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Veretski Pass finishes new CD and celebrates

Veretski PassThe amazing trio Veretski Pass, celebrated the finishing of their second CD this past weekend with a wild concert for the Branford, CT, Folk Music Society. I am thoroughly jealous that the Branfordians were not only able to snag the band for its debut East Coast performance, but filled the hall. This is a band that belongs here in Boston at, say, Johnny D's. If booking agents read this blog, you've been warned that there is exceptional music that attracts an audience. Now do your part!

Featuring Cookie Segelstein, one of my favorite fiddle players, Stu Brotman, boss of the bass, punisher of the poyk; and Josh Horowitz (with all due respect to some amazing tsimbl players that I know), the only tsimbl player to call when you want the best, on that instrument and on accordion, the band plays something they call "Village Klezmer," a wild, ecstatic melange of Eastern European music, often Jewish, always fascinating. They featured a lot of newer material, and managed to slip in a bit of Fellini film score here, Mariachi there, just to keep things interesting.

Despite managing a thoroughly staid stage presence—Cookie moves a bit while playing, and one can see Stu's hands move as he bows the small "Hungarian Village bass", the band managed to get several audience members up and dancing, and the rest of us clapping along. Having a full evening in which to play, Cookie and Josh also took time to amuse us with intros to songs that didn't necessarily have much to do with the music, but reinforced that frequently-felt sense that we're all from Munkacs, anyway.

There aren't a lot of bands playing traditional music that sound this exciting. Please join me in figuring out how to get the band performing locally (especially locally to me so that I don't have to shlep down to New Haven). With two members now settled here on the East Coast, surely there are many excuses to pull in Stu from Berkeley and set up a tour.