Letter from an old fan
I grew up in Chicago in the 1970's and 1980's. In 1986, someone gave
me a cassette tape of Kabbalah as a birthday present. I remember really
enjoying the album and thinking how different it was from any other Jewish
music I had heard at that time. As a music fan, I enjoyed rock and pop,
like The Police, Paul McCartney, etc.
I recently stumbled across your website by accident (I was looking up "Shlock
Rock" on Wikipedia and your name was highlighted so I clicked on it) and
was so impressed with all that you've done in music. I was even happier
to see that I could download all of my favorite Kabbalah songs to my Ipod.
It has been years since I have heard these songs and they sound even
better to me now than they did back then.
I really admire your talent and determination and just wanted to say
thank you for all of your hard work and great music. You probably have
more fans out there than you know and your site was a really great find.
P.S.--I loved the video of the YU performance in 1986. There was so
much energy from the band.
Review of Moshe Skier: Rock of
...Rock of Sages is a
total joy. Every track just keeps me bouncing along. There's a user-friendly
quality to Skier's voice and delivery. He's the guy next door who has a
lovely voice that doesn't over-power but just slides into your soul and
...As I was listening to the CD, I kept thinking to myself: Moshe is sort
of like early Beatles, innocent, lovely, totally unpretentious. It's music
that makes you smile, music that makes you want to hold someone's hand, and
best of all it's Jewish music with none of the soul-crushing ay-yay-yay that
is endemic to so many Jewish CD's.
In real life, Moshe Skier is a physician. His music has a healing quality
that is hard to miss.
I love every single cut on this CD, and you know what, I might even sit
down and play it when the
strike is over and I start working on my next screenplay.
You can order Rock of Sages
here. Highly recommended.
--Robert J. Avrech,
Grassroots rock against the grain
The Moshe Skier Band
Live in Chicago
Lag B'Omer 2004
Illinois-based Jewish hard rocker Moshe Skier has surfaced and resurfaced
in various incarnations over the years.
He released two discs as a part of the 1980s group Kabbalah, but Jewish
music consumers weren't quite ready for a really hard-rockin' guitar band.
Skier then resurfaced with a mid-Nineties album called Rock of Sages
and a band of his own.
Recently, the Moshe Skier Band underwent another revamping, becoming a
proper mid-western arena-rock-style power trio, with Skier's solid bass and
vocals being joined by Mendel Appel's thrashing guitar and vocals and Dan
Lawitts' rumbling percussion.
And like all wise rock upstarts seeking to build careers through fan buzz
rather than label hype, the latest version of The Moshe Skier Band has put
its efforts into a ripping live show instead of studio work.
As a result, the band has no album for sale, but its web site (www.mosheskier.com)
is overflowing with high-quality free content for downloading. Highly
recommended is a full concert from May 8, 2004, at Chicago's The Note. This
show was part of a multi-band Lag B'Omer showcase in which Skier opened for
Yossi "the Jewish Jimi" Piamenta.
"Sh'ma Yisroel," "Shoshanas Yaakov" and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach's
Psalm 28 sound like Neil Young and Crazy Horse tunes, only sped up and with
far flashier guitar soloing.
The band is clearly enjoying itself at this concert, performing a
Diaspora Yeshiva Band cover and teasing the audience with Joe Walsh riffs as
well as a "Freebird" semi-rockout. Hints of Z.Z. Top, Jeff Beck and the
Kinks also creep in here and there.
Like many audience recordings, the sound quality of Lag B'Omer 2004 is
extremely listenable, but not the most solid. But thankfully the high energy
hard rock is good enough to overshadow the flaws.
Ben Jacobson can be reached at
February 7, 2004 - Young Israel of West Rogers Park
Skier. That band really rocked. I wasn't bitter in the least that I
wasn't at the mis-advertised, "Moshv Band [sic]" show in Skokie for teens. I
was kinda hoping to get an advertised "free mp3 player."
His band was: Moshe on acoustic guitar or bass, Mendel Appel on lead guitar
and Dan Lawitts on drums. Moshe and Mendel both did vocals. They were very
tight. Mendel was fluid on the lead guitar and made it scream when he needed
to. They made the whole show look effortless. I also appreciate Moshe taking
my audience suggestions (I only spoke when he asked) to play "Minyan Man"
and to play song in the hard rock style instead of acoustic. The highlight
for me was when they played a Lubavitch "Tzama." Not the "Hey Johnny" one,
but the slow one with the "aydaidais." They did it over a blues jam, the
kind of thing which I usually hate. But this time it had the right kind of
soul that made it work. Yasher koach, guys. It was beautiful. Thanks for
Bottom line: Very few people attended the show. Don't miss the Moshe Skier
Band next time they come to town. They are a great, live act.
May 8, 2004 - The Note, Chicago
...let me tell you that I was not let down. These guys rocked hard.
Yossi Piamenta came out of the side room when these guys started to
play. After listening to them for a couple minutes, he looked at me and
said, "These guys are good." At the end of the set, right after the
unbelievable Carlebach/Jeff Beck jam, the question came up, "can we do
one more?" Yossi was standing right in front, and he
hearing another one before his set.
The band, as a whole, performed great. They were much more intense in
this club setting. Last time, at the shul, it was a lot more laid back.
It felt like they were in your living room, just telling stories and
singing songs. This time, they were there to rock. Every song gripped me
and would not let go. The Moshe Skier Band played one good song after
...I have to say, that the star of last night's show was Mendel Appel. I
don't think anyone came to that venue prepared to hear such an awesome
display of guitar prowess (at least not from him). Living in Chicago, I
have never really had the opportunity to go to a nice rock venue and
witness a man with nice black pants, a nice white, button-down shirt,
and a huge black velvet kippah
rock so hard.
Go to their
. Get on their
. Go see the Moshe Skier Band.
- Shoshanas Yaakov
- Sh'ma Yisroel
- Light Up
- Ani Ma'amin
- Shiru Lo
- Kol Ha'olam Kulo
- Shlomo Carlebach/Jeff Beck Jam
Agudas Achim - Chabad December 2000
SECOND ANNUAL CHANUKAH CONCERT ROCKED! - On December 9, the Social
Hall at CAAC was packed as Moshe Skier and his band performed at the Second
Annual (Pre) Chanukah Concert. This unique Wisconsin event was organized by
CAAC, the Hillel Foundation, and BBYO. Teenagers and adults from throughout
the region's Jewish communities attended this exciting and excellent
performance. After the introduction by Rabbi Rapoport, and the lighting of
the Menorah, the lights were dimmed and the spotlight shined on the band.
The crowd roared with applause song after song, and then joined in
the singing and clapping, until the entire audience rose to their feet
and danced. The concert went on until almost midnight. An unforgettable
evening of music and celebration.