Thursday, March 19, 2009


Would you believe this is a Klezmer Band---yes---Klezmer. If you have been listening to SUNDAY SIMCHA you know I have "discovered"--how pompous is that--THE AUSTIN KLEZMORIM. Hailing from Austin, Texas they do some great Klezmer music in their own style and you will be hearing it on SUNDAY SIMCHA. More about them after you view this:

OK---there was the group (sorry I have no pictures of them for you) doing a bluesy number inspired by Prof. Longhair, Dr. John, Louis Jordan, etc; If you tune is, as I said, to SUNDAY SIMCHA you will hear them in their full blown Klezmer take on things such as Tumbalaika, Sha Shtil, and much more. You can purchase their music on or on their own website.

A few comments now about an interesting show I saw last week called Shpiel, Shpiel, Shpiel---it is in Yiddish (for the most part) and is truly clever. Three short plays by Murray Schisgal and directed, among others, by Gene Saks and Bob Dishy. It is being presented at the Folksbiene Theater in NYC (The JCC of NYC) in a truly intimate and wonderful theater.

The first two short pieces are comic in their presentation and, for me, a bit overlong. Albeit very clever with superb acting. The third and final piece is a dramatic one which was so intense that I had wanted it to continue for an even longer amount of time. Also brilliantly acted and, without spoiling the surprise, there was a moment where one of the characters started to "davign"(pray)---an audience member decided to pray along---it was not a sing-a-along . That shattered the mood of a most moving moment in the play---or, perhaps, it enhanced it by so involving an audience member. Oh, those matinees with the elderly ladies and gentlemen. Oy ve.

In all sincerity I can truly recommend this for your enjoyment and whether you speak Yiddish or not there is no impediment given the amount of English and the Supertitles in both English and Russian. I was also impressed by the fluent knowledge of Yiddish by a young cast---and a particular member of the third short play who, surely, learned it phonetically. How he did it shows what a great actor can do. That will be your surprise when you see Shpiel, Shpiel, Shpiel.

A few other pieces of comment to communicate:
1) PETE SEEGER turns 90 on May 3 this year. The event will be marked by a huge benefit for CLEARWATER at Madison Square Garden that day. Artists from Springsteen to Richie Havens to Tom Paxton to-----you name them will be there. Best to go to for more information.

2) BUSKIN & BATTEAU---Just a very brief reminder that they will be joining me this Sunday on TRADITIONS. You do not want to miss these two marvels.

3) MARCH 29--Not a holiday. It is, however, a day of some great music to benefit a great station that gives us all what I call "...the eclectic weekend sound". WFDU. Go to to see if there are any tickets left. They are reasonably priced at $15 (where can you get such a bargain for some great talent---not MSG). The talent includes Tom Chapin, Julie Gold, Christine Lavin, and a lot more. The show will be hosted---ever so graciously--we hope--by myself and Ron Olesko on Sunday March 29 at 2 PM in Fairlawn NJ. Join us there and watch Fairlawn become the entertainment capitol of the East Coast---OK it is a PR hype. But---the show will be great.