the show debuted at joe’s pub in new york last night to a sold out crowd. it was an amazing experience for me for too many reasons to go into right this minute. more on that later. in the meantime, here’s an excerpt from a review of the show written for nextbook by jesse oxfeld:
It’s a jarring experience at first, hearing stories of Kristallnacht, songs of lost family, memories of lost lives, while standing cheek-by-jowl at a packed bar, tumbler of Scotch in hand. And it’s unexpected to hear these things from a sultry-voiced indie-rock chick with guitar slung over her shoulder and backed by a quartet of guitarist, bassist, drummer, and electronic-gadget-player. But, soon enough, you realize that it works. The songs are lovely, and evocative, and you begin to think of Europe’s lost Jewry—of Burson’s grandmother’s lost childhood, and lost family— not as distant, sepia-toned artifacts but actual people, with immediate troubles.
Burson’s great-grandparents, planning to join their daughter in the United States, had packed up all their belongings to ship across the Atlantic as they themselves headed to Latvia, unable to get a visa. (The Wehrmacht, unfortunately, got to Latvia not too much later.) The boat containing their things, their lives and memories, was bombed before it left Europe. Near the end of her set, Burson sings of them: “Bluegreen and dappled spidery light/white wedding china/cut crystal glasses/a trunk of old linens/silver that’s tarnished/at home in the sea.” It’s a bracing new way of telling the stories we must continue to hear.
for the full article, go here.