Americana Highways presents this premiere of Zoe & Cloyd’s song “Berditchever Sher,” from their upcoming release due next fall. This song was produced by Jon Weisberger, and engineered, mixed and mastered by Van Atkins at Crossroads Studios in Arden, NC. “Berditchever Sher” is John Cloyd Miller on guitar, Natalya Weinstein on fiddle, Kevin Kehrberg on bass and Bennett Sullivan on banjo.
Zoe and Cloyd demonstrate the best in macabre bluegrass with the music on this instrumental song. With the minor key ominously foreboding, and the lively beat underpinning it, you’ll be mesmerized.
Klezmer and bluegrass music have a number of interesting parallels. Both are folk musics originating in rural communities and cross-pollinating with other regional musical styles. It was exciting to work up a bluegrass arrangement of ‘Berditchever Sher,’ a traditional klezmer tune from my grandfather’s repertoire. The bowed bass at the beginning of the song is reminiscent of low brass often used in klezmer bands and the high-pitched ornamentation and ‘crying’ sound of the fiddle is akin to the ‘high, lonesome’ vocals in bluegrass. Klezmer music can simultaneously express pain and joy in the same song, which you hear in both the major and minor chording in ‘Berdichever Sher.’ To me, our arrangement of this tune with the 5-string banjo, is a unique blend of Jewish and American folk music. — Natalya Weinstein