|"Todah LChem (Thanks
yall) is the debut release from Austin, Texas based singer/songwriter Robbi Sherwin.
And an impressive first effort it is! The CD contains 11 tunes - most of them written or
co-written by Robbi. Robbi has put her whole being into this project and it shows in the
passion and enthusiasm she brings to her performance. The CD features many collaborations
with other Jewish artists (Mah Tovu, Yom Hadash, Peri Smilow, Sam Glaser, Rich
Glauber, and Julie Silver) and I applaud Robbi for this.
We do not often collaborate with one another and it is beautiful to hear how each person or group who collaborated with Robbi brings a little bit of themselves to the project.
I particularly enjoyed the thoughtful and haunting melody to "Modeh Ani". As the liner notes say: "I was looking for a between the dark and the dawn kind of feel. I am very grateful that God has allowed me to wake up...., but Im just not ready to tap dance, yet." Rich Glaubers expertise on the "squeezebox" shines in the upbeat and almost Cajun sounding "Elijahu." "Al Tistakel" is chant-like and tribal with its heavy use of percussion; there is a beautiful "Shema" duet with Julie Silver and Robbis "Lcha Dodi" with Yom Hadash and Peri Smilow really kicks.
The CD is definitely worth a listen. As the lyrics to Robbis "Al Tistakel" say, "Do not look (only) at the container, rather what is inside." Robbi Sherwin has a lot of music inside of her and I am glad she shared it with us."
--- Jewish Entertainment Resources
"I could go on and on with superlatives, but to put it bluntly, the music kicks butt -- several notches over even the earlier demo. It really showcases so many styles and all done so well. The one-line chant is as good as anything on a Shefa album, and Judah really loves the groove of Elijahu!!! The overall effect of Chosen is stunning -- very moving and interesting with the images and questions raised and integrated used of Hebrew and tight music arrangement. Every song truly had its own special shine and the sequencing of the songs on the CD was very effective, especially the one chosen for the end!
To Herb Belofsky -- you were one heck of a producer, drummer, percussionist, arranger, etc. on this -- way to go, man!
You really had a symbiotic relationship with so many musicians and the synergy and mutuality shows on many levels. The liner notes are fun and show (not that the music doesn't make this clear on its own) that you had a great time and were inspired by making this labor of love.
(I appreciate the mention of my name, too! And it's fun to know that when you make the charts, I'll be the answer to the trivia question: whose album did Robbi first record vocals on?).
I wish you so much continued success -- this is only the beginning of a whole new level and stage for you and may you grow into it with grace and humor and wisdom and energy and joy."
--- Professor Larry Lesser (The first person Robbi ever recorded with!)