- Rolling Stone [Germany]
Detroit-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter, polyglot poet, translator and activist Daniel Kahn concocts furious, tender, electrifying and revolutionary Alienation Klezmer. With the Painted Bird, he presents a variety of passionate songs inspired in part by the struggles of Jewish revolutionaries at the turn of the century, and in part by his own intense desire for a better world. The Painted Bird has brought “Yiddish Punk Cabaret” to rock clubs, festivals and shtetls, from Berlin to Boston, Leningrad to Louisiana. The band has been referred to as “The Yiddish Pogues,” and Kahn was once described as “someone between Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits – but yiddish.” Fittingly, his Yiddish cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – coincidentally released a few days before the passing of the great musician – has gone viral, with over 700,000 views. Kahn also leads The Brothers Nazaroff, which revives the lost repertoire of Nathan “Prince” Nazaroff, the master tumler of the 50s in whose mad howl can be heard the alleys of Odessa, the cacophony of Coney Island, and the mountain air of the Catskills. With access to the Smithsonian Folkways vault, The Brothers Nazaroff have restored a piece of a cultural heritage thought lost to the world.
“Everyone’s bouncing and drinking and Kahn sings of revolution, whisky and Zion, inner emigration and parasitism. He ends with the Yiddish folk song “Dem Milners Trern,” known from the Coen brothers film “A Serious Man.” Daniel Kahn, at once moralist and anarchist, is also a man who means it all seriously.”
- Maik Brüggemeyer, Rolling Stone [German] (live concert review)
“When it’s comes to wicked freaky Klezmer music, the Americans were always way ahead. Daniel Kahn, born in Detroit, living in Berlin, belongs to this caste of Yiddish music agitators. An absolute must for lovers of unusual, intelligent, challenging, exciting folk music and a blast at every instant.”
- Klaus Halama, Sound & Image
“Spotlighted on the stage and dressed in black, Kahn sang through a megaphone and switched between accordion, piano and ukelele as he chewed up stereotypes and spit them out in an almost in-your-face challenge to the audience.”
- Ruth Ellen Gruber, Ruthless Cosmopolitan