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Americana students to perform with The Caravan of Thieves

Music is everywhere; from the beat of your mother’s heart to the drip of a faulty faucet. 

Music is universal: all hear it, but few listen to the melody all around us.

Fortunately, in our small community we have many attuned listeners, which makes a wonderful audience for our budding performers.

The Americana Project is still going strong in its third year at Pagosa Springs High School. Bob Hemenger started this class, modeled after Brad Tisdale’s creation in Sisters, Ore. 

The class subject matter varies — from the appreciation of American roots music, to the art of performance, to recording and sound production. Each student has their “niche” that makes each person creative and unique. The Americana Project allows each student to express their individuality, whether they’re a metal maniac like Cippy Trujillo or a cow bell enthusiast like Mason Kronowski.

Performing original and covered music is not only highly encouraged, but it is one of the requirements. This helps the students break out of their self-conscious shells and own the stage.

Each semester, the Americana Project invites a musician to share the stage with the students. In recent years, Sarah Siskind, Caleb Hawley, Gary Morris and Pete Kartsounes graced the high school auditorium stage, headlining their own concerts.

The Americana Project is pleased to announce this fall’s headlining band: The Caravan of Thieves. 

The masterpiece of the Caravan was created by an eccentric couple, Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni. Pleased with how well their melodic voices blended, they soon developed a sound that would later create The Caravan of Thieves. Adding violinist Ben Dean and bass player Brian Anderson, the four gypsies ran away and never looked back.

In their first year together, they gained momentum and a loyal fanbase by hypnotizing all in attendance with their gypsy-jazz. This inspired the Caravan’s first full-length album, “Bouquet,” released in 2009. Their recent album is a magnum opus, to say the least. “Mischief Night” has a clear Vaudeville-like sound to it. Adding another feather in their cap of sound, they have reached the point of no return.  Madman bass player Ben Dean claimed, “This idea of bringing the street performance to the stage led us to gypsy music and the 1930s swing era as these are free-feeling, charismatic performances by real entertainers. With this as the musical backdrop, combined with our fascination with macabre images and sharp-witted sarcasm, we began writing happy sounding pop songs with pretty harmonies, dark thoughts and creepy characters. This all seemed to be a suitable combination. And banging on buckets, frying pans and hubcaps were just crazy and human enough to fit, too.”

Select students from the  Americana Project will be the opening act for the headlining Caravan of Thieves. The Americana students will perform all-original music generated while in this class.

On Tuesday, October 23, run away with us for two hours or so and join this band of gypsies.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds will benefit the Americana Project.

This is a night to remember and too exciting to miss! Special thanks to those who have contributed and sponsored the class: The Pagosa Springs SUN, The Archuleta County School District, KWUF, Kip’s, Christine Funk, and Jack and Claudia Rosenbaum.

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