Jewish Soul Hits The Road: Israeli Blues/Rock Guitarist Lazer Lloyd in US for New CD Release Concerts
Eliezer (Lazer Lloyd) Blumen is an Israeli blues, rock guitarist, singer/songwriter, born in New York, who grew up and started his musical career in Connecticut.
Nineteen years ago, Rabbi Hayam Wahrman, the pillar of the historic Millinery Center Synagogue (photo below), invited Lazer to play with Rav Shlomo Carlebach at the synagogue. The experience moved the young guitarist to change direction from his budding mainstream music success to make Aliyah to Israel (Lazer tells the story here). Lazer has become Israel’s “Blues Master” playing his own original rock, blues, and folk tunes in club and bars all over Israel every night with the Lazer Lloyd Blues Band. He mixes into his shows a healthy portion of Carlebach niggunim, Reva L’Sheva type jams (he was their lead guitarist for 7 years (video & photo below)) and tunes he wrote for his power trio project “Yood” (video & photo below).
Hot off a week long tour of Russia (video & photo below), Lazer is returning to the Millinery for a concert for the first time in 19 years this coming August 15th at 8PM. His North American shows are scheduled in August to celebrate his new CD release on BluesLeaf Records August 13th. Lazer is the first Jewish artist to be signed by this important blues label where he brings his musical strength along with a deep spiritual message that is meaningful for all.
Lazer’s musical dream “is to find a style of music and song that the whole world can relate to, I think the niggun (traditional Jewish tune) is the form, it’s a spiritual blues without words and can be very meditative and joyful at the same time. I compose many of these and play them for many different audiences around the world in the show and I see it reaches everyone.”
Lazer’s live performances have become popular across the Jewish spectrum in Israel from rock and blues clubs to mainstream Jewish venues (video examples of acoustic and electric Lazer). Popular Israeli rock radio DJ Ben Red from 88FM says “This is the best Rock N Roll Blues that I have seen in Israel. It’s right under our nose and we don’t know about it. Amazing, you have to see Lazer live.” Jerusalem Post’s David Brinn describes the experience of seeing Lazer live, “When Lazer Lloyd enters the zone onstage, his eyes close tightly and he begins a peculiar dance – partly Tevye in the shtetl, partly psychedelic free form shuffle. He handles his guitar like it was an extension of his lanky but sturdy body, and the glorious noise that it emits sounds like wails and squeals emerging directly from his soul. He’s lost in the moment. He’s the best guitarist in Israel.”
He will also be playing shows across the Northeast for a week to celebrate the new CD release on Blues Leaf Records. Joe Morabia, President of Blues Leaf, had heard of Lazer and tracked him down and signed him to produce his acoustic music. Lazer played today in Guilford, CT (where he grew up) at the Jewish Fair organized by Rabbi Yossi Yaffe (Shoreline Chabad). Coming up are concerts in Saratoga Springs on Tues. (8/13) where he went to Skidmore College School of Music, Wed. (8/14) in Stony Brook for the Jewish Fair on Meadow Beach in Long Island (concert to be filmed by ShalomTV for broadcast later on cable television across North America), Thurs (8/15) at Millinery in Manhattan, Motzei Shabbat in Crown Heights at Chevra Ahavas Yisrael, Sunday at Miyad in Jericho, NY. Details available for these and his shows in Israel at LazerLloyd.com
Early reviews of the new CD, “Lost on the Highway” (photo of CD cover below) have been stellar, Chris Spector (Midwest Records) writes, “Wild acoustic blues from Israel by a cat that’s either an old hippie or a rabbi, I’m not sure which. Absorbing the whole Koerner, Ray & Glover experience on his own and showing off what he’s learned, this is a white boy that’s not just in it for the grins. A hard working cat that knows what it is to travel the back 40, this solo live set really sneaks up on you and catches you off guard and by surprise. For the aging college kid that’s never outgrown the roadhouse at the edge of town, this is a wonderful bolt of the blues. It might fly under the radar but it’s really high flying stuff. Check it out.” Don Crow writes, “Lloyd’s guitar skills are impeccable, with a rich, deep vocal delivery that really unleashes the power of these songs. … Lazer Lloyd has expanded his horizons with this fine acoustic set, capturing the feel of the old-time Delta masters. A consummate musician, writer, and storyteller, his “Lost On The Highway” shows the power one man can wield thru just his guitar and his voice.”
About the Author: Yocheved Seidman is co-producer of "The Yishai Fleisher Show" on Galey Yisrael and Chief Operating Officer of Kumah, an NGO dedicated to strengthening Jewish identity, Torah education, pride in the Jewish State, and knowledge of the history and heritage of Israel and the Jewish people.
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