Well, 2013 was certainly an amazing year! A lot of firsts took place, from our first forays outside of Boise, which included our first trip to the Northwest Folklife Festival, to releasing our first CD, it was really the start of lot of things that we hope to continue in the future. Looking back, one of the most gratifying things about 2013 was the number of excellent artists that we had the opportunity to play with. For years we’ve listened and looked up to acts like Vagabond Opera, Hawk and a Hacksaw, and Nu Klezmer Army. To not only share venues with them, but to also gain their respect and friendship (and that of many other wonderful people as well!) really has meant a lot to us this past year.
Although some people have moved on, we’re also extremely grateful for the band members and friends that have stayed with us over the years. It always amazes me what our bandmates bring to the mix, and it is very humbling and gratifying that they continue to work with us month after month, year after year. We would not be able to do what we do without them.
This has also been an extremely challenging year, as it’s been the first full year that both Victoria and I have been going back to school full time. Doing our best in our classes, raising four children, dealing with life well below the poverty line, *and* keeping the band moving forward has been an immense workload. We were very fortunate that a lot of forward momentum (and some measure of our musicianship) carried us through 2013, as we were much less aggressive about developing material and finding gigs than we have been in the past. And for what it’s worth, none of it is going to get any easier any time soon – we’re still both in school, still have all four kids, and we’re still poor.
Which doesn’t mean that we’re coasting through 2014 – far from it! Right now we’re working on a hefty amount of new material, and we already have a number of high profile shows and plans in the works. Starting with the Big, Badass Bellydance Show in February. From there, hopefully this will be the year that we find a place in the Treefort Music Festival. And we’re planning our return trip to the Northwest Folklife Festival. We’re also well in the works of bringing some very special friends and mentors to Boise for the second annual Idaho Jewish Cultural Festival. I believe that there’s also going to be a focus on playing shows in smaller, more family friendly environments – like the Shangri-La Tea Room and the High Note Cafe. For the new material, I think it sounds more like a real traditional Klezmer band, and also more like ourselves than anything we’ve done before. For various reasons, there’ll be more of me playing double bass on a lot of our songs, plus more of my own translations as opposed to us just performing songs verbatim in Yiddish/Romani/etc.
So there certainly is a lot to look forward to, and for us to get to work on! An enormous, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has come with us this far. May we make many more friends and have many more musical adventures in 2014 and beyond!