Ashville’s Zoe & Cloyd

Natalya Zoe Weinstein is a multi-instrumentalist and an award-winning songwriter. Together with vocalist, John Cloyd Miller, they make up the string duo of Zoe & Cloyd. Founding members of the trio Red June, the pair have been touring as a duo since 2015. They met in Ashville, NC hanging around the local music scene there in 2005.

Red June lasted for about six years as a standing Americana music fixture there in Ashville. Natalya, a native from Massachusetts, trained classically, while John grew up as a twelfth generation North Carolinian, and is the grandson of pioneering bluegrass fiddler, Jim Shumate. John also is a first place winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest and an Artist Fellowship recipient for songwriting from the North Carolina Arts Council.

“We basically come from the two opposite ends of the Appalachian mountains,” John said. “Our home towns are about 800 miles apart. There’s a myriad is influences in between, of course.” Natalya’s family is rooted in Baroque, Klezmer and Jazz influences, while John’s is mountain folk and Carolina bluegrass. “My grandfather played with Bill Monroe and was Flats and Scruggs first fiddle player. But I didn’t really play it much when I was a kid. It was always around and I understood how special it was though,” he recalled.

Both their debut CD, Equinox, and their second project, Eyes Brand New, drew considerable attention and praise. Their unique brand of “new Appalachian Music” has earned them a respected seat at the Americana Roots music table.

The pair is married, and John recalled that they put out their debut CD the same week Natalya gave birth to their first daughter. “That record was a very roots oriented recording,” he said; “Just two voices and two instruments on each track. The 2017 project was a little more of a full band kind of thing, with a little more old-time and bluegrass influence.” Their third CD is expected out this coming September.

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