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The Book of J

  • Thu Oct 26 2017 - 7:00 pm • CSPS Hall
  • $16 advance | $19 door

This is Jewish folk music like you’ve never heard it. Book of J is Jewlia Eisenberg (Charming Hostess) and Jeremiah Lockwood (Sway Machinery). With awesome pedigrees, they’ve set out to create a new psalmody, one that draws equally from Yiddish songs and ghost stories, from the rich biblical commentary of the Christian tradition, and from the piyutim (paraliturgical songs) amenable to a queer bent. Book of J is where old-time religion meets radical politics: the songs that started life in black churches were adopted by social organizers to promote racial, economic and social justice. The New Yorker says: “This affecting West Coast duo showcases its abundance of inspirations. The bare-bones lineup covers an expansive musical landscape that encompasses Piedmont blues as well as Leonard Cohen covers. Both musicians have deep roots in Jewish music: Lockwood grew up singing in the High Holidays choir of his grandfather, Jacob Konigsberg, a renowned cantor, while Eisenberg continues to lead the experimental, politically minded vocal group Charming Hostess, which she founded two decades ago.” Concert-goers can expect songs in English, Yiddish, and Judeo-Spanish, along with plenty of old-time religion, angels and demons, workers and bosses, erotic longing, hard times resolved and destinies fulfilled. Singing along is strongly encouraged.