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watch Silver Jews members reunite for David Berman tribute in Nashville


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Members of Silver Jews’ mid-’00s touring lineup — including David Berman’s widow, Cassie Berman, William Tyler, Peyton Pinkerton and Brian Kotzur — paid tribute to David Berman at a show in Nashville on Saturday (11/30). The night, which happened at club Drkmttr, was officially billed as William Tyler Band and Friends, it was a “friendsgiving” hang that benefited The Recording Academy’s MusiCares program and paid tribute to Berman and Neal Casal, both of whom we lost this year. From Nashville Scene:

Then came some moments moment you’d expect to be powerful, but took on a bit of extra weight. Songsmith Cassie Berman, Berman’s widow and former Silver Jews bandmate, took the stage with an acoustic guitar that didn’t seem to want to be amplified. While the sound crew worked to root out the gremlins, tension built in the silence. Lambchop keyboardist Tony Crow happened to be nearby, and after a quick huddle with Hulscher, he took over the keyboard station, soothing the murmuring crowd with waves of Tangerine Dream-like synth chords. Another onetime Silver Jew, Peyton Pinkerton, set up almost unnoticed near the back of the stage, marking the first time this many members of the band had appeared onstage together since their farewell show in 2009.

With Cassie Berman’s acoustic guitar wrangled into submission, the whole group fell in with Crow for a rendition of Silver Jews’ “Suffering Jukebox.” There wasn’t any banter addressing it explicitly, but the performance of country-leaning tune channeled all the cathartic joy and gratitude of a good homecoming, along with grief for the loss of David Berman. Once the applause died down, Kevin Guthrie — an artist, illustrator and longtime friend of David Berman’s — joined the throng on the tiny stage to lead the final song of the night. That was the raucous Jews tune “Punks in the Beerlight,” a perfectly appropriate tribute to a fallen leader and comrade.

You can watch video of “Suffering Jukebox” and “Punks in the Beerlight” below.

The night also featured Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, Adia Victoria, Caitlin RoseRayon City (a new band featuring onetime Be Your Own Pet singer Jemina Pearl, her husband and Third Man Records co-owner Ben Swank), and other Nashville musicians. Watch a few other clips from the night, including a Kurt Wagner-sung cover of Bob Dylan’s “Long and Wasted Years,” below.

William Tyler will be on tour with Steve Gunn and Mary Lattimore in 2020.

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