Rainlore's World of Music

Happy Hour CD Review

Breslov Bar Band's Happy Hour was released digitally only at present on 17th July. It is the Breslov Chassidic-inspired band's second, long and eagerly awaited album.

The album's title could hardly have been more appropriately, happily chosen. Happy Hour is a truly happy album, by and large, following the tradition of the Breslov Chassidim of spiritual joviality, but of course in a thoroughly modern idiom that owes much to rock and other forms of contemporary music, such as funk, klezmer, ska and reggae, in an equally happy blend. Get your dancing shoes on! Be happy!

Leader Binyomin Ginzberg, on the mouth-blown vibrandoneon, bass melodion, keyboard and vocals, presents his Breslov Bar Band in almost the same excellent line-up as previously, with Allen Watsky on electric and acoustic guitars, Yoshie Fruchter on bass, Rich Huntley on drums, Zach Mayer on bari and Mike Cohen on clarinet and bass clarinet. Flautist extraordinaire Adrianne Greenbaum and tsimbl maestro Pete Rushefsky guest on Shimru.

Happy Hour's material consists of some of BBB's favourite traditional and contemporary Breslov tunes, in their own zany arrangements. (The Breslov are one particularly prominent movement of Chassidim, an orthodox sub-division of orthodox Judaism that place a great emphasis on spirituality and music, especially in the form of wordless songs or nigunim. The Breslov also place particularly great emphasis on joyfulness and its expression through music. This by way of a very rough explanation for those not familiar with Jewish culture.)

This music is bound to get to anybody's feet and beyond. Consistent throughout, Happy Hour is happy and exquisitely uplifting, and its charm is bound to demand repeated listening. It is just such a enjoyable listen, and its varying styles keep interest alive.

The Breslov Bar Band's Happy Hour will have enormous appeal to any Jewish music as well as any general 'world music' aficionado. I wouldn't part with it! Extensive sleeve notes are also available online, with annotations to each song. What are you waiting for? Be happy!

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