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Ancient Hebrew Lore
2000 Howard M. Cohn
www.baalshemtov.com

Howard "Tzvi" Cohn practices law by day and a spreads the of words of the Baal Shem Tov in his spare time. The guitarist/songwriter player is backed by his assembled group of Cleveland musicians; Steve Gordon on bass, Bill Hach on lead vocals, Alan Douglass on percussion and Bob Stark on backing vocals. The opening title track with is swirling moody keyboards and guitar solos has an almost new age electronic vibe. All other tracks have an acoustic guitar feel on a folk/country/blues tip.

The songs are sung all in English with some Yiddish. The lyrics explain in plain language basic concepts of following Torah commandments and having a positive outlook on life based on the teaching of the founder of the Hasidic movement. Some tracks flaunt the cheese such as Oy Vey Blues and the deliciously annoying Serve The L-rd with a Joyful Attitude. But many are simple, sweet, acoustic tunes such as Mezuzah Jew.

For a mere side project by a non-professional musician, this is a solid effort. Proceeds of the CD go to Mr. Cohnís Baal Shem Tov Foundation, with among other things helps purchase mezuzahís for those that canít afford them.


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