There is an African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In the documentary Come Worry With Us!, musicians, partners and parents, violinist Jessica Moss and singer/guitarist Efrim Menuck, are trying to see if their rock band can also help them raise a child–their adorable baby, Ezra.
The pair are honest and open about the challenges of being artists since the birth of their child. They are both surprised that despite their progressive ideologies and bohemian way of life, since Ezra’s birth their lives have “separated into traditional roles very quickly.”
Efrim suddenly feels greater pressure to support his family in the only way he knows how, making more music and touring, and soon enough he is on the road with his other successful band, Godspeed! You Black Emperor. But the landscape of music is changing, more touring bands are creating greater competition and people are buying less and less music. In the meantime, Jessica has closed her gorgeous art studio to save the family money and focus on their son. At times they both long for the other’s experience. Efrim wishes he could slow down and spend more time at home with his family, and Jessica yearns to be back on the road, making music and performing.
Eventually, we the viewer and the clever cherub, Ezra, get to go on the road. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra embark on a twenty city tour in just twenty-two days, with stops throughout the U.S. and Canada. It will be grueling and daunting but the entire band (Thierry Amar, David Payant, and Sophie Trudeauis) are behind Jessica and Efrim, even splitting the cost of the nanny, and the tour bus they now need, amongst all the members. But the reality that a touring band is the antithesis of the structured lifestyle that children need cannot be escaped.
Come Worry With Us! is a fantastic and important documentary, chock full of special moments. The discussions Jessica has with other female musicians, including Natalia Yanchak of the Dears, Matana Roberts, Julie Doiron, and her sister Joan Moss, are incredibly raw and enlightening.
Will the tour make or break Jessica and Efrim’s dream of balancing art and parenthood? Only time — and Ezra — will tell. (Chaka V. )