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Quick review: Girls in Trouble / Open the Ground

It's almost Khannike. I'm trying to get reviews of several new recordings online. Time. Girls in Trouble were here just a couple of weeks ago, so with that pleasure fresh in my mind, let me at least get some information about this recording online.

photo of 'Girls in Trouble / Open the Ground'

Stories about women from the Bible, from Vashti and Sarah to the Daughters of Tzelofchad, set to excellent Americana

Nov 29, 2015 by Ari Davidow

"Girls in Trouble" began life as a thesis project at JTA. Poet/musician Alicia Jo Rabins was stuck, and her advisor suggested that a song cycle would be an appropriate substitute for a paper. The first collection was stunning. It was released two kids (?) and six years ago, and introduced songs about several known and less-known women from the TaNaKh. Musically, the songs are wide-ranging "Americana." Three collections in, I find myself listening and relistening. The stories and music resonate. Some, such as a new song about Sarah, focusing on Isaac's near sacrifice, make the incident personal in a way that Bible class never did. Vashti's story, "I'm Done Dressing Up" is perfect bluegrass, and highlights what we all think every Purim. Others are more obscure, as in "New Arithmetic," about the Daughters of Tzelofchad—a story from the Talmud in which women demanded the right to portions in the Land of Israel. For those, I visit the Jewish Women's Encyclopedia at the Jewish Women's Archive to get the whole story. Rabins is a treasure, musically and poetically, and for giving us reason to dig into the TaNaKh. To get your own copy, check out Bandcamp.

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