ZOE AND CLOYD
The third album from this western North Carolina duo combines elements of bluegrass, old-time music, klezmer, and original songs to create a cohesive, authentic style all their own. In the publicity notes, John Cloyd Miller says, “This is an album that delves into the themes of connection and responsibility to ourselves and to the planet,” with song lyrics exploring topics ranging from relationships to climate change.
Miller plays guitar, banjo, and mandolin, and Natalya Zoe Weinstein plays fiddle. Their vocals together are well balanced and effective for the style they’ve chosen to present. They are backed by the impressive Kevin Kehrberg on acoustic bass and Bennett Sullivan on spirited banjo and guitar.
In addition to the two traditional songs “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down” and “Berditchever Sher,” the nine additional cuts are all originals or co-writes from Cloyd and Zoe, who write believable new, old-time music in a style Miller calls “new Appalachian songwriting.” The two previously mentioned traditional numbers and Cloyd’s environmental anthem “Looking Out For You And Me” are currently receiving radio airplay.
“Berditchever Sher” and “Zisa Meydele” will inspire listeners to dance, and “Only Game In Town” will likely bring a smile. Songs like “Rising Waters,” “Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still,” and “The Past Keeps Getting In The Way” have thought-provoking lyrics with compelling, authentic vocals.
The sound quality of the recording (produced by Jon Weisberger) is good, but listeners will also want to catch this talented, engaging duo at live performances if possible. They sound like a lot of fun! (www.organic-records.com)NCW