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Wednesday August 17th

No boos for The Shambles’ third Halloween concert

<p>Ellis Dyson and the Shambles will perform tonight at 2nd Wind in a Halloween-themed show. (Courtesy of Larry Abrams)</p>
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Ellis Dyson and the Shambles will perform tonight at 2nd Wind in a Halloween-themed show. (Courtesy of Larry Abrams)

In its third annual Halloween-themed show, the UNC-based band Ellis Dyson and the Shambles will draw out the sinister roots of Prohibition-era music. The group will perform tonight at 2nd Wind in Carrboro.

The band’s music marries ragtime and swing sounds with North Carolina bluegrass ballads. The group has performed throughout North Carolina but calls UNC home. Its members include five current UNC students and one recent graduate.

Ellis Dyson and the Shambles’ music is distinguished by an iconic blend of Southern strings and jazzy horns.

Senior Ellis Dyson, the band’s namesake, said Halloween allows the group to dig into the darker undertones of its Prohibition-era influences.

Dyson first started exploring 1920s music genres as a junior in high school. He described the vibe of the music of that era as dirty and raw — a fresh sound that drew his attention.

Dyson said Prohibition-era music, which largely consists of bohemian undertones, pairs well with the dark nature of Halloween.

“It was happening at a time when America was reflecting the same thing — a golden exterior, but a sinister inner core,” Dyson said.

Ellis Dyson and the Shambles plays up the Halloween theme through its music. The band members wear funny costumes and perform covers they usually wouldn’t play. They reserve one pirate-sounding song for the Halloween show alone. Dyson said the holiday affords the perfect opportunity to have an exciting and unique show.

“Something about the aura, if you will, of Halloween activates the right chakras in the audience, and it’s always a really, really exciting, interesting environment,” Dyson said.

Senior Colin Rothwell has performed with Ellis Dyson and the Shambles several times. A trombone player, Rothwell said he has enjoyed the chance to break away from the jazz he typically plays.

“For me, it’s an exciting and interesting way to take the music I study and put it in a different context and learn more about something I don’t understand as much,” Rothwell said.

Rothwell also said he thinks the venue will add to the experience.

“2nd Wind is always fun because it’s a small venue, and it kind of always gets that intimate vibe where you feel connected to the audience,” he said.

That’s exactly the kind of vibe The Shambles’ fans seem to love.

Senior Kellie Carter started listening to Ellis Dyson and the Shambles more than a year ago. She said the band’s talent and growing recognition is exciting.

“It’s just amazing to see students my age that are performing so beautifully and so well on instruments,” Carter said.

Carter has been to several shows and is excited to experience the Halloween show for the first time. She also said she loves the band’s unique and authentic sound.

“Every show is a different experience. If you come to one or come to two, you never know what you’re going to expect on the next one.”



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