MP3 The Beetniks - World Beet
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9 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Judaica, WORLD: World Beat
We got started doing performing and recording because we found that the Jewish music scene had somehow gotten stuck in the disco era. The new music that was coming out just didn't inspire us and didn't seem like much of an improvement, it was just the same stuff to a disco beat.
Our musical backgrounds are varied. It is kind of unusual to be able to have such divergent musical styles combine into a single sound, but we have achieved that in some measure in the BeetNiks.
We all came together forming another band, the Lamplighters, that played at Cafe Devorah. The Cafe was an event in Livingston, NJ that was part of the outreach program of the Rabbinical College of America. Many big names played at Cafe Devorah, e.g., Avraham Fried, and others. This band included another very talented musician, Yehoshuah Lavner. If you get a chance to hear his music, you will not be disappointed. He plays in the New York area and at celebrations in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
After playing a season at the Cafe the band the BeetNiks formed as we were getting requests to play at parties, weddings and other events. We played all around the New York metro area. We even once played on a tour boat that went along the Hudson River north of the city. People that came to our events often asked us if we had any recordings as they wanted to be able to listen to the music more and that led to our doing this recording.
I got my start in music pretty early. My father used to keep his guitar on a high shelf so that I wouldn't be able to get to it. At the age of 6 I used to sneak my father's guitar down off the shelf and taught myself to play folk music by listening to songs and playing what I heard. I still remember my father's face when he saw that I could play better than he could when he didn't know that I was playing at all. The guitar was an awful one to learn on, it had heavy steel strings and high rough frets. Luckily my desire to learn to play exceeded the pain of learning to play and I kept at it.
I learned from all kinds of musicians and when I was 11 I even played at "The Catalyst" which is now a famous music club in Santa Cruz, CA. Later I branched out into more instruments including mandolin, bagpipes, hammer dulcimer and harp. I used to say that if it had strings that you played directly, i.e., no bows, then I could play it. I also learned percussion and went to study music seriously for a while. In Santa Cruz I played in Celtic music bands. I guess you could say that the major musical influences on me were Andres Segovia, Arlo Guthrie and the Battlefield Band.
In Morristown, NJ I became more involved in Jewish music as an expression of Jewish spirituality, but never found much of it as satisfying as I found my earlier musical styles. My friends and fellow band members, Yosef and Yehuda felt the same way and so we started forming our own musical style based on a melding of our backgrounds. I was never really much into rock-and-roll, and Yosef really is a rock-and-roller in his heart. The mixture produced some really amazing results that you can hear on the album.
My name is Yosef Resnick, and I play guitar and sing in the Beetniks. I have been playing in bands for 25 years; this is the first band, however, that has allowed me to express my spiritual side in my music. My musical influences are mostly classic rock bands and guitar players, since that is what I grew up listening to; now I am inspired by Chassidic nigunim - wordless melodies that express spiritual longings, feelings, and desires. My biggest influence is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Shlita. Although he is not a musician in the technical sense, he is a musician of souls, so to speak. I am grateful to the Rebbe for inspiring, helping, and encouraging me to express my neshamah, my soul, in my music.
I think The Beetniks have succeeded in capturing on disc an organic, vital, and exciting new type of Jewish music. We've combined exotic hand drums and percussion with grungy electric guitars, merged rock sensibilities with authentic Jewish melodies and songs. This is meant to be music that will inspire you and help you feel closer to "The One Who Spoke And Created The World." Enjoy!
I am the bass player on the Beetniks CD, World Beet. My musical upbringing began by taking piano lessons while a small child. I was taught to read music, but later on played mostly by feel. I did not pick up a Bass until I was in my 20's. I didn't have a feel for the bass right away and people were trying to get me to play heavy metal and I didn't really like that. Later on I gravitated to Bluesy type music, being very influenced by the Grateful Dead and Little Feat. I learned Bass by playing with The Nodes, later on The Jamms, and then Yehoshua Lavner, which later became The Lamplighters and then The Beetniks. The Nodes was a real learning experience, and I wouldn't want to repeat it. The most eventful moment in that band was when we opened up at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park for Wavy Gravy (famous clown) and his band. Yehoshua Lavner really got me in involved with some of the most spiritual music I have ever played. That continued with Yosef and Israel into the Beetniks. We also had a great clarinet player for a while name Tzvi. He added a lot to the group but unfortunately could not record with us. Lately I have discovered that I have a talent for harmonica playing. I hope to apply that in the future.
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