Religion and Rock - Lazer Lloyd Releases New CD

He said, "Whatever you put in, you get back a hundred thousand times." Every time I tell this story I end up crying.

Ben Bresky,

Lazer Lloyd
Lazer Lloyd
Courtesy

Eliezer "Lazer Lloyd" Blumen has released two new CDs. Lazer-Haneshama is a collection of Hebrew songs. Lazer Lloyd Unplugged is an acoustic blues/folk/rock album mostly recorded live from Jerusalem. The Israeli based guitarist has also released a DVD called Lazer Lloyd Live From Israel. The new releases are part of Lloyd's new effort this year as a solo artist. He has previously released solo CDs as well as two discs with the "power rock trio" Yood. He also played guitar for the Jewish jam band Reva L'Sheva. 

But jamming with Jewish oriented bands in Israel was not always Lloyd's speciality. Back in the United States, Lloyd Blumen opened for famous pop and rock stars such as Prince, Johnny Winter, Randy Brecker and others. His band The Last Mavericks was brought in to showcase for Atlantic Records and on their way to a big record contract. But the musician was becoming increasingly interested in another path. A visit to Israel introduced him to his first Shabbat experience. 

The bluesman describes his journey on a recent episode of Israel National Radio's "Life Lesson with Judy Simon," a program which showcases intriguing individuals and allows them to tell their stories. On the show, he talks about how he got his start in the Jewish music world. The following is an excerpt from the interview:



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I had traveled all over the world trying to look for some kind of spirituality that would shake me. After this Shabbat, for the first time, I didn't just go play guitar or watch TV. My neshama [soul] was turned over from this one Shabbat experience. I went back to America and tried to find out what was going on with my Jewish roots. Someone gave me a book on Pirkei Avot [Ethics of the Fathers]. So the next Shabbat I was in Central Park. My parents always taught me not to speak to homeless people. But I saw this old guy sitting by the fountain walking around with a bowl and a bell. He was walking over to people and talking to them.

I was just reading in Pirkei Avot that there's no person in the world that doesn't have his time and nothing in the world that doesn't have its place. The commentary for this is that there is something you can learn from everything and everyone in the world. And I thought, I'm going to test this. This homeless beggar, how could I learn anything from him? Let's see what happens. 

He walks up to me and rings the little bell and says, 'Whatever you put in, you get back a hundred thousand times.' Every time I tell this story I end up crying. 

I didn't know that on Shabbat you weren't suppose to carry money, so I put money in. He saw my book and asked me what I was studying. So I told him I was studying Hebrew. So he started saying a bracha in Hebrew. "Baruch atah Hashem..." I said, "what, are you Jewish?" 

And he says, "I pray every day. This rabbi who doesn't have a minyan knows I'm Jewish and knows I sleep on the street so he gives me 5 bucks a kippah and a muffin and I all I have to do is just say amen." We ended up spending the whole day together. He was born during the depression and his parents left him in Central Park.

So I went to his rabbi and two weeks later the rabbi had me playing a concert with Shlomo Carlebach. It all comes from this homeless beggar. It's like an Eliyahu Hanavi story. 

I don't look at it like I'm a special person, or I have a special merit. For some people, Hashem knows they won't come close unless Hashem opens the heavens for them. So now I have no choice except to give back to other people. 

To hear the rest of Lazer Lloyd's interview on "Life Lessons with Judy Simon", click here.

Lazer Lloyd's upcoming concerts will be:

Nov. 9th at Lagansky in Netanya - acoustic show
Nov. 10th at the Rodeo in Haifa  - acoustic show
Nov. 12th at the Yellow Submarine in Jerusalem - Carlebach tribute with full band 
Nov. 26th at Putin in Jerusalem
Dec. 1st at the Shablul Jazz Club in Tel Aviv 
Dec. 10th at Avram in Jerusalem

For more information visit http://www.lazerlloyd.com

Life Lessons with Judy Simon explores fascinating people from all walks of life and follows their stories of lessons learned along the way. The Life Lessons podcast airs every Thursday from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Israel time on Israel National Radio. For mp3 archives click here


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