Translated: “Joy Machine [is] a fun and swinging album that brings joy back in these special difficult times.“
This episode of Big Blend Radio’s “Music Monday” show features Mark Rechler, lead vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist, and band leader of Circus Mind. Based in new York, Circus Mind is entering their twentieth year and have just released their third album JOY MACHINE, a fresh explosion of sounds and flavors of the ’70s rock era with a modern twist. Like a three-ring circus, the band can slide seamlessly between rock, funk, and swampy N’awlins grooves, all while referencing some of the best bands of that era with infectious hooks that get stuck in your ear hole. Songs featured on this interview include the title track “Joy Machine” and “Are You Ready.”
JOY MACHINE was featured on the New Rock Music page of iTunes the day of release! Congratulations Circus Mind!
For Immediate Release – New York, NY – CIRCUS MIND is a New York-based rock outfit and the brainchild of ringleader Mark Rechler. The band is entering their twentieth year and are soon to release their third album JOY MACHINE, a fresh explosion of sounds and flavors of the ’70s rock era with a modern twist. Like a three-ring circus, the band can slide seamlessly between rock, funk, and swampy N’awlins grooves, all while referencing some of the best bands of that era with infectious hooks that get stuck in your ear hole. JOY MACHINE released May 21, 2021, and also features Nels Cline, Marc Ribot, Ivan Neville, Walter Wolfman Washington, Scott Metzger, and more.
Now You’re Ready!!!! Here is the Official Music Video for the first single from the Circus Mind album “Joy Machine”
Directed by George Panagakos of 525 Media
Lyrics by Mark Rechler
Music by Mark Rechler and Chris Crosby
Produced and Engineered by Chris Fasulo
The first JOY MACHINE single “Are You Ready?” features guest guitar phenom Brandon “Taz” Niederauer and had an official music video release. Both the song and video are a funky rock throwback that has roots in P-Funk, Sly Stone, and other ’70s rock and soul vibes, all flavors that CIRCUS MIND wears on its sleeve as a badge of honor, from the writing to the production. The title track “Joy Machine” features Scott Metzger (JRAD) and released as a single on May 7 with a special music video premiere. CIRCUS MIND will then gather together in New Orleans with some amazing NoLa musicians including Big Sam to celebrate the JOY MACHINE album release on May 21 with a raucous party and live performance!
Official Music Video for the title track of the Circus Mind album “Joy Machine”
Directed by George Panagakos Music and Lyrics by Mark Rechler
Produced and Engineered by Chris Fasulo
The production of JOY MACHINE began in August of 2019, but it was the Covid-19 pandemic that really set the stage for the record. While some bands took to the internet airwaves to stream performances, Rechler locked down in the studio. “Suddenly we had a ton of time on our hands and we knew we wanted to come out of this with a full album,” says Mark. “I was a man possessed and started writing like a madman!” The band started working remotely but quickly masked up and got down to business. “In a weird way, the pandemic also opened doors for us to find such amazing guests who were not out on tour and were looking to keep busy.”
The previous CIRCUS MIND release Silver Flower was voted Best Indie Album of 2006 by Newsday and put a modern take on influences such as Traffic, Steely Dan, Little Feat, and Mott the Hoople while mixing in NoLa vibe influences like Dr. John, The Meters, and The Neville Brothers. The last CIRCUS MIND single “Jazzfest Time” was released one year ago as an ode to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and featured Ivan Neville andBig Sam. CIRCUS MIND is quite versatile and has opened for national acts (Toots & The Maytals, The Neville Brothers, The Radiators) and had many notable guests sit in on their recordings and live performances (Soulive, Rebirth Brass Band, Cyril Neville).
CIRCUS MIND’s members are diverse in their influences as well as their playing. Lead vocalist, songwriter, keyboardist, and bandleader Mark Rechler plays in multiple bands (such as Falling Water), and has played, toured, and recorded with members of The Meters, The Neville Brothers, The Radiators, Soulive, The Brandon “Taz” Niederauer Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Ivan Neville, and more. Spending five years in New Orleans studying music and architecture helped influence his style and direction, and he always keeps his focus on the hook to keep his listeners wanting more and humming his tunes all day.
Bassist Chris Crosby has a serious case of spider-fingers and can solo as beautifully as any guitarist. A funkster from a family of highly respected musicians, Chris has also studied with Oteil Burbridge of The Allman Brothers Band and Dead & Company. Currently, he has also been busy playing in his brother’s Jason Crosby Band and with New York rock quartet Feverseed.
Guitarist David Berg is rooted in jazz, reggae, and bluegrass. He has toured with Dark Star Orchestra and has played multiple shows with Garth Hudson (The Band). Dave’s fluid rock style keeps CIRCUS MIND in a constant snake-like flow.
Drummer Dan Roth has been banging on things since he was a tyke, and he can’t seem to stop. He’s addicted to crosswords, motor coordination, and avocados.
With over 30 album credits to his name, percussionist Steve Finkelstein has worked with pop icons from Ray Charles and Mariah Carey as well as jam band giants including members of the Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, and Tower of Power. Steve is also an original member and current member of the Funk Filharmonik.
