Tour Update #3

Heading to Sprang Thang!

So if you know about Houston’s Underground Club scene, you’ve probably heard of Super Happy Fun Land. And if you’ve ever been there, you probably wouldn’t think it was a hotbed of Jewish Music. Well, it isn’t but it was hot and there were couches you can sleep on and there was Jewish music, so…Welcome to Tour Update #3!

Anytime I can have the band together is a good time and thankfully, we had a serious stretch of gigs come up in a row all around Houston. We kicked it off a Saturday night Jewish Americana concert at Houston’s Shaar Hashalom. This is my home Synagogue and they’ve been the ones to see and hear everything new before most folks. It’s a great group of people to play for and the band was on fire. I don’t know how Greg Sherman does it but that fella can keep up with anything. I must have moved the song order around about nine times and every single time, he just added that Sherman magic to the whole thing. Amazing.

James was staying at our casa and the next morning, we loaded up his van with the candy store (I think that’s what I’ll call his collection of instruments that he brings). We hit the road for Brenham Texas, home of Bluebell Ice Cream and a Festival called Sprang Thang. It’s about what you would hope for in a good Texas get-together. A lake that folks that swim in, plenty of cold beer, and lawn chairs as far as the eye can see. They had a massive stage set up on some beautiful property and we ripped and we left it all up there on that stage. Aside from some minor technical difficulties, it was an awesome show and we had the opportunity to check out other awesome talent.

Sprang Thang in Beautiful Brenham.

Finally, a few days later we arrived….at Super Happy Fun Land. I can’t really explain what this place it. It’s just kind of…what it is. And it’s wonderful. The building itself is like a hollowed out warehouse with a huge stage, a wall stacked with dolls, and seats taken right out of a movie theater. I mean that in the most literal sense. They were taken out of a movie theater and placed on the floor at SHFL. In fact, the whole place was so unexpected, we found ourselves completely falling in love with it. It was like being in a foreign country – you didn’t really know what to expect.

The faces on a few folks in the front row lit up when I started my Hine Ma Tov and they talked for a bit with April at our merch booth. I can promise you that they did not expect to hear Hebrew at this show. We made some new fans, new friends, and a good night was had.The band we were opening for was called “The Division Men” and they’re fantastic. You should absolutely check them out. We were all stunned at their show and they are in the midst of a tour right now. While you’re at it, go check out “Painting Bleu Birds” – amazing group and super nice folks as well.

With Painting Bleu Birds at Super Happy Fun Land

I don’t do nearly as much as I’d like to in Houston. I love being on the road because you have the opportunity to pray and share sacred time with so many different folks but I do love playing in my own backyard when I can.

Speaking of backyards…We’re entering the planning stages of the 2018 tour and somewhere in there, we’ll be laying down tracks for the new album. Be on the look for collaborations, guest stars, duets, and a lot more shows in 2018. Good times ahead. So much is happening so fast. Thanks for being part of it and thank you for all the incredible support.

Questions of the Week:

“Do you do your Jewish music in venues that are not Jewish?”

Answer: Yes. The music I make is the music I make and I do it because it’s what I want to make. If it makes people feel good, then it did what it is meant to do and you don’t have to be Jewish to like good music.

“Do you speak Jewish?”

Answer: I do. I do speak a little Jewish.

True Story:

Went into a shop one time and the fella behind the counter told me he liked my people. I said thanks and grabbed a pack of M&Ms, because as everyone knows – M&Ms are the greatest candy in human history. “I like your people,” he said again. I nodded, thanked him and said I liked his people, too. I wasn’t sure what it all meant. When I reached the back cooler, he said over the isles, “I’m ok with your people!” I laughed, grabbed my drink and went up the counter. It was weird but I thought I knew what he was talking about this time. I pointed to my kippah.

“You mean this?” I said. He nodded as he rang me up. “Oh thanks. Glad you like my kippah.” He stopped for a moment and it got weird. “I’m Jewish,” I said. His face dropped.

“Oh” he said, in a quieter tone. Then he just rang me up and sent me on my way. Never made a friend and lost one in the span of five minutes before. He seemed like a nice fella.

On the next update – I’ll share some thoughts on the ISJL and more FAQ. Have a fantastic week and remember, we are currently booking house concerts, festivals, and artist in residence weekends for 2018. If you want to do some praying and singing together – email me at .


– Joe

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