Beat Circus was formed in 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Carpenter, who has been its only constant member since its inception. In 2005 Carpenter began a radical shift in direction resulting in the recording of Dreamland, the first part of Carpenter's Weird American Gothic trilogy, with legendary NY producer Martin Bisi. Filled with dark narrative songs and loosely based on historical events associated with turn-of-the-century New York, Dreamland was the culmination of a two-year effort by Beat Circus. In Summer 2007 Brian Carpenter debuted the third incarnation of Beat Circus with a new concept and sound to develop the second part of the trilogy, Boy From Black Mountain, personal songs about family and fatherhood in the tradition of Southern Gospel songwriters and Southern Gothic literature.
Boston's little circus of malcontents not only has the chops but features a fallen hellfire preacher/band leader (the captivating Brian Carpenter) who simultaneously channels Nick Cave and Johnny Cash. -- Shawn Bosler, Village Voice
The music and the wonderfully well-realized arrangements of Dreamland are, if anything, better than on the band's debut...the stylistically varied results make for a wonderfully imaginative record. -- Stewart Mason, All Music Guide
Dreamland truly functions as a smorgasbord of the early twentieth-century music heard in both the old and new worlds