Carlos Washington describes the Giant People's Sonic Circus as if it is a ball that has just begun to roll down the hill. As it picks up speed, it picks up players and musical styles until it finally lands at its final destination at Jazz Fest in New Orleans.
"We're recruiting," Washington said. "Everybody's going to be with some band, and we are going to have our Giant People."
Since he was in Steamboat last, a lot has happened to Washington, personally and musically.
He's the father of a 5-week-old son named Maxwell. He's relaxed after three months of paternity leave from the road and has a lot of new music from the time he was able to spend writing songs.
"My playing is a lot better," he said. "It's more intelligent. I'm getting better at writing and I promised myself that I wouldn't work myself over. I'm just going to tour for 10 days and then spend time with my family."
In his time off, Washington has been dipping his musical toe into electronic music.
"DJs are always asking me to record some trumpet on some tracks," Washington said, "and I told some of them to put down, record some music, and I'll just get it out to my friends. They gave me 46 tracks, and I sent it down from Oregon (where he lives) to drummer John Milham in Mobile."
Milham and Washington kept sending CDs back and forth from Oregon to Alabama as a sort of cross country rehearsal, building up an "electronic circus."
"We didn't even see each other, but we went with it anyway," Washington said. When the time was right, Milham got the band together, and Washington bought a ticket to Alabama.
"We practiced for a week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day and we spent a lot of time with the electronica equipment, sampling sound," Washington said. "That's the landscape for the circus. We were sifting through it scene by scene." They had the seeds for a show -- for the Sonic Circus tour.
But first, they made a stop in San Diego to stay with their friends from the band Starshack.
"We drove 36 hours straight from Mobile to San Diego. It was a good beginning," Washington said. "We rehearsed, and magic started happening."
They took their new show up the coast and then to Idaho where people were "astounded," Washington said. "It was what they did not expect, but at the same time ...
"First of all, these guys that I'm playing with meditate. They are a high level of musicians. They come from a higher notch.
"This show has just reaffirmed what we were supposed to be doing with music; letting it burn through our souls."
Washington will take the stage tonight with Corky Hughes on electric guitar, Sean Peterson on bass, Milham on drums and "some special guests," Washington said.
"I'm telling you, it's really good," he said.
The Sonic Circus tour is dedicated to a musician friend of Washington's named Daniel Price who passed away the same day Maxwell was born.