The Avenging Angel of Klezmer will warm up the village Oct. 5 for the Cumberland Museum’s Foggy Mountain Fall Fair.
This is Vancouver’s Geoff Berner, whose Mint Records debut, Victory Party, emerged in March 2011. Victory Party won the Canadian Folk Music Award for 2011, in the Pushing the Boundaries category.
Pushing the Boundaries is a good description of Berner’s sometimes-dirty, often-political approach to traditional Jewish music
Geoff’s openness to experimentation, spirited Eastern European klezmer influences, punk rock attitude and work with producer/mastermind Josh Dolgin (aka Socalled) resulted in an innovative, engaging and aggressive album full of surprises.
What’s really remarkable is that they are among the first true new klezmorim in 70 years. Since the 1970s, klezmer revivalists have always come to the music from other styles.
Benjy and Michael learned to play their instruments by learning klezmer. That really hasn’t happened since before the Holocaust.
They represent the flowering of a reborn radical Jewish culture, what Berner’s tourmate Daniel Kahn of Berlin band the Painted Bird calls the Klezmer Bund.
Radical Jewish musicians in the Klezmer Bund movement are trying put out a vision of Jewish culture that’s the opposite of the right-wing conservative, knee-jerk pro-Israel, judgmental BS that’s emerged in recent decades.
That vision is evident at Berner’s live shows, which tend to devolve into crazed, chaotic, drunken dancing and psychotic laughter. He has built a sizable cult following through extensive touring, and audiences of odd, bookish people who like to drink come out to pack bars in Berlin, Amsterdam, Oslo and Zurich, as well as in Canada.
“Geoff Berner might be klezmer’s saviour.” — NOW Magazine.
“An evening spent with Geoff Berner’s music is, in the words of the good Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, “a wild combination of menace, madness, and genius … fragmented coherence that wreaks havoc on the mind of any listener.” — Vue Weekly, Edmonton
“Cherish him, cherish him, for there really is no one like him. Fantastic.” — Billy Bragg.
Besides Berner on vocals and accordion, Diona Davies will play violin and Wayne Adams handles percussion.
For more about Geoff Berner, visit http://geoffberner.com. For more about the fall festival, see www.cumberlandmuseum.ca/events/enjoy/blackberries-apples-and-bears.
Waverley doors for Geoff Berner’s Oct. 5 show open at 8:30 p.m. The show begins at 9.
— Cumberland Village Works