Change The World

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From Another World by RebbeSoul

The one-man act Rebbe Soul grew out of  founder, producer, vocalist, guitarist Bruce Burger‘s love for Hebrew music. Burger was introduced to the music as a child but quickly gravitated to rock & roll, which seemed a better vehicle for a guitarist in the early ’90s. After kicking around the Los Angeles rock club scene for several years, Burger reacquainted  himself with the old Hebrew melodies just for fun.

His own emotional response to it, not to mention the overwhelming positive response from colleagues and fellow musicians, inspired him to produce and record the first Rebbe Soul album, simply entitled Rebbe, in 1995.

While Rebbe was mainly comprised of  English-language originals, the Hebrew songs received the most attention from listeners and members of the music industry. One song in particular, entitled “Avinu,” garnered a huge response when it was played on San Francisco’s jazz station KKSF. Album sales and support from a Jewish and non-Jewish fan base encouraged Burger to produce a second Rebbe Soul album, Fringe of Blue. The electric rendition of “Avinu” on Fringe earned rave reviews from critics at Playboy Magazine and New York Jewish Week.

The success of Burger’s one-man act up to this point inspired fellow Jewish artist Richard Krevolin to write him a one-man solo theater piece entitled, quite logically, Rebbe Soul-O. The theatrical show and accompanying album appeal to audiences because of the down-to-earth tone, catchy and beautiful melodies, and the easily accessible story line (a modern-day youth connects with his faith while finding his musical voice). He countinued his output with A One Man Musical Journey in 1998 and Change the World With a Sound in 2002.

Rebbe Soul’s works, past and present, solo or accompanied by a six-piece band, have become famous among the Jewish community. The group tours regularly, performing at major venues and festivals from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles to Boston. Burger also is the founder and lead guitarist of world music band Common Tongue. ~ L. Katz, Rovi (iTunes)

Bruce Burger: “On January 17, 1994, Los Angeles experienced an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 which killed 72 people, injured 9,000 others, and caused $20 billion in damage. One community there responded by organizing a benefit concert where the proceeds would go to a local earthquake relief fund. My first album, “RebbeSoul” had recently been released and had success in the mainstream music world. I was invited to perform. I brought along some of my band mates to help out, especially backing up some of the other artists, among whom, was Reb Shlomo Carlebach.

There were some opening acts and then we were called up to play. At the end of our set, we played Avinu. Usually, it is a rousing and powerful piece and this night was no exception. Afterwards, I ventured out into the audience and noticed a friend motioning me to come over. As I got closer, I saw Reb Shlomo sitting next to him. My friend said, “I want to introduce you to someone,” and introduced me to a man who has probably had the most profound influence on Jewish culture in my lifetime. Reb Shlomo slowly rose from his chair, his eyes fixed on me almost in bewilderment. His mouth was open but hadn’t said anything yet. He embraced me and then said one sentence I shall never forget. He exclaimed, “Gevalt! It was from another world!” With those words, he showed what the Hassidic masters had always claimed about music – that it can be a holy instrument, connecting our world here with the one above, from the heart to the Heavens. I realized I was in the presence of someone who not only understood but lived that notion. He knew – we musicians are channels. Once we hone our skills enough, the best thing we can do is get out of the way and let the light of Heaven shine through. I was in the presence of a real holy man.

“Gevalt! It was from another world!” That is where the title for this RebbeSoul album comes from. It is entirely the music of Reb Shlomo Carlebach and It is called “From Another World.”

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was one of the greatest spiritual teachers in the last 100 years. People adored him from all over the world, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu,… black, white, red,… young, old,… He always said he had a great wish to meet everyone, to make friends with everyone, everywhere. He touched many. He also wrote over 2000 songs and this is my humble performance of his profoundly simple yet deeply spiritual music that truly alludes to something From Another World.”

* * *

RebbeSoul crafts an energetic sound… packs an eclectic armament… from Jewish and Arabic music… RebbeSoul forges a danceable fusion defying easy categorization.” – Popmatters

Burger has crafted an infectious mixture of sounds and ideas to make a post-Hassidic, pan-spiritualist electronic world-beat meditation suite. – Jerusalem Post

This is about us, as in the big “us”, not about individuals, biases, cultural clashes or any of that other clutter that junks up our daily lives. This album is about how we are more alike than different. Listen to the bond forming; this is human glue… The musicianship that RebbeSoul demonstrates is outstanding, whether it’s the almost honky-tonk, brassy Middle-Eastern percussions found in “Tzamah L’Cha Nafshi” or the flamenco-style guitar in “Qaafilah.” … steeped in Judaic heritage, proud but not bold, spiritual but not drowning in religious tones. Most importantly: it rocks! – Lucid Forge (Canada)

Despite the efforts of groups such as the New Orleans Klezmer Allstars and the Klezmatics, the term “Jewish music” still evokes an image that’s more Fiddler on the Roof than MTV. Los Angeles-based RebbeSoul may be the artist to change that. The first song on this CD is a Lubavich melody attributed to King David, but RebbeSoul’s sizzling rock guitar and tight rapping by Prophet X would have the king shaking his thing. Other songs range from the dub feel of “Kaddish” to the folk-rocky “Shalom” and “Rock of Ages.” Perhaps my favorite is “Eliyahu,” with a stripped-down funk groove, soulful Hebrew vocals by Lynn Rose, and some tasty hand drumming.” – KAOS


Album: From Another World
Price: $9.99
Genres: World, Music, Jazz
Released: Jan 01, 2010 ℗ 2010 RebbeSoul Music

To buy CD/listen to samples click here (iTunes)

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