Category Archives: Recording

First Day in the Studio

Playing Leha Dodi

So, I show up in the studio to work on recording the “scratch” tracks for the first three pieces of Shabbat Sweet, and staring directly at me is none other than John, Paul, George and Ringo, from a picture on the wall. No. No pressure!!!

Truth is, I really didn’t feel much pressure. I couldn’t ask to work with a nicer guy in the form of a producer.  Steve Rashid is just a delight to work with. He put me completely at ease.

As I said, we worked on the scratch tracks for the project. Both vocals and baritone ukulele, as you can see in the picture.  These tracks are really intended just to mark the shape of prayers so that the other musicians can play in. I’ll re-record both the vocals and ukulele after the other musicians have done their thing.

And did I mention that the cool microphone I’m singing into is the same kind of mic that Michael Jackson used to record “Thriller?” I don’t think there are any other associations there, but I’m sure someone out there has a wise-crack to make about it!!!!

Next up: we’ll be adding accordion to Leha Dodi. Maybe even tomorrow!! Stay tuned!

The Recording Starts July 1


The space in between.

Between the intensity of Kickstarter and the process of recording.

It’s been a strange twilight

And the waiting finally comes to an end this Monday, July 1, when I go into the studio with Steve Rashid and start recording. We’ve decided on the first pieces to record:

  1. Shalom Aleichem
  2. Lecha Dodi
  3. Mi Chamocha

The way we settled on recording will be for me to lay down “scratch” vocals and baritone ukulele parts first. Then we’ll have the rhythm section come in and record. Then other instruments, followed by final ukulele and vocals and harmonies.

Thank you for your patience as I recovered from the month of Kickstarter and planned the start of the recording.  For those who pledged at the $54 or higher level, I’ll get the audio updates going very quickly. Stay tuned.

The Kickstarter Campaign Succeeded!

Hours before the deadline (around 2:30 pm, but who was counting?), the Kickstarter campaign succeeded to raise the funds to record Shabbat Sweet with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band produced by Steve Rashid, the Emmy-award winning composer, producer and arranger.

Thank you to everyone who supported this project.

Lessons learned:

  1. When anxiety is your Achilles’ Heel, proceed with running a month-long campaign to raise $15,000 VERY cautiously.
  2. When you’re running a month-long campaign to raise $!5,000, work REAL HARD to ignore those doubts and worries and negative messages running through your head.
  3. When you’re a Kickstarter campaign, DO trust your family, friends and gracious strangers; they’ll do amazing things and come through for you.

So… I’m exhausted. And I’m already moving forward: I’ve already written Steve Rashid to set up a meeting to plan the recording process.

Again and again: I am immensely humbled by your support and generosity!!  This is going to be an amazing recording!!!!

Stay tuned for periodic updates here, and if you were backed the project, in email from Kickstarter.

Open Mic Last Saturday Night (almost rhymes)

Brother's K Coffee Shop 20130505I sang Mi Chamocha last Saturday night at the Brother’s K Coffee house open mic. Mi Chamocha is a song of liberation.  My dear friend and rabbi, Brant Rosen, wrote a short, lovely poem about the prayer:

The waters are parting

Take the first step

Our moment of liberation is at hand

Have a listen (below) to a live, early recordings of my melody for this prayer. And, yes, that’s the amazing Maxwell Street Klezmer Band playing with me!!!

Please become a backer of my project to make a quality recording of this service!!
Please become a backer of my project to make a quality recording of this service!!



Credits –recording: Sam Fishkin of Mix Kitchen & photo: Dave Newman 

It’s Almost Shabbat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYup, Shabbat is only a few hours away. And that means sharing a meal with my girls and my wife, and (hopefully) letting go of the anxiety over the progress of the Kickstarter campaign to record Shabbat Sweet.  Well, it’ll definitely mean letting go of working on it .

And what is the progress of the campaign so far, you ask? Aw, thanks for asking!

Well, so far 11 of you have become backers of the project and you’ve almost helped me reach my daily goal of $500.

Are there a couple more of you out there than will join me in this journey to record Shabbat Sweet and help me meet my daily goal? We only need about $150 more to make it!

Most importantly, have a peaceful Shabbat!

My Kickstarter Campaign for “Shabbat Sweet” is LIVE!

Billy in the VideoI am SO  pleased, and more than a little nervous, to launch my campaign on Kickstarter to make a quality recording of “Shabbat Sweet,” my collection of original melodies and music for ancient Jewish prayers. With your support, I’ll make this recording with members of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and an Emmy-award winning composer, producer and arranger .
Will you become a part of this project? All I’m asking  you to do is check out my project on
If you can make a pledge – that would be awesome! And as you’ll see on the site, I’ll send you a token of my appreciation.
And when you “share” and/or “like” the campaign on Facebook, and/or email friends you think may be interested, you’ll be doing me a GREAT favor by helping to spread the word. Here is the URL if you want to send it to others:

Getting Ready to Launch Kickstarter

Are you ready?

It looks like I’m going to be launching my campaign very soon – hopefully on Friday, May 3 – to raise the remaining $15,000 needed to record “Shabbat Sweet” completely with members of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and Emmy-award winning producer, Steve Rashid.

Here’s a still from the video:

Billy in the VideoAppealing, isn’t it (pun fully intended!).

Please keep a lookout for the launch, then take a look, and please do you part by pledging and telling EVERYONE you know about it.


First Viewing

Last weekend Cole Simon, the Artistic Director of Glass City Films, came over to my house, and we recorded video for the Kickstarter campaign. We recorded me talking about the project, and we recorded me singing four of the pieces from the service.

Photo from the video

And I just finished watch the “rough cut” of the first video, the Candle Lighting, and… WOW!!! It looks just amazing!! Gorgeous!!  Holy Moses!!!!

I can’t WAIT to share it with you… but… you’ll just HAVE to wait until the campaign launches. And, no, I don’t know exactly when that’s going to be, though I hope to get it started mid-February.

Very, very exciting!!!