As I mentioned recently, I've started hanging out at the local Reform synagogue and so I've got the Reform liturgy on the brain. Doubly so today, because not only is it Shabbat and Erev Sukkot, but Linda Hirschhorn a noted Reform cantor and leader of the group Vocolot will be stopping by. I'm looking forward to meeting her and will be blogging about it on Monday, I'm sure.
So I was delighted when I got followed on Twitter by Shabbat Resouled, an English Reform pop/songleader project. According to their MySpace page press info...
The musical project known as SHABBAT RESOULED has evolved out of the highly successful eponymous Kabbalat Shabbat service held on the third Friday of each month at the FINCHLEY PROGRESSIVE SYNAGOGUE in North London, which has been attended by over a thousand people since its inception in April 2007. With new music composed by DEAN STAKER (9½ Incas, Asylum Nation) and performed by a live band of talented musicians SHABBAT RESOULED is an attempt to provide an alternative to the standard modern Jewish liturgical songs which hereto have been dominated by compositions by American songwriters aimed at American audiences. Whilst acknowledging the contribution of the pioneers of Jewish contemporary music such as JEFF KLEPPER and DAN FREEDLANDER (KOL B’SEDER), DEBBIE FRIEDMAN, SAFAM and CRAIG TAUBMAN, SHABBAT RESOULED takes its inspiration from mainstream British artists such as THE BEATLES, CAT STEVENS, PINK FLOYD, THE MOODY BLUES and JETHRO TULL, giving the project a ‘British’ feel and establishing the ‘Anglo-Jewish sound’! With a full-length album scheduled for completion in 2009 and a burning ambition to take the project beyond British shores, Dean is currently working on new songs, demo versions of which are featured on this page. The band is also available to perform for services at synagogues throughout the UK – please contact us for details.How cool. And their music is great. Excellent musicianship and songwriting chops. I always have a hard time listening to Reform pop liturgical/songleader music and imagining myself singing it in shul, so I can't comment on that. Someday I'll be better at that, I'm sure. I starting to get a lot more practice at it. So decide for yourself and let me know what you think.
As far as I'm aware, the Shabbat Resouled demo tracks aren't available for purchase and/or download anywhere. I'll let you know if I find out otherwise. For more info on Shabbat Resouled, see their website, MySpace page, ReverbNation page, or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.