"Jewish Puppet Rock Band" Hits the Stage, Releases Debut CD
"Hey man, I'm not your puppet," jokes Josh Friedman on stage.
The only problem is that "Josh Friedman" actually is a puppet. He's the lead singer of an all-puppet Jewish rock band called Buba Myses. The life-sized puppet is managed by veteran Jewish singer Chanan Elias, who has worked with Reva L'Sheva and other well-known Israeli groups.
Buba Myses was formed by long-time Jewish music performer Shai Barak along with his musical collaborator Nati Shayish of Shaiba Productions. Barak spoke to Arutz Sheva about the new band.
Unlike real people, Barak finds that with puppets, he has discovered that "people do not judge them." He feels that the audience can sympathize with a puppet more easily than with a person.
"It's easier for them to connect to the public," Barak stated. The actual band performs on stage while manipulating the life-sized puppets that hide their real faces. The band members tell jokes and stories in between songs, many related to being religious. The role of "Josh Friedman" is portrayed as an American rock star who returned to his Jewish roots.
The other band members are "Yanki Board" on keyboards, "Eli Cuts" on drums and "Simon (Shimon) Shar'abi" on guitar. The band plays well-known songs from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Matisyahu, Sheva, Gaya and other popular and familiar Israeli hits and Hassidic melodies.
The Buba Myses debut CD was released this week and is available online at http://www.bubamyses.com. It features original compositions with English lyrics as well as melodies of classic Jewish and Israeli pop songs. As with other Barak productions, many melodies feature snippets of Michael Jackson and other American pop performers seamlessly mixed into the music.
"The band is an excellent one in every respect and the image is a bonus," comments Barak. Although only in his 30s, Barak has numerous albums under his belt. Yet still he says the new project is the fulfillment of a dream. He stated that he and Shayish had always wanted to create innovative Jewish entertainment that had not only top notch musical quality but also a religious element.