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CD Review: Yosef Karduner - Vocals Only No Instruments

By Ben Bresky
7/22/2008, 12:00 AM

Yosef Karduner's 1999 accapella disc is mostly vocal versions of his hit 1997 album Road Marks. It includes his hit Shir LeMaalot. This particular song is one of the most well known modern Jewish songs, covered by numerous people both secular and religious, including a recent hip-hop / dance version by Itzhik Orlev. Despite the fact that there are no instruments, the songs retain their full flavor with a folk music / ballad feel. It is mostly just Karduner's vocals with light back-up vocals doing an "ai yai yai" in the background.

The original Road Marks album is also fairly minimalist with just Karduner and a guitar and light hand drums or bass. I prefer it to some of the more produced, orchestrated albums which add strings and other instruments. In the same vein, I also prefer Sinai Tor's stripped down, acoustic sounding first album Darashti Kivatecha to his new radio friendly, pop sounding album.

As far as Yosef Karduner is concerned, I tried many times to contact him, but he has no contact information on any kind on his albums. There are no photos of him, no email, or P.R. agent. The only number on his albums if for the artist that did one of the album covers. I called it and the guy told me that he also didn't have Yosef Kaduner's number. I finally tracked down Yosef Karduner last week by calling Rabbi Lazer Brody, the commando rabbi, who sometimes performs with him. So stay tuned in the near future for an interview. You can get the Yosef Kaduner's accapella album here.

My most recent show was fun. The poetry slam worked out great. Thank you to everyone who sent in a poem. Check it out here.