“Blues, rock, jazz and funk are fused perfectly across the captivating 10-track disc; the infectious “Mean Mutha Fucka” (with guest Max Newman), Steely Dan-flavored title track, aptly-titled “Jazzfest Time” and poignant “Errand Boy” are definite showcases for how capably Circus Mind fuses its influences into something that is the group’s own. Several of the album’s great tracks are bolstered by the incredible fret work of guest guitarist Brandon “Taz” Niederauer; indeed the funkadelic “Are You Ready” and reflective psychedelia-tinged dreamscape “Air Waves” soar.“
“Funky junkies and sonic jokers outta New York radiate their irreverent merriment across the borders. Using their record as a vehicle of moving people’s mood to where the action and fun displace sore spots and featuring a few respectable guests, the Big Apple players spread light and laughter all around – to a fantastic effect. t’s exactly what we need right now: the joy machine to make us happy – this vehicle of exhilaration.“
“Are you ready to have a blast with Circus Mind? Their latest CD Joy Machine will supercharge your summer with funky jams, rocking guitar, and ear worms that will burrow into your mind and refuse to leave. Mark Rechler (vocals & keyboards) not only knows how to write a hook, he surrounds these melodies with a diverse blend of influences, as each track has its own flavor, and yet this album feels cohesive. Rechler’s unique gravelly voice gives the songs additional punch; he sings from the gut, I can imagine him going for broke live pushing the band forward.
The band has brought in a number of guests such as Brandon “Taz” Nierderauer, Nels Cline, and Ivan Neville among others to add a little spice to the mix. And let’s not forget the core band that is phenomenal, great players in their own right. There is not a clunker to be found here, and this CD is pure summertime fun in the sun. Crank this one up, loud!!”
Translated: “The musical influences on the work of Circus Mind come from seventies groups like Mott The Hoople, Traffic, Steely Dan and Little Feat. We hear that best in songs like “Errand Boy”, “Three Muses” or the bluesy “Nutbag” on which Marc Ribot, known for his work with Tom Waits and Elvis Costello, plays the guitar. The unsurpassed Wilco guitarist Nels Cline provides guitar work on the quietly performed rock ballad “Longing Song.”
Thanks to all these very diverse collaborations, the third album “Joy Machine” by Mark Rechler and his band Circus Mind has become a unique record in this funk, rock and blues genre.”
“This vibrantly alive and kickin’ new album opens on the ’70s guitar funk and foot-tappin’ beats of ‘Are You Ready’ and the jangling pop-psych ambiance of the title track ‘Joy Machine,’ and then backs those up with the funky ‘Air Waves,’ the soaring, horn-imbibed ‘Mean Mutha Fucka’ and then we get one of my own personal favorites, the earnest storytelling of ‘Longing Song.’
Released one year ago as an ode to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and featuring both Ivan Neville and Big Sam, the magnificently upbeat and joyous ‘Jazzfest Time’ is brought forth next and that’s backed by the free flowing ‘Errand Boy,’ the rockin’ rhythms of ‘Three Muses,’ with the album rounding out on the foot-tappin’ ‘Nutbag,’ closing on the lofi, almost-pleading, graveled-vocal outreach of ‘Troubled Times.’”
“Circus Mind’s third studio release, aptly titled “Joy Machine”, is an exuberating cocktail of jazz influenced classic rock, pimped up with a heavy-duty funk kick. Mostly it’s a good-time romp, a slide back to the past with some righteous gems on disposal. Fashioned by Mark Rechler’s love of lushy textured production and spacy, open-ended songcraft springing through top-notch musicianship, the end result is a consortium of hummable, often trippy sounding songs.”
“They start the album off with the funky, soulful all-out rock assault of “Are You Ready,” which features a phenomenal solo from guest guitarist Brandon “Taz” Niederauer. Circus Mind deliver a southern sounding anthem with the title track “Joy Machine,” featuring some sweet blues licks from the guitar of Scott Metzger, while the smooth, laid-back jam of “Longing Song” highlighted by the addition of Nels Cline floating guitar melody. The band travel down to Bourbon Street with the help of Ivan Neville and Big Sam for “Jazzfest Time,” a tribute to the New Orleans festival. Circus Mind finish up their new album with a return to the funky beats of the instrumental “Nutbag,” which includes some stellar guitar work from Marc Ribot, along the slow blues of the album closer “Troubled Times,” featuring Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Bill Titus.”
“I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Joy Machine, from Circus Mind and it’s a funky music party. Opening with Are You Ready?, lead vocalist and keyboard player, Mark Rechler sets the pace backed by Chris Crosby on bass, Dave Berg on guitar, Dane Roth on drums and Steve Finkelstein on percussion and featuring Brandon “Taz” Niederauer with an outrageous guitar solo.”
“This is an album, I can listen to over and over again”!
“You might as well sit back and enjoy the deconstruction of everything. Here’s a crew making their third record in 20 years and has the big sounding 70s AOR anthemia rock thing down cold—-and it comes across as a welcome return to when straight ahead rock was the sound of the suburbs. With a guest list of pros that knows what it’s about and what to do, something purely commercial never sounded so right. Well done.”
To purchase or stream the new CIRCUS MIND album JOY MACHINE please visit:
To purchase or stream the new single “ARE YOU READY?” please visit:
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