“Welcome to Psychoville: Population 4”

#6 on Asheville FM Jazz Charts For Week Ending 11/2/14

#6 Chart Listing Asheville NC Nov 2014


“Foolkiller” from “Welcome to Psychoville: Population 4”

KFJC Radio, on Mr. Slippy  – March 31, 2014


“Angels Day, Demon Nights” from “Welcome to Psychoville: Population 4”

KPFA Radio,  on Discreet Music with Dean Suzuki  – April 6, 2014


CHAIN D.L.K. 2014

Reviewed by Steve Mecca 
Rated: 4 Stars out of 5
Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Welcome to Psychoville, Population 4″
Tri-Cornered Tent Show is Philip Everett – electric lapharp, clarinet; Ray Schaeffer – electric basses; Anthony Flores – drums; and most recent member – Valentina O. (O. for Osinski) -vocals and FX. On this album they call themselves “Daliesque Cabaret involving Appalachian-style Murder Ballads filtered thru and reflecting on the many levels and degrees of Musical Improvisation in the 20th Century.” Well, here it is well into the 21st century, Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dali is long gone, and some groups are still doing what Captain Beefheart was doing (sort of) 45 years ago.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. So what is this really, anyway? Yes, the content (lyrically) is somewhat based on Appalachian murder ballads, but there is plenty of idiosyncratic embellishment courtesy of Miss O., so this isn’t at all like hillbillies singin’ on the tragedy of the ter-bull thing that happened to pur Daisy Mae. This is grade A bona-fide avant-garde with a cap’tal A, mon frere, and as such may not be wholley appealin’ to the general masses. Lots of improvisational free jazz (is there any other kind?), as well as blues-oriented psychedelic weirdness. To some degree, this is reminiscent of the less accessible works of Carla Bley and Annette Peacock, Cathy Berberian and Diamanda Galas, but even further out. Beefheart fer sure, and others of their kind, but much more.
Without Valentina this might just be another (likely ignored) avant-garde outfit, but she brings plenty to the table with her versatile, multifaceted and powerful vocals. Then again, since she’s also performed coast to coast in both San Francisco and New York City Opera companies, I suppose she should. The 8 tracks on this album are a carnival of madness, a freak show phantasmagoria, a circus of controlled chaos, an electro-acoustic alien funhouse. It’s not easy to take in one sitting, but it managed to maintain my interest. There are places where it’s almost accessible, just slightly left of normal, but eventually will always veer off into strangeland. The ensemble works well together to achieve their off-kilter vision with nice interplay between all participants. Still, you have to be prepared for their bizarro intensity. Zappa would have dug it if he was still around. I do too, albeit in small doses.


KFJC RADIO (Los Altos, CA) March 2014

Reviewed by Humana
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Welcome to Psychoville, Population 4”
This unusual band has been together since the mid-70s, with visitors joining the core members. This time around it is Valentina O adding her vocals and FX to Schaeffer’s electric basses, Everett’s electric lapharp and xlarinet, and Flores’ drums. Each song is part of a concept of “an avant-psych blues freak-out presented in the form of Daliesque Cabaret involving Appalachian style murder ballads filtered through and reflecting on the many levels and degrees of musical improvisation in the 20th century.” The overall effect is supreme weirdness and eerie coolness, much as you would expect from a tent show.


VITAL WEEKLY  April 2014 

Reviewed by DM

“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Welcome to Psychoville, Population 4”
‘Psychoville’ by the Tri-Cornered Tent Show. It has Philip Everett on electric lapharp and clarinet; Ray Schaeffer on electric basses; Anthony Flores on drums and Valentino O doing vocals and FX. Tri-Cornered Tent Show is an improvisation group that explores music inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Everett started his first group in 1967 and many were to follow. Also Flores and Schaeffer started in the 60s. So we are talking here of a bunch of experienced musicians. Valentina O is of a younger generation, an eclectic vocalist working as a opera singer, actor, performer, etc. They present an unusual blend of blues-rooted psychedelica and avant garde. Loosely constructed and played pieces. With an important role for the electric lapharp. The vocal performance by Valentina O however is the crucial element. Her acrobatics and expression give flesh and blood to their weird excursions.

LAVISH HI FI April 24, 2014 

Reviewed by Craig Allison

“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Welcome to Psychoville, Population 4”
Psychoville is an excellent CD. I have very wide musical tastes, but it really isn’t a stretch to say that it fluidly combines so many elements that are normally poorly juxtaposed . Most folks write songs that are either happy or sad, bad or glad, up or down, etc. The songs on the disc move through all these normally quarantined-off moods and associated sounds as if they were obviously meant to flow together; it’s a beautiful thing, and that’s no stroke.
Craig Allison  is a career hi-fi specialist/musicologist/former professional musician who is deeply involved in music appreciation and the powerful rewards of attentive listening to music reproduced with low distortion.

