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Today on Ecléctico you're listening to a song with words in English and Hebrew by bluegrass duo Nefesh Mountain. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from an article by Lee Zimmerman on Bluegrass Today.
"In the Wide Open Air" by Nefesh Mountain
2021 | Jewish-American bluegrass duo based in New Jersey
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“Nefesh is the Hebrew word for soul,” Eric [Lindberg, guitarist,] explains, opening up the conversation while Doni [Zasloff, singer,] tends to the couple’s newborn. “It’s this place that we’ve created in our hearts and minds as a place where we can write music, where we find ourselves really influenced by all of the Americana that we’ve lived our whole lives, a corner of the world where we can have this kind of musical platform and spectrum. So to us, it actually is a place, even though it’s totally made up. It’s like some sort of mystical fantasy place where we find this little utopia.”
With ‘Mountain’ being part of the brand, the synergy of old world cultures underscores Nefesh Mountain’s primary mantra — that is, an attempt to fuse different dynamics without them negating one another. Folk, fiddle music, country, Celtic, klezmer, and Appalachian influences all find equal footing within their varied mix, and yet the sound is seamless and spellbinding all at the same time.
“The mountain we refer to is universal,” Lindberg continues. “Even though we’re writing music that’s very much about our own lives and background, we really want the music to have a universal appeal. It’s not only for Jews and it’s not only for bluegrass listeners, but it’s something a little bit deeper, and maybe a bit more broad. And so the mountains are just a symbol that we were drawn to, whether we’re in Switzerland or in Israel or in Colorado. When you think of bluegrass you think of folk music and roots music tradition, that kind of mountain music that’s universal across the world.”