Village Voice

June 18th, 2006

The Klezmatics
Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie

By Robert Christgau

Rating: A

What a treat to have Lorin Sklamberg singing in English, with the gentleness and precision non-Yiddish speakers sense in him elaborated and specified by the dozen Guthrie lyrics Sklamberg and his cohort turn into music. He’s cheery for the neighborhood pep rally, transported for the mystic prophecy, tenderly humorous for the lullaby, delicately feminine for the tale of two rings, a wedding singer when the music gets Balkan (or is that Middle Eastern?), a Marxist simp with a Scotch-Irish melody dreaming of roads paved with the “finest of plastics.” One of the age’s signal voices, finally available on terms an Al Green fan can understand.