The Circus in Flames | The Circus in Flames

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Album Links
Down On The Fraser - Video iTunes - A Little Bit Of Gasoline iTunes - Outside America iTunes - The Gift iTunes - The Baptist single iTunes - The Circus In Flames debut CD Outside America by The Circus In Flames Facebook Page Doug Andrew & The Circus In Flames Website A Little Bit Of Gasoline CD by Doug Andrew & The Circus In Flames The Gift: A Tribute To Ian Tyson YouTube: Circus In Flames Channel The Cliffs - Live Performance Video of Doug Andrew & The Circus In Flames When Christ Was A Cowboy (Pt.1) -Video by R. Chapman Photos By Tracy Kolenchuk

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: String Band Moods: Type: Acoustic
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The Circus in Flames

by The Circus in Flames

"Garage String Band Music Of The Canadian South"
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Down On the Fraser
5:17 $0.99
2. Leave Me Stranded
3:48 $0.99
3. Middle Of the Night
4:46 $0.99
4. Helmut
3:49 $0.99
5. Waiting for a Train
3:12 $0.99
6. Good Night, Good Night (A Drunken Lullaby)
6:34 $0.99
7. Orange Veil
4:59 $0.99
8. Gasoholic
5:05 $0.99
9. The Cliffs
3:46 $0.99
10. The Freak Show
3:38 $0.99
11. Live Wire (On the Freeway)
4:44 $0.99
12. One More Day
3:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"The Circus In Flames", explains Doug Andrew, "means everything going to hell. The Big Top's on fire, the clowns are stampeding and 'the hippos were boiled in their tanks'."

The band's self-produced, self-titled debut CD, The Circus In Flames, has drawn rave reviews. Described by Dirty Linen as "a strong argument for indie release of the year" the disc also earned four stars from America's All Music Guide and CBC Radio has nationally broadcasted a live performance of the band in concert in addition to consistently airing the recording.

The Circus In Flames' "unique but rooted musical vision" (Vue Weekly) has inspired the description "garage string band" but its sound can be difficult to pin down. Although there is a certain familiarity about the music stemming from its roots in traditional country, folk and blues, at its heart are Andrew's songs. Their "slightly twisted, always interesting storyline lyrics" are delivered "with an energetic thrust that falls just shy of reckless abandon" says Peter North of The Edmonton Journal. He is "an untapped talent for wryly observant story-like essays" writes The Vancouver Province's Tom Harrison while Warren Footz of SEE Magazine says Andrew's songs "should shuffle him off into the Canadian songwriting hierarchy." They stand on their own performed solo on guitar or can work within the context of a band.

After the fall of Tin God, created out of the ashes of his former band, Shanghai Dog, Doug Andrew continued to write songs. When he was invited to perform at a friend's St. Patrick's Day party, he needed to pull together a group of talented musicians who could generate a powerful presence in an acoustic setting and provide an evocative vehicle for the lyrics. The Circus In Flames evolved from this necessity and retains the impromptu spirit of the band's first performance.

The Circus In Flames has toured Western Canada frequently, playing to enthusiastic audiences and most of their CDs have been sold straight off the stage necessitating several pressings. The band has appeared at the Victoria and Fernie folk festivals as well as the North Country Fair and received critical acclaim during Edmonton's Jazz City International Music Festival. Doug Andrew has opened for Jesse Winchester at Edmonton’s Festival Place and performed in a tribute to Ian Tyson at a National Arts Centre presentation in Ottawa. Most recently The Circus In Flames joined such artists as former Byrd, Chris Hillman, Blue Rodeo, Gordon Lightfoot and Jennifer Warnes on The Gift: A Tribute To Ian Tyson released by Stony Plain Records and distributed by Warner Music. The group was honoured to welcome legendary steel guitarist Buddy Cage (New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Great Speckled Bird, Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks) onto their version of the Tyson classic, Someday Soon which the Toronto Star chose as the Top Track after rating the album “3½ out of 4 Stars.” As well, Doug Andrew & The Circus In Flames have released a second CD, A Little Bit Of Gasoline.

"Sheet metal country," Doug Andrew describes The Circus In Flames' music. "It bangs and rattles and booms, generally making a fair amount of noise, but it can also be light and quiet. We can go from sounding like a runaway locomotive going down the mountain without any brakes, to a wind slipping through the forest at midnight."



to write a review

Drop-D Magazine - Gary 'pigboy' Swartz

"quintessentially Canadian...a bright beacon in a sea of mediocrity"
I can't remember the last time I listened to music that felt so quintessentially Canadian. There's something happening here. Something interesting. Something worth listening to. What and why, I'm not sure.
Maybe it's having the imagination to take classical bluegrass instrumentation -- upright bass, guitar, mandolin, banjo -- add drums and accordion, and then give the lyrics and arrangements a rock 'n roll attitude. Maybe it's getting past the mythical folkie sensibility -- plaguing too many of our homegrown songwriters -- to describe the Fraser as "a river of kerosene." Maybe it's dancing the bureaucratic shuffle long enough to obtain a FACTOR grant.
What it is, for sure, is the certainty that this group of musicians have the chops and the desire to make their iconoclastic musical vision work. The solo work is shared. No one is riding anyone's coattails. Songwriter/vocalist Doug Andrew knows his limits and works within them to advantage.
Perhaps the best example of it all coming together is "Good Night, Good Night (A Drunken Lullaby)": the accompaniment weaves smoothly from instrument to instrument, and at the end of six and a half minutes, the song hasn't seemed nearly that long.
Sometimes serious, sometimes wry, sometimes paying homage (they cover Jimmy Rogers' "Waiting for a Train"), this band is a bright beacon in a sea of mediocrity.

All Music Guide - by Bob Gottlieb

"think of crossing Tom Waits with the Band"
If you think of crossing Tom Waits with the Band, and have them play a punk/country/blues/bluegrass hybrid, you might come close to the Circus of Flames' sound. The Circus is led by Doug Andrew, who contributes lead vocal and guitar, as well as writing or co-writing 11 of the 12 songs. His songs seem to reflect the viewpoint of an average guy who has been to a good party and is glad to be in the company of his friends. They are out for a good time, and their playing, rather than being flawless, reflects their simple joy of making music together.

Dirty Linen - Issue # 73 - Dec' 97/Jan' 98 - Pieter Hofmann

"A strong argument for indie release of the year"
A strong argument for indie release of the year, at least in these parts, may be The Circus In Flames' debut. The sextet could be best described as Hank Williams Sr. meets Tom Waits meets Jimmie Rodgers at an impromptu jam during the recording of The Basement Tapes.
Led by Doug Andrew, whose tales revolve around common folks, mill workers, flyer delivery boys and beer-slingers, The Circus In Flames come across as a liquored-up group of players who cross paths at a party and decide to set the wheels on fire.
Any expectations of stellar playing would draw the wrong conclusion. The album is based on the simple joy of playing music for the sake of the music, promotion departments be dammed. Consisting of acoustic guitar, mandolin, accordion, banjo, bass and drums, the band is a refreshing change from mega-budget recordings and proves that character can be a far better investment than mere dollars and cents.