Brock Zeman (from the album The Carnival is Back in Town)
Brock Zeman rolls the wagons into a circle and sets up a tent full of songs as he unleashes a side show full of characters to announce “The Carnival is Back in Town”, letting the title track open his recent release. Donning the crown of king of the midway, “Percy Jones” shuffles in on snake-skin boots as three-foot tall “Little Mac” works with the crew to build the frame for show, Chance, the all-seeing eye, tells tales with “Dirty Little Secrets”, and “Buckshot Sadie” tips her Stetson to as she sips, spits, and puts on a show for the crowd. Brock Zeman is the barker growling out the stories on The Carnival is Back in Town welcoming with a “Come One, Come All” on a fanfare carried by wobbly chords on a squeezebox, jangly rhythms from a banjo, and the hard beats of a marching drum.
To theme the songs of The Carnival is Back in Town, Brock Zeman utilizes the songwriting chops he has honed over thirteen album releases. He is the storyteller for the album, introducing the history of “Stitch” on rolling rhythms, and singing a song for the band against the rattle of Gypsy melodies in “The Moon Ain’t Full”, and toasting “Drink (The Clown)” with a bottle of red wine as “The Juggler” steps out on Ellis Island amid a flurry of notes and beats. Lazy strums and freckles of notes are strewn over the surface of a devilish rhythm snaking across “Hammer Them Stakes Down” while Brock Zeman steps between the bouncing beats of a bohemian band to take tickets for the “Freak Show” and lets the saxophone wail for the sad goodbyes in “The Carnival Has Left Town”.