Though they have consistently worked as a quartet, the band had only three regular members through most of last year, pulling in a number of different guitar players as they were available. One of these was Garnett, who is also working with Missy Raines & The New Hip. He is a 2016 graduate of the jazz program at the University of North Texas, and a Dallas-area native, now living in Nashville.
The Circus is composed of Thomas Cassell on mandolin, Vince Ilagan on bass, and the truly exceptional Matthew Davis on banjo. Davis is just coming into wider recognition now as this group achieves more prominence, and is destined to be a highly influential voice on the five string in years to come. In addition to prodigious skills in both traditional and contemporary banjo, he is a fearless improvisor – and sings while doing it.
All of the players are schooled musicians, with a mission to bring something new to the jamgrass scene.
Here are a couple of videos of Circus No. 9 from 2018, first a grassy version of Joe Hill, the story of an early 20th century union organizer…
…and a funk-driven take on Matt Mundy’s Lost Mule In Texas.
Check their web site for when they’ll be in a town near you.