Friday, October 21, 2011

Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart on recording a klezmer in a gym

Ok, it's way too short but this video of Mickey Hart describing recording a klezmer band is a hoot. Mickey Hart is a world-class percussionist, both as a member of the Grateful Dead and through a variety of performance and recording projects.

The album, The Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra's "The Traveling Jewish Wedding," was released back in 1980 and was just re-released on Smithsonian Folkways as part of the Mickey Hart collection. It's a fine early klezmer revival recording and is actually one of the one of the first klezmer album's I owned. It's loaded with fine, though not outstanding, cimbalom, violin, and folkie vocals and in true klezmer revival form it's regionally omnivorous and indiscriminate. It including traditional Yiddisn and klezmer tunes, Sephardic tunes, and one or two that sound very influenced by Israeli folk music. Great stuff.

I had no idea, though, that Mickey Hart recorded it. Guess I didn't read the liner notes on that one.

Mickey and Fred on Recording Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra

While the Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra is no more, if you happen to be in Hawaii GGSO's Barry and Gloria Blum would be happy to perform at your wedding, bar mitzvah or bris.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yehuda Katz going solo

It's funny. Historically, I've never been a big jam-band, Grateful Dead kind of guy. I'm not sure why I so love Shlomo Carlebach and his psuedo-hippy Chassid protégés so much. But I do. Which is why I was thrilled when I got an email Aryeh Kunstler pointing me to Yehuda Katz new videos and album. Katz was one of the founders of popular Israeli Hassidic music group Reva L’Sheva and in the new album expands on his joyful Shlomo Carlebach / Grateful Dead sound. Love it. Check it out.

Yehudah Katz - Biladecha/Not Without You

For more info on Katz, check out this recent Jerusalem Post article. His other new video, Hudo, is also excellent. You can grab the new album through iTunes and follow Katz on Facebook.