Eliezer (Lazer Lloyd) Blumen is an Israeli blues/rock guitarist and singer/songwriter, born in New York, who grew up and started his musical career in Connecticut. Nineteen years ago, Rabbi Hayam Wahrman, the pillar of the Millinery Center Synagogue, invited Lazer to play together with Rav Shlomo Carlebach at the synagogue. The experience moved the young guitarist to change direction from his budding mainstream music success to make aliyah to Israel. Lazer has become Israel’s “blues master,” playing his own original rock, blues, and folk tunes in clubs and bars all over Israel every night with the Lazer Lloyd Blues Band. He mixes into his shows a healthy portion of Carlebach niggunim, Reva L’Sheva-type jams (he was their lead guitarist for seven years), and tunes he wrote for his power trio project “Yood.”
Hot off a weeklong tour of Russia, Lazer is returning to the Millinery for a concert for the first time in 19 years this coming August 15 at 8:00 p.m. ($15 at the door, 1025 Avenue of the Americas [Sixth Avenue] between 38th and 39th Streets). His North American shows are scheduled in August to celebrate his new CD release on Blues Leaf Records August 13. Lazer is the first Jewish artist to be signed by this important blues label, where he brings his musical strength along with a deep spiritual message that is meaningful for all.
Lazer’s musical dream is to find a style of music and song that the whole world can relate to. “I think the niggun (traditional Jewish tune) is that form; it’s spiritual blues without words and can be very meditative and joyful at the same time. I compose many of these and play them for many different audiences around the world in the show, and I see it reaches everyone.”
Lazer’s live performances have become popular across the Jewish spectrum in Israel from rock and blues clubs to mainstream Jewish venues. Popular Israeli rock radio DJ Ben Red from 88FM says, “This is the best rock ‘n’ roll blues that I have seen in Israel. It’s right under our nose and we don’t know about it. Amazing—you have to see Lazer live.”
Jerusalem Post’s David Brinn describes the experience of seeing Lazer live: “When Lazer Lloyd enters the zone onstage, his eyes close tightly and he begins a peculiar dance—partly Tevye in the shtetl, partly psychedelic free-form shuffle. He handles his guitar like it is an extension of his lanky but sturdy body, and the glorious noise that it emits sounds like wails and squeals emerging directly from his soul. He’s lost in the moment. He’s the best guitarist in Israel.”
He will also be playing shows across the Northeast for a week to celebrate the new CD release on Blues Leaf Records. He will be in Monsey this motzaei Shabbos August 10; Guilford, CT Jewish Fair on Sunday; Saratoga Springs (where he went to Skidmore College School of Music) on Tuesday; Wednesday in Stony Brook for the Jewish Fair on Meadow Beach on Long Island; Thursday at Millinery in Manhattan; motzaei Shabbos in Crown Heights at Chevra Ahavas Yisrael; and Sunday at Miyad in Jericho. Details available for all shows at LazerLloyd.com.
Early reviews of the new CD have been stellar. Chris Spector (Midwest Records) writes, “Wild acoustic blues from Israel by a cat that’s either an old hippie or a rabbi, I’m not sure which. Absorbing the whole Koerner, Ray & Glover experience on his own and showing off what he’s learned, this is a white boy that’s not just in it for the grins. A hard-working cat that knows what it is to travel the back 40, this solo live set really sneaks up on you and catches you off guard and by surprise. For the aging college kid that’s never outgrown the roadhouse at the edge of town, this is a wonderful bolt of the blues. It might fly under the radar but it’s really high-flying stuff. Check it out.”
For more information, please contact Yocheved Seidman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-597-7690. v