Circus Mind
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Circus Mind

Oyster Bay, New York, United States

Oyster Bay, New York, United States
Band Rock Funk

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Monday, March 24, 2003 5:44 PM
Circus Mind (Outhouse Music)
The moment you get hooked on the self titled release from Circus Mind occurs on track three. A composition that was penned back in 1998, "Ground Zero" comes abundantly to life from the bubbling funk drive of Dan Ehrlich's bass and organic organ fills of leader Mark Rechler through the addicting scratching of D.J. Orion and pure tone of the Rainbow Trout Horns. "Ground Zero" continues on it's funky plane until it morphs into track four, "Plant The Seed." Then things get so downright nasty, they smell, as Buddy Guy used to say. Jen Durkin rips into the recording with her sassy vocals, again backed by Circus Mind and the pumped up Rainbow Trout Horns. Then, everything stops, drops, and turns three hundred and sixty degrees in the opposite direction. All of a sudden, the listener is thrust into the Latin rock world a' la Santana, replete with David Berg and Leo Nocentelli's slicing leads on guitar, and the Cuban percussion styles of Chris Theberge and Circus Mind drummer George Hooks. The result is real butt shakin' "funkngroove" as the band labels it, the product of masterminds Mark Rechler and David Berg.
Claiming to have found equal parts inspiration from their backgrounds in both New York and Louisiana, Rechler and Berg entered into the studio like Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, assisted by a multitude of guests including Cyril Neville, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Eric Krasno, and the Rebirth Brass Band. Once they had everyone assembled, Rechler and Berg feverishly went about the task of perfecting the art of rock album production to create this little gem of funk-pop sheen. The slick, jazzy rhythm and blues of "On Our Way" is filled out by Soullive's Krasno, whose instinctive timing plays magically off of the brass bursts of the Rainbow Trout Horns, Rechler's gentle backing touches and Dan Ehrlich's front and center bass playing.
Strong songwriters, Rechler and Berg create a shining moment on "Spyboy," arguably the finest track on the recording, aided by the soulful vocals of Cyril Neville backed by The Diamonds' harmonies. It contains a wonderfully jazzy Fagenesque keyboard solo by Rechler that enhances the entire sound of the material until Rechler and Berg's studio gloss leads the bluesy ballad home. These guys are good, but you can't help wondering where Circus Mind's real heart and soul lies. Is it in the Sly and the Family Stone funk rock of "Telefunken V72 Brain Stimulator?" Or, the upbeat, inventive "Home Base" that jumps all over until it settles into a ska meets Phil Collins sound? Wherever it is, there is no doubt these musicians have soaked up the rich musical influences of New Orleans and NYC to add another branch to the ever expanding rock family tree. And, Rechler and Berg's manipulation of recording technique leaves one in awe with anticipation as to what their next offering may behold. - Hitting the note - Bill Whiting


Circus Mind's debut album is a cross section of Jazz,Funk, and New Orleans flavored tasty licks. There self titled CD is filled with a distict sound while exploring different nuances and tangents. "Slow start to nowhere with dramatic organ and horns echo's little feat, "Ground Zero" has seeping funk permeating throughout with high doses of New Orleans R&B, while tracks like Homebase ignite a fusion between a specials brand of funk and ska, On Our Way is some James Brown tribute meets a modern soulive feel and "Spy Boy" with special guest Cyril Neville sounds like an homage to Steely Dan.

Circus Mind musical treasure trove of material is destined to be heard on many fronts. And this is only the beginning.

Spring - 2004 - Rikki Lana from Good Times


Funky, funny hard-rocking and full of attitude, Circus Mind comes on like some of the best eccentric artists of the FM era. On the new disc, "Silver Flower,” Singer-keyboardist Mark Rechler borrows Warren Zevon’s warped humor, Steely Dan’s subtle hostility and the James Gangs uptight white-boy grooves. Through it all, the Glen Cove based Band which includes guitarist David Berg, Bassist Chris Crosby, and Drummer George Hooks, shows impressive chops, biting deep into traditional, blues based rock.

