leaves plenty of room for other endeavors. The soul, funk, blues and rock is still a big part of what I love and feel musically.