Dreamy, contemplative and wrought of the highest calibre of musicianship, MZ features the mesmerizing works of one Randal Shreve and the band of roving minstrels more than capable of reinforcing his melodies born of travel on the open road. Meandering from Damien Rice-style ballads (“love, don’t panic (need)“) to a contemporary-production version of Tom Waits or the backing orchestra to a midnight carnival as produced by Kanye West and Rick Rubin, there are smatterings of Linkin Park and Edith Piaf going on within the same 32 bar bridge section (“Blood“).
Next we veer off into something that sounds like Jellyfish and the Muppets attempting to cover Muse (“Hollywood“). The bottom line is that whence-ever the sound haileth, it is a taut, well-manifested collection of exciting sonic mashups that in sum becomes an ouevre all its own.
An interview with the frontman affords us an equally intriguing tale of the band’s origins. It unfurls thusly:
Randall Shreve is a singer/songwriter from Fayetteville, AR. In fact, he only moved there about 4 years ago from New York City. But to be thorough, we should go further back.
His father was a minister, as was his father, his uncles, his brothers and several generations before. Growing up, it was naturally presumed that he would follow in their footsteps and carry on the tradition of men who traveled from town to town and preached the truth as they interpreted it to people from all backgrounds and walks of life. As a young child, he traveled with his dad on his motorcycle and learned the job firsthand. He learned so much of what would make him who he is today. There was no radio on the motorcycle that could be heard from the backseat through the wind and his helmet, so he would sing.
By the time he was seven-years-old, he had sung in about 40 states and all across Canada and Mexico; and not once did he receive applause or a paycheck. Nonetheless, this was his happy place.
Fast forward a couple decades and you can find him doing the same thing, with some minor modifications. First, he has no more use for a church than God has. And secondly, he travels with a band of like-minded brothers who’ve each experienced their own versions of singing into a helmet for years. He calls them The Sideshow.
“They are my band and my family. We currently tour the U.S. in a ’92 Chevy “rapist” van and preach the gospel of Vaudeville rock and roll to every ear we can find…”
Shreve has released four records to date; including the latest full-length release, “The Jester”, which is the first recording to feature The Sideshow.
“Made up of some of the best musicians and all around good men I’ve ever had the opportunity to work and play with,” Shreve says, “The Sideshow is more than just a band. If I’m a dirty bomb, then together we’re a nuclear warhead. Our combined energy creates a magic that I have not experienced with any other group of musicians. The Sideshow is Timothy Grace on piano, Danny Klein on guitar, Geoff Baker on bass and Zach Reeves on drums. We’ve been together for 4 years, though some of us have played together for much longer.”
Next for Shreve and the Sideshow? Another album is in the works, and meanwhile “Touring, and more touring.”
Randall Shreve & The Sideshow’s Vital Links:
- Randall Shreve & The Sideshow Official Website
- Randall Shreve & The Sideshow on Facebook
- Randall Shreve & The Sideshow on Tumblr
Listen now to “Blood” by Randall Shreve & The Sideshow and other artists we have featured at the MusicZeitgeist.com’s free Indie Music Jukebox
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