Statman is a klezmer clarinetist and bluegrass mandolinist and sometimes a jewgrass mandolinist/clarinetist. He plays both instruments with prodigious speed and fluency, and more importantly, with tremendous soul and spirit. He was a student of the great klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras and became one of the great proponents of the '70s klezmer revival.
I came across one of his albums in the library last week and said "Hey, I wonder if he's still playing at Charles Street" and I checked and he was, so I went in to the City to see the show.
The concerts are in the tiny and cramped basement of the shul, with Hebrew school posters of the Alef Bes on the walls. There was a bottle of vodka and some pareve cookies on a table, apparently for anybody who wanted to take. They didn't take admission, but at intermission the shul president asked everyone who could afford it for a fifteen dollar donation. When a woman tried to give him a twenty, he forced her to take change. It was, in short, one of the most heimishe concerts I've ever been at.
And the music was splendid, an opening set of klezmer with Statman blowing beautiful strings of notes on his clarinet along with his trio of bassist Jim Whitney and drummer Larry Eagle (Highlighted by 'the Lobster song', supposed a song played by Romanian Jewish lobstermen in early 20th century Maine while they gathered their treif bounty), followed by an instrumental bluegrass set. They were later joined by visiting guitarist and bluegrass singer Gene Yellin for a handful of songs. They made up the setlist as they want along, sometimes just strumming a chord or a simple melody to get the rest of the band on the same page. Yellin wanted to play a couple of songs that Whitney and Eagle didn't know- Whitney told Yellin and Statman- "You two get started, we'll either figure it out and catch up or we won't." Spoiler alert: They figured it out.
The whole experience was a blast, getting to hear such great music in such a low key setting. I need to go back again when I get a chance.
Today's Sweets are dedicated to the brave men and women who've given their all for our country. We are forever in their debt.
First to fight for the right,
And to build the Nation’s might,
And the Army goes rolling along.
Some super heroes wear capes around their necks.
Others wear dog tags.
Submitted by Beth W. and made by Janet Brown Cakes
From North and South and East and West
The Coast Guard's in the fight.
Destroying subs and landing troops,
The Axis feels our might.
Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun!
By the Disney chefs at Shades of Green
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
Photo via, made by the JW Marriot Pastry Chef
We live in fame or go down in flame. (Hey!)
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!
Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh!
Farewell to foreign shores,
We sail at break of day, of day.
Through our last night on shore,
Drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more.
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home!
By Cake Central member MacsMom
From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean:
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day, everyone.
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