Review | Personnel | Songlist
About The Kabalas
Their second album: The Eye of Zohar
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWeb: http://www.qconline.com/kabalas/
The self-described "Polkadelic Klezmer" Kabalas make a pretty decent klez and polka band. In fact, they make a pretty damn spiffy polka band, with vague nods to klez with their opening "Freilach Hashlishi" and closing Russian Sherele (not to mention the polka version of that Six Day War standard, "Makhar", disguised as "Stray Katz"). In the spirit of the album, I could also throw in "Underdog," now that Shloinke have put a version the web as "the oldest known klez song", but the song also emphasizes another similarity to old-time klez bands--no vocals; or more correctly in this case, terrible singing voice over otherwise okay instrumental musicianship.
Parody is where this band is really at. The problem is that there are a lot of songs ("Death takes an Ibuprofen," "Private Oy! Deli Detective") where, how can I put this, there just isn't any way the song could have equaled the cleverness of the song title (brevity being the soul of wit, etc.). And yet, and yet, there are solid reasons why I've taken months to consider this review and why I've kept this CD on the virtual turntable. When these guys are brilliant, they're brilliant. I play "Get Maj!" to all of my friends, and I walk around humming the "Wall Martt Polkaa" to the point where I may never be able to forget it. Friends now know the words and sing it to me!
If you're looking for klez, this is probably the wrong place. In fact, as soon as I set up my section on "not klez, but close enough", this will be one of the first entrants (along with the Brave Combo, older Boiled in Lead, and the redoubtable 3 Mustaphas 3). On the other hand, if your mind is sufficiently broad to consider klez- and polka-tinged fun, check this out. And don't forget to ask for the coloring book!
Personnel, this recordingScott Morschhauser: vocals, accordion, bongos, guitar, auxiliary percussion
"Nervous" Neal Smith: soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, auxiliary percussion, backing vocals
Barry "the Wolfman" Wolf: accordion, auxiliary percussion, backing vocals
"Mr." Joel Dick: trap set, frame drum, auxiliary percussion, backing vocals