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Cool Jewish Music for Passover

By Ben Bresky
4/5/2009, 12:00 AM

Here is some rocking Jewish tunes for the Pesach holiday. We put most of these at the half hour break on the Israel National Radio live streaming audio.

Udi Davidi - Dayanu. This singer is from the Hebron area and works as a shepherd. He has 3 albums to date. He also plays drums and often performs playing drums and singing simultaneously. I interviewed him once and asked him the difference between his rural upbringing as opposed to if he grew up with MTV. He then turned to his guitar player and whispered in his ear, "What is MTV?". Here he is singing an original version of Dayneu.

Binyamin Nakonechny - Echad Mi Yodeya. This young man works as a technician at Israel National Radio and in his spare time performs acoustic Carlebach style music. He has played in Israel at the Tzfat Klzmer Festival as well as in France. Binyamin came in the studio last week and said he had a Passover song. He did an original version of "Who Knows One" in just one take and it's been in rotation ever since. For his music and painting click here: http://www.kipa.co.il/bikorim/kerem.asp?id=5662

Ever wonder what Echad Mi Yodeyah sounds like in other countries? Cantor Jeff Klepper from the group Kol B'Seder has some great free mp3's on his blog here: http://www.jeffklepper.blogspot.com/. Scroll down to the bottom and he has several old entries including rare old recordings of Passovers songs from Rome, Syria, and his own grandfather. Plus Kol B'Seder's Ten Plagues, and In Every Generation. He also has Slim Gaillard's Matzo Bals. This 1930's singer was known for his funny songs. You can also download it on the Save the Deli blog here: http://www.savethedeli.com/2007/07/19/slim-gaillards-matzo-balls/.

Nikmat HaTractor (Tractor's Revenge) - Echad Mi Yodea - This hard rock group from Israel once released an album of Shakespeare's Othello in Hebrew done heavy metal style. They has several hits in the 1990's including this strange version of "Who Know's One" done in the tradtional melody. It's almost accapela until the end when it builds up with ominous sounding metal guitars. This is a video of a male and female Israeli dance company doing the hora to it. Yishai Fleisher won't let me play it because he say I'll scare off all the listeners. He's probably right.

Yaakov Shwekey's new CD Live in Cesearia has sold big. Shwekey's song Racheim from 2001 was so big it spawned numerous cover versions and even a parody album. Here he is singing and original melody to Vehi Sheamda with Yonatan Razel, the piano playing brother of Aaron Razel.

There's more to come. If you have any suggestions for great Passover music we should play, leave a talkback. 

P.S. Special thank you to Safta from MA for buying a big box of the 1 shekel maztah for the whole family.