Having grown up in a family of highly acclaimed classical musicians, Natalia Zukerman carved out her own path in a bold new world. Her new release Brand New Frame is a delightful mixture of blues, jazz, folk and more supporting a solid collection of tunes about love and life, which is to be expected from a gal with her talent. Produced and released by Willy Porter and his Weasel Records, this disc marks a departure from Natalia’s totally indie career. If you’re an avid watcher of The L Word, then you’ve actually heard her stuff, you probably just don’t know it.


You’re not new to The L Word world, having contributed a good bit of noodling on music with EZGirl, right?

Where have you popped up?
I played some guitar for the second season, I believe, and then they bought my song “Little Heart” for the third, and this season I played guitar for the soundtrack again. Went over to EZ’s place and recorded in the summer. It’s so fun to work with her. It ended up being used for the first four episodes – the jail scenes with Helena, et al.
So you’re all over this thing. Right on.
I was. It was really fun to hear and a total surprise. I thought she was just going to use a little refrain here and there but it was there a lot of slide guitar and resonator blues licks, pardon the pun.
Of course. Puns are generally pardoned in these parts, as it were. So the new CD… it’s a bit of a new twist for you, working with a producer and now a label. And a manager.
Yeah. Really collaborative. I feel like I have a team of folks working with me. It’s very grown up. We have conference calls!
Wow. That IS grown up of you.
It feels really amazing to have the support and sometimes it’s really… overwhelming. Like I’m responsible to and for these other people now too. It’s not just me playing guitar in my living room.
It’s true. Sometimes having a team does that blessing and curse dance.
Mostly it’s a total blessing. Willy (Porter) is one of my favorite people. All the folks I’m working with are just GOOD people. People I WANT to hang out with.
Can’t beat that.
Yeah and it’s a great learning experience. Learning about friendships and work and boundaries and bigger/smaller stuff too – like distribution, licensing.
You’re family has always been supportive, but does having this kind of progress give you a little more credibility amongst those classical types?
I don’t know about that. I don’t think they understand really what it means to have a label or not. A manager in classical music is also your agent and publicist, so that’s a new concept to them to have so many different factions. And when you cut a record as a classical musician you just go in and do your part. You don’t have to be concerned about distribution or publicity. It’s all taken care of.
Got it. Still must be a little impressive, though.
Now that I have all these other parts of my "business" in play I think it’s almost more confusing. They love the record so that’s great. I feel totally supported by my family always. Pretty great thing to be able to say. There was definitely a time when IWANTED to be the black sheep – college, probably. But it never worked!
We all have our burdens…
So what are the plans to support the release? You gonna do a full tour? Will the West Coast get to see you?
Yes! I’m coming in April and it’ll be before it’s officially released. Playing in San Diego, L.A., Santa Ynez, Santa Cruz, Berkeley and then up to Corvallis, Portland and Seattle. I will be able to sell the record at shows but it’s not out officially until May 6. I have the East Coast release in Boston on May 7, so you all get it first! And I’ll have some accompaniment for those shows too, to flesh out the tunes with a bit of a band.
As it should be!
So fun. Yes indeed.
Doing any festivals this year?
Yes. So far confirmed I’m at SummerFolk in Owen Sound, Ontario, Michigan Womyn’s, New Bedford…
Those Canadians just love you.
Ha, yeah. I’m going there tomorrow in the snow.
That’s some fine routing you got yourself right there.
Ha, yup, but I get to go to Olivia Cancun in May. That’s pay back.
Ooh la la! So the girls really can’t escape you, is what you’re saying.
Um… I guess?
I meant that to be a good thing.