The voices of John Cloyd Miller and Natalya Zoe Weinstein, long-time veterans of Asheville, North Carolina’s roots music scene, blend together seamlessly and soulfully on this compelling collection of mostly all original songs.
These 11 cuts range from high-lonesome honky-grass heartbreakers (“Everything But Me”) and old-timey gospel (“That Home Far Away”) to a haunting crime & retribution ballad (“Red River”) and a politically-tinged wake-up call (“Where Do You Stand”).
These two co-band leaders come from widely different backgrounds. Massachusetts-born and classically trained Zoe hails from a long line of jazz and klezmer musicians. Cloyd’s Kentucky roots go seven generations deep and his grandfather, Jim Shumate, was a pioneering bluegrass fiddler. Cloyd has also been a first-place winner in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.
The two of them, along with their bandmates, meld their respective influences and passions magically on outings like the jazzy klezmer-bluegrass fusion instrumental, “Pan America” and a spirited traditional klezmer number called “Hoffman’s Hora/David’s Frailach.”
All told, Zoe & Cloyd’s forte is melding American roots music with forays into more urban, contemporary and eclectic forms, and they do it magnificently.