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Album Review

Unafraid of shameless schmaltz when it suits the cause of raising an aorta-busting ruckus, these New Yorkers recognize the bent nature of the tunes they cover, playing up the hokey woodblock percussion on the galloping "Tantst Yidelekh" or altering the last verse of "Ale Brider" (We're All Brothers) to "We're all gay, like Jonathan and King David." Making fun of tradition can be a means of honoring the past — but lest one still think they're sentimentalists at heart, the Klezmatics uncork a healthy dose of rage in an anarchic rendition of the Israeli song "Bilvovi" that will send the relatives running from the room.


Formed: 1985 in New York City, NY

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Klezmatics take one of the wildest approaches to klezmer, the traditional dance music of the Eastern European Jews. Although their music is heavily influenced by the recordings of Abe Ellstein and Dave Tarras in the 1940s and 1950s, their lyrics comment on a wide variety of political and social issues and have led the group to be labeled "the planet's radical Jewish roots band." The original members of the Klezmatics -- Dave Lindsay (bass), Rob Chavez (clarinet), Alicia Svigals (fiddle) -- were...
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Shvaygn = Toyt, The Klezmatics
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