Judablue has knocked my socks off since I first discovered them via a friend (who happens to be related to one of the band members) who was promoting their music by linking them on Facebook. For months I listened to their in-progress tracks on Myspace and was later delighted to find their EP "Forty Days," at the YU Seforim Sale.
What made their music so engaging for me was their fresh take on selecting lyrics from psukim not typically used, along with songs about subjects such as Avraham Avinu and Noach with original lyrics that were really heartfelt and creative. What truly amazed me was that these guys recorded their songs while in high school, or the summer prior to heading off to Shana Aleph/college. Even before they released their EP, they had already performed at a number of venues and had a fairly impressive following for their live shows (see videos below).
Shlomo Ari Gaisen, Judablue's vocalist and younger brother of Jewish musician Jeremy Gaisen, has a very mature, powerful voice that sounds as though it belonged to an older performer who has many years of experience under his belt. The combination of his natural talent along with the soulful expression of Judablue's meaningful lyrics provides an incredible listening experience. Shlomo also plays the saxophone and piano.
I can't forget to mention the rest of the band as well - Yaniv Hoffman (guitar), Ravi Brooks (drums), Moti Schnapp (Guitar) and Danny Feinberg (Bass) since they are also incredibly talented. The band's story is unique; all the guys in the group come from different religious backgrounds, and unlike what many might expect in our increasingly divisive world, they all get along great and create music that inspires, touches the soul, and truly rocks!
Fun factoid from an informative though unintentionally amusing (at least the questions) interview on Arutz 7/Israel National News: The outdoor field scenes was shot in the "eye" of a tornado/storm! If any of the Judablue members are out there reading this, I'd love to hear more about that experience, and would definitely write a post about it (free publicity!).
I think their mission statement is quite accurate, in which they characterize their music as:
"An epic attempt to bring heaven down to earth."
"Im Lo Aleh" from "Forty Days"
Here are some videos from a live show at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, New Jersey from 2009, featuring some of my favorite songs:
I really can't wait for more music from these very talented guys! Very rarely do I like every song on an album, but their EP "Forty Days" is worth every penny, and if "Falling" is any indication, Judablue is only getting better and better as time goes by.