The Rinaldi Flying Circus, a Greensboro-based band, performed at The Blind Tiger last Saturday, Sept. 19, to celebrate the success of their recent 10-day tour through the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
The band is made up of three Rinaldi siblings and Aaron Cummings. It is fronted by Stacey Rinaldi, who provides rich, sultry vocals. It also includes Joe Rinaldi on lead guitar, Rob Rinaldi on bass and Cummings on drums. Though the Rinaldi siblings have always been involved with music, they did not actually form their band until about two years ago.
“We met a long, long time ago, at birth,” Joe joked. “But we met Aaron through Craigslist, and he didn’t murder us.”
Joe and Rob had been writing music separately before Joe asked their sister, Stacey, to sing their songs.
“I didn’t even know she could sing, until four years ago. As soon as I heard Stacey sing my songs, I immediately quit trying to sing my own songs and let her,” Joe explained.
“And then I graduated high school, came to UNCG, and I was like, ‘Can I be in the band, guys?’” Rob continued.
Though they aren’t signed to a record label, The Rinaldi Flying Circus released their first full-length album, “Old Hat,” in September 2014. It is filled with haunting ballads with jazz and blues inspired melodies.
During their 10-day tour through several major cities, including Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., the band found hospitality among the crowds they played for. The siblings joked about having to live and be in such close quarters with each other during the 10 days.
“It was exciting,” Joe said. “It got a little stressful sometimes, being in a car for so long, but it was good time.”
“We almost had to cancel the first show we had,” Rob interjected.
“Our van broke down the first day of tour!” Stacey laughed. “We made it four hours into Virginia and had to be in Brooklyn that night. Didn’t think we’d even make our first show, but we did.”
“The band before us actually ran a little bit late so we just all ran on stage as soon as they were done with their set. It was this really beautiful moment,” Cummings continued.
The Rinaldi Flying Circus played at a small, intimate record store while they were in Philadelphia. The owner of the record store led them through a walking tour of Philadelphia and introduced them to local places to eat.
“Best hospitality we’ve ever seen,” Joe said.
Each band member had a different description their genre of music. It ranged from indie blues rock with some jazz, to retro rock, to swampy gypsy. They finally all settled on indie rock with blues and jazz influence.
“A lot of my musical influences are female vocalists from the ‘40s and ‘50s,” Stacey said. “Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Joe Stafford.”
“When it comes to song writers, [we draw inspiration from] Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen. We pull from Led Zeppelin some classic rock,” Joe said.
“Everything you listen to gets absorbed and comes out in your music in some way,” Cummings explained. When it comes to their music, writing the songs and coming up with songs, the process is collaborative between all of them. They try to shy away from covers to put emphasis on their own sound. “Sometimes I’ll come to Joe with like half a song and he’ll be like, let’s do this,” Rob said.
“And then I’ll come in and say I hate it,” Stacey interjected. “But in the end we all enjoy the finished product.”
The Rinaldi Flying Circus has been touring the state for the last year and a half and has often opened for other bands like Futurebirds and the Mobros.
“I really enjoy playing with other bands. You get to see their style of music and the crowd they bring in. We get exposed to new people and vice versa,” Stacey said.
During their Sept. 19 show at the Blind Tiger, a band called Elemeno opened for them.
Elemeno opened the show with their rock inspired songs that had the whole venue dancing along with them. Their set lasted about an hour and consisted of original content.
When the The Rinaldi Flying Circus took the stage, Stacey’s powerfully raw, deep voice took up the entire room, filling it with a bluesy vibe right away. Reminiscent of vintage jazz combined with contemporary rock ‘n’ roll, the band played many songs from “Old Hat.”
The sound they created together was an eclectic mashup of genres spanning decades.
Living up to their name with their sultry vibes and tight instrumentals, the band went out on a high note in one of their favorite venues to play.