The Carnivaleros


The Carnivaleros' music has always been difficult to define. Combining moody Eastern European motifs, western movie themes, and stories of our shared American experience with strains of Zydeco rhythms, Tex-Mex polkas, waltzes and swing, the band has created a stew of what they like to call Desert Bayou Music.

Besides bandleader, accordionist, and vocalist Gary Mackender, the band is comprised of his long-time friend and formidable bassist Karl Hoffmann along with multi-instrumentalist Joe Fanning on electric and acoustic guitars, baritone, and mandolin, Seattle's own Les Merrihew on the drums, and our most recent addition to the band, Björgvin Benediktsson on electric and acoustic guitars, and vocals. They form the core of the band now playing and recording as The Carnivaleros.

The band is now in the studio recording CD number six featuring twelve new songs. Be on the lookout here and on our Facebook page for more information.

L-R: Joe Fanning, Björgvin Benediktsson, Gary Mackender, Karl Hoffmann, and Les Merrihew

The fifth album of music, Dreams Are Strange, is comprised of equal parts Lyrical Stories of American Gothic Characters of Fiction, and Instrumentals Written for Film and TV. You can order the CD by clicking on the Store link above or listen to a few tracks by clicking on the Music link above. Many thanks!

CD History

Strictly Tabu | 2014
Happy Homestead | 2009
Lost In the Graveyard | 2006