Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Name RebbeSoul

I'm about to play a series of concerts in Europe. As I prepare, I thought of a question often asked and that is where the name, RebbeSoul comes from.

In the early 90s, I was just getting acquainted Jewish lore. I went to my first Orthodox Shabbat dinners, attended some minyans, started listening to our music from all over the Diaspora, and plunged into our stories. I read that the Rebbes were, and still are the mystics, the shamans of the Jewish people. I had already started recording the music for my first album and as it began to reveal itself and take on a life of its own, I knew that I would put a band together around this music. I would call it "Rebbe" in honor of these great, spiritual leaders and because music itself is spiritual. It alludes to something beyond us, if we only get out of the way. The name of the album became "RebbeSoul" because the soul which connects us all, can reflect these same spiritual things, again, if we only get out of the way.

I released independently and when it came out, the press and reviewers invariably called me or the band, RebbeSoul not Rebbe. RebbeSoul was supposed to be the name of the album but It happened so much that I figured I had better get out of the way, myself. So I accepted my fate and was dubbed RebbeSoul. It's also the name of my band and it seems to have stuck.

That first album, "RebbeSoul" contained all original material and only a couple of Jewish songs. I wasn't even thinking of going in a Jewish direction but just wanted to show my roots. My initial version of "Avinu" was on this album and that was about to change everything for me - my music, my career, my religious and spiritual life,... everything. I had no idea then what was about to happen and that's another story I'll get to another time.

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