Moshe Hendel Feiglin, the lead singer and guitarist of the Australian folk band Feter Hendel, had an old Shlomo Carlebach song, a nigun, that was stuck in his head. He’d heard it once on an old bootleg tape, and he could never find a copy of it again.
Moshe dug deeper. He found out that not only was it super-rare—he could never find another copy—but that Carlebach himself never recorded the song. It only existed in Moshe’s imagination.
That song, “City of David“—a gospel-style hymn with a jubilant chorus, “O my Lord is coming back/to the City of David”—took form and became the first single, and music video, on Feter Hendel’s new album, Fire Bright. They added trumpet, a New Orleans rhythm, and a sample of Carlebach’s voice, and made it a completely new song.
“City” is only one of the treasures on Fire Bright. The title song is a soaring campfire song with a spooky Leonard Cohen-like melody and gently crashing drums. “Call Out” climaxes in a wordless river of singalong ai-yai-yais. Every song is urgent, and each one calls to us. It’s a call you’ll be only too glad to answer.
December 10, 2014