The disc kicks off with a down-and-dirty number called “Swing Set” which contains some decidedly strange pick-up lines: “You want to know where the party’s at?” Rechler sing in a gravelly voice. “Well I know a good one with a wrestling mat.” Next comes a simmering mood piece called “Some Things Don’t Change” with Rechler taking apart an unfortunate someone: “Still I can’t figure out why I am still friends with you/ But after you here this you’ll know that we are through.”

And so it goes for 12 terrific songs, each one tackling familiar ground in an appealing new way. Check out the title track, where the band uses The Beatles “Taxman” riff to create a whole new tune or “How Many Days” which melds smooth harmonies and shaggy guitar solos. Even the New Orleans jazz number “Brighter Day” manages to avoid cliché, and it’s one of many sons that put a hot horn section to good use.

Circus Mind could easily settle for being a bar-band and a great one but the songwriting is too keen, too clever for that. With national acts such as Scissor Sisters, Diamond Nights, and Grand Mal successfully reviving the 70’s, there’s no reason Circus Mind shouldn’t get its due.
- Newsday - Rafer 5-25-2006


Discography

New CD released in March 2006 and getting good radio play on over a 100 college stations and Sirius and XM radio.

Circus Mind released there first CD independently in 2003. The track "Spy Boy" still gets radio play nationally and is often heard on Sirius Radio's Left of Center, Jam On, and Disorder & XM

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Bio

Ladies & Gentelman, Children of all ages behold the spectacle of Circus Mind Bred in the swamps of New York City, Fed on the pulse of a drumbeat mixed with a spicy gumbo. It hasn’t been easy for a multi-headed funk rock band that has roots in the classic rock sounds of the 1970’s mixed with funky southern flavors. But this hidious monster persevered and grew by night into a beatiful flower!

Launching there 2nd Release and their 8th year as a band, Circus Mind has clearly narrowed there focus to funky retro rock grooves. Slimming the band to a 4 piece and saving their horns for special occasions, the band has honed their musicality in their sound and the songwriting to create an explosive project. The new release entitled Silver Flower puts a modern take on mid-late 70’s influences such as Traffic, Steely Dan, Little Feat, Mott the Hoople plus N’awlin Vibes such as Dr.John, The Meters and The Neville Brothers.

Unlike their first CD which welcomed many special guests such as members of the Neville Brothers, Meters, Soulive, and Deep Banana Blackout, to name a few, CM keeps this project in-house for what becomes a much clearer picture of “Who is Circus Mind?”

The Circus “performers” came together through a series of meetings somehow involving a yoga class, a “Tea and Jam” party and the Ringling Brothers Circus. Consequently, David Berg (Guitar, Tenor Banjo, Vocals) George Hooks, (Drums) Chris Crosby (Bass), Dave Diamond (Everything) joined Mark to form a cohesive unit that had the chops to play any style of music. “Each musician lead us to the next, which really solidified the group.”

Circus Mind’s members are diverse in their influences as well as their playing:

• Drummer George “Drum Man” Hooks was a long time Ringling Brothers band member on tour for 11 years. Playing progrock, jazz, or eastern european speed metal horahs is standard issue for this Zildjian & Remo sponsored Drum master.

• Bassist Chris Crosby has a serious case of spider fingers and can solo as good as any guitarist and has studied under Oteil Burbridge of Allman Brothers fame.
A young funkster from a family of highly respected musicians.

• Guitarist David Berg is rooted in Jazz, Reggae, and Bluegrass. and has toured with Dark Star Orchestra’s as “the bobby guy”. Dave’s fluid rock style keeps the band in a constant snake like flow.

• Lead vocalist, Keyboardist and Songwriter Mark Rechler has been the band’s creator and leader. Spending 5 years in New Orleans studying Music & Architecture helped influence his style and direction, while always focusing on the hook to keep his listeners salivating and wanting more.

• Anything & Everything Dave Diamond helps round out the band. Covering any base when needed and filling any nook and cranny when requested. Dave plays with Pozzy Ghuru, Jason Crosby, Blow Up Hollywood, The Zen Trixters and many many more. He is an amazing singer as well.

Circus mind is gearing up to take their modern day medicine show of midnight ravers on the festival circuit and exhibit their uplifting sound for the masses. Stay tuned…