With their new record The Butcher’s Share, The Painted Bird returns to the road as the original radical Yiddish borderland bandits.
The Berlin-based Detroit-born poet/translator/singer/multi-instrumentalist (accordion, piano, guitars) Daniel Kahn has reformed the band with new and old comrades: Berlin’s clarinet/sax/brass master Christian Dawid, New York’s Yiddish fiddle virtuoso Jake Shulman-Ment, expat experimental contrabassist Berlin composer Michael Tuttle, and classic klezmer drummer Hampus Melin.
The live show features projected translations and images by legendary NY underground artist Eric Drooker, whose work is woven into the album’s design, as well as material from the band’s new videos.
New anthems like “Freedom Is A Verb” and Josh Waletzky’s “99%” speak to the political moment as much as they address eternal struggles of class and liberation. Ballads like “Children In The Woods” and “Sheyres Hora” explore the depths of trauma and Traum. And the dark rock landscape of “No One Survives” references the brave hopelessness of late David Bowie. In the title track “The Bucher’s Sher” Kahn manages to make an upbeat Klezmer epic out of economic concepts of commodity fetishism and bourgeois morality. With songs like “Shtil di Nakht Iz Oysgeshterent” and “Arbeter Froyen”, old Yiddish ballads of resistance and revolt are made radical and relevant through poetic new translations.