In Federico Fellini’s 1954 film La Strada, a young Italian girl named Gelsomina is sold to Zamparo, a carnival strong man who makes a living performing feats of strength in village squares. Gelsomina acts as his assistant, entertaining crowds of villagers by wearing clown makeup and playing the snare drum and trumpet. Set the clock forward 50 or so years and you’ve got La Strada, a seven-piece Brooklyn band that evokes the spirit of Fellini’s masterpiece on songs like “Starling.” The group’s self-titled debut EP (on Ernest Jenning) is full of old-world folk and gypsy influences, and it’s no wonder: Frontman/songwriter James Craft was born in France and lived briefly in Romania. Check out La Strada as it hits la strada (“the road” in Italian) with Bowerbirds this spring.
“Starling” (dowload here):