EJAZZ NEWS July 11, 2011

Reviewed  by Glenn Astarita
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Alien Trailways”
This is not a revivalist depiction of the good old days based upon a setting where Dr. Smith’s miracle elixir was the fodder for tent-shows across the western regions of the United States. On the contrary, these musicians morph a slice of Americana into a surreal Dali-esque sequence of psychodramas, heaping with acoustic-electric abstracts. It’s a pleasant and persuasive type of madness that sucks in elements of jazz improvisation, psychedlia, and vintage space-rock. Nonetheless, the program is quite bizarre and holds true to the album title via alien sojourns amid a sea of cyclonic movements and prismatic hues. The band often liquefies themes and reformulates into tangents that spawn drones, tumbling rhythms and edgy circumstances. Not for everyone and radio play might be a stretch. However, the musicians provide a cunning snapshot into musical highways infrequently traversed. Moreover, the artists reassert Edgetone Records’ forward-thinking strategies.



Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Legion of Dagon”
Jazzy, skronky experimental rock is a difficult thing to pull off, even if you’re an inarguably brilliant musician — conduct an opinion poll at your local record store and you’ll find that music lovers are split between thinking guys like Bill Laswell and Buckethead are brilliant and that they’re unpardonably awful. Tri-Cornered Tent Show work that same cartoonish, histrionic end of the noise rock spectrum, and Legion of Dagon is, as you’d guess, a love or hate proposition. You’ll either find it wanky and mawkish or refreshing and daring. Either way, you’ll have a difficult time remaining neutral toward their squibbling reed instruments, Lovercraft-inspired lyrics and dramatic percussive flourishes.”



Reviewed by Massimo Ricci 
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Foolkiller”
One thing is demonstrating against obtuse foreign policy by gathering in the streets and ranting hollow slogans; much better is moving the blade of repressed rage into the already painful wound of indifference via unconventional means. “The foolkiller” is an effort by a 14-piece group of improvisers from the San Francisco Bay Area, If you’re looking for some kind of “style” – wrong way. The ear-shocking abstractions of this multi-talented horde of pretty nervous, commonplace-attacking outsiders will have you sitting quite uncomfortably on the burning coil of hallucinated “poems” where the vocalists deliver serious punches to the stomach pit, sounding politely desperate and dramatically ironic during their elegant nightmares drenched in metaphysical instrumental hopelessness.”


KFJC ON-LINE REVIEWS January 25, 2006

Reviewed by Max Level
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Beneath the Mountains of Madness”
If you’re into jazz/noise/improv/tweaker-ism, you’ll want to check out this excellent release. . . What KFJC has added to their library and why… Tri-Cornered Tent Show – “Beneath the Mountains . . ” – [Edgetone Records] Three slabs (14-18 minutes each) of instrumental mayhem from local trio. The tracks are wild rides indeed? imagine an outside-jazz piano/bass/drums trio living right next door to an electronic freak-out factory. Interesting textures. Meditations. Bull in a china shop. Solos that just blow the roof off. All three musicians have amazing chops and no shortage of ideas. Edgetone’s blurb refers to this as improv, but there are sections that sound as though the musicians knew exactly what they were going to do when they got there. One track even has a composer credit. If you’re into jazz/noise/improv/tweaker-ism, you’ll want to check out this excellent release.



Reviewed by Jasons Bivins
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Beneath the Mountains of Madness”
Waltz of the Shogoths’ is particularly good – almost like a Nancarrow player piano piece met up with early Cecil Taylor on the way to a blues jam.



Reviewed by A. Fremont
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Maze Above the Abyss”   – 70′s era electro-technology taken to its refined limits.




Reviewed by Paul Puleston
“Tri-Cornered Tent Show: Maze Above the Abyss”
is a fantastic voyage through musical territories so varied and captivating, some more explored than others, but all subjective. It’s modern instrumental music that covers Progressive, Experimentation, Improvisation, Avant garde, World folk, Noise and more. Already, the monumental theme of the opening is a trip in itself. Twelve and 1/2 minutes that are introduced by the calm melody of the Hammond organ by Toby. A torrent that flows with a sound quite special in the style of the great cosmic groups of the 70′s to disembark into an exquisite instrumental paraphanalia, led by a percussive turbulence that appeared to be more favored with experimental improvisation than with rock. All is a cosmic adventure of the vangaurd without limits that hold it.”