Updated to include current contact/purchase information, 21-Nov-2015. This CD was originally released on the wonderful and much missed JDUB label. The label may be gone, but the musicians continue to make wonderful music.
Nobody who knows fiddler & poet Alicia Jo Rabin's first, pre-Golem release, Sugar Shack (2003) will be surprised to hear that her latest project, "Girls in Trouble" is amazing, tuneful, poetic, and just damn impossible to walk away from.
The album's concept is simple: while procrastinating about writing a thesis to complete her Jewish Studies degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabins wrote poems about several Biblical "women in trouble" and set them to music. Then they took on a life of their own. The subjects range from the obscure (Yiftah's daughter—the one example of uninterrupted human sacrifice in the TaNaKh) to the familiar—Miriam and Ruth. Part of the fun is trying to connect the story as told in Rabins' wonderful poetry, to the actual Biblical event. But the songs are balm. Even when the tales are chilling, her ability to tell a story and set it to wonderful, quiet music, is healing.
I wasn't going to mention this CD until it's release next week, but I can't stop listening to it. Like Rabins, I have to stop procrastinating and get back to work, so let me at least pass on the word about this recording—and suggest that you get your own copy.
For more information about Girls in Trouble, visit the Bandcamp page.
You can also catch an article by Alexander Gelfund, Art Pop Indie Rock Meets Midrash from the Forward, July 1, 2009.