Sunday, April 10, 2005

Music, Music, Music

Israel has a thriving folk-music community with folk clubs that meet regularly in Karmiel, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Kibbutz Tzora (next door to Beit Shemesh) and, most recently, the south. If you like folk music, you’ll enjoy them all, and even if the folk genre is not your musical cup of tea, you’ll still enjoy the excellent musicianship and wonderful atmosphere.

The largest Israeli folk-music site is probably that of the Kibbutz Tzora Folk Club, which is lovingly maintained by Judy and Lynn Lewis. Their site includes a gallery of past and present performers from all over the world, including Israel. (Not all of us are expats, believe it or not!)

Although some of the various folk clubs have been in existence for close to twenty years, it has only been in the past five or so that members of the Israeli folk community have begun releasing their own CDs. (Names that come to mind right away include Ray Scudero, Sandy Cash and Jill Rogoff.) This is mainly due to two factors: the increased availability of high-quality recording technology together with the enormous distribution potential of the Internet. Most of us expat musicians sell our CDs at CD Baby, a wonderful on-line CD store located in Oregon.

And speaking of the Internet, this week several tracks from “Poor Working Slob,” an excellent CD of original music by my dear friends Joanna and Ray Scudero, are featured on Rich O’Brien’s Songwriters Internet Radio Show. Their segment is about two thirds in, but the entire show is worth hearing. Rich showcases three of my favorite songs by Ray: “Voyager,” a lyrical picture of the wooden gaff-rigged schooner on which his sister and brother-in-law live and travel the world; “Poor Working Slob,” a witty and affectionate look through a native New Yorker’s eyes at the people who live and work in New York City; and “Horizon Dawn,” a song about taking stock of one’s life.

So ... like music? Pull up a chair, lean back, relax and enjoy.

(Cross-posted on Israelity)

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