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Band Folk Cabaret


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The best kept secret in music


"Andre Karpov leans on folk"

Blending different types of folk music, if done with at least some respect for the traditions involved, is usually a good idea. In the case of Andre Karpov & the Kazaks, it's a great idea, and involves klezmer, Appalachian, and emo. (What, you didn't think emo was folk music?) Sad, slow, and drenched in vocal harmonies, Karpov's songs are made to sway along with; nothing that would spill your glass of cheap red, but plenty to inspire overflowing romantic notions. Charming and handsome, the bandleader tends to set girls' hearts to fluttering anyway. The band counts Tom Waits and Neil Young as influences, but neither of those guys makes such good use of the accordion. - SFweekly

"Andre the Giant"

Karpov is one of those bands: Friends say, "You gotta go see this band. It's awesome; it's so much fun." You don't think about it for a while until someone else says the same thing, and by the time a third person perks up at the mention of a show, you're sold. But you have no idea what kind of music it is. Allow us to help: Headed by tall Mendocinoan Andre Karpov, the namesake act is a little bit country and a little bit Balkan brass band, perfect for your big fat Tom Waits[en]meets[en]Gogol Bordello wedding. The quintet (now celebrating an eponymous CD release) features ubiquitous Mission District bass player Joe Lewis, clarinetist Aaron Novik, Jarrod Herman on drums, and Sam Tsitrin's indispensable accordion. As for Andre, he's got some of the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano in his voice; he writes songs with harmony whistling in them; he's drunk on violins; and he appears perpetually in desperate love with some lucky person, place, or thing.
- sfweekly


Boho is so in... and we're not talkin' Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson style.
Karpov, a five-man band that came together in San Francisco, is about as bohemian as it gets. Lead singer Andre Karpov has traveled with gypsies in far-off Euro countries learning foreign folk songs, an inspiration that has come to define the band's style. This multi-instrumental act, which has been compared to other folk-rock bands such as DeVotchKa, combines accordion swells, clarinet whispers, and a little bit of guitar. Come celebrate the CD release party for Soliloquy with opening acts RubeWaddell and JimBo Trout & The Fishpeople. - The Onion


Soliloquy- full length album released August 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Karpov mixes rock, waltz, klezmer, and country for their own creative, passionate style of Indo-European folk balladry- dark, intense and deeply personal, their songs are built to inspire and uplift. With the bands’ five members roots originating from all over the former Soviet bloc, the melancholic beauty of Eastern Europe is as much of an inspiration for the band as it is a homeland. Lead singer and guitarist Andre Karpov writes lyrics infused with the gray-green sea mists of Mendocino, California, where he grew up, Latvia, where his family is from—and where his uncle, a political activist, died and San Francisco’s very own mission district where the band lives, works and performs.

The band formed when Andre Karpov met Joe Lewis, who plays upright bass, Aaron Novik, who plays soprano and bass clarinet, and Jarod Hermann, who plays drums and sings harmony vocals. After playing out for more than a year—including a headlining New Year’s Eve gig at Amnesia—to critical acclaim, band members met accordionist Sam Tsitrin. Tsitrin came along just in time for the recording of Karpov’s self-released full-length album, Soliloquy.

Karpov recorded parts of Soliloquy at the famous Record Plant in Sausalito. Collaborating with many other gifted musicians (lap steel guitarist Ian Shaul, trumpeter and baritonist Ara Anderson, and Fender Rhodes and cello by Alex Kelly), Karpov managed to channel the spirits of the many who passed before them at the Record Plant into their own unique sound. The album is by turns haunting and exhilarating.