In the middle of Hanukkah comes a show with alternative rock musician Matisyahu.
This year the singer and beatboxer, and his band, released the sixth Matisyahu studio album, “Undercurrent,” as well as a collaborative single with current opening act, Common Kings.
In a phone call following a soundcheck in Minneapolis, he said the reggae-tinged pop track “Broken Crowns” was recorded with the intention of performing it together nightly with Common Kings on their tour. “Being out on the road with them the last two and a half months, I’m fond of them as people,” said Matisyahu, whose songs have gravitated toward a freeform, dub jam vibe in recent years.
In a press release for the Broken Crowns Tour, Common Kings made this band statement: “It’s not very often you get to collab with one of your idols! So getting in the studio with the legend Matisyahu is definitely one of the biggest highlights of our career. We’re excited for everyone to hear this!”
Before going by his Hebrew name, Matisyahu, 38, was born Matthew Miller at Bryn Mawr Hospital. But he didn’t stay here long — his family moved to New York when he was just a few weeks old. However he did return to the Philadelphia area to make the first recordings of his songs “King Without a Crown” and “Close My Eyes.” Also, Matisyahu’s guitarist, Aaron Dugan, is from Philly.
Also opening the Dec. 16 concert at the TLA in Philadelphia will be Orphan. Matisyahu had this to say about that group: “Orphan is a new band I signed, currently living and making music out of my home. All three core members, Menachem, Nissin and Chaim, are sons of Lubavitch rabbis and met in Yeshiva. They formed a bond around my release at the time, “Live at Stubb’s 2,” and began to study the sounds of Dub Trio (Dub Trio’s Joe Tomino and Stu Bassie Brooks are members of Matisyahu’s band). These 22-year-old boys manage to retain the spirit of their Lubavitch heritage, while creating music with a fresh Brooklyn edge that is an outgrowth of the Matisyahu sound. I am proud to introduce to you Orphan — the soundtrack to a generation who never met their rebbe, and have had to blaze a new trail.”
The November Broken Crowns Tour stop in Austin, Texas was recorded and filmed for a fourth volume of “Matisyahu: Live at Stubb’s.”
In case you missed it, Matisyahu’s appearance has changed a great deal since the Orthodox Jewish look he sported at the time of his 2006 album “Youth.” Check out the videos under the media tab at www.matisyahuworld.com.