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Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird

Folk Pop Radical

Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird

 “Accordion charged with punkrock… the free-spirited attitude of the New York Tzadik circle, cabaret flair, and scraps of Tom Waits.”

- 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.

The Butcher’s Share

Apocalyptic Klezmer-punk anthems for the revolution!
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.
Daniel Kahn & The Painted Bird continue to masterfully navigate the dichotomy between revolution and alienation, the political and the poetic, the explosive and the corrosive The Butcher’s Share is available on LP, CD, and digital platforms from Oriente Musik.The band is touring Europe and North America throughout 2018.







“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