How I grew up in the Bagel Belt without getting hip to klezmer is beyond me. After all, I was more than happy to turn my Jewish friends on to the Irish Rovers, yet from the countless bar and bat mitzvahs and weddings I attended, Hava Nagilah is the only tune that stuck. Black Ox Orkestar changed that with a great show at Sneaky Dee's last year, and now that I've heard Beyond the Pale, I might just convert. This live recording perfectly captures the passion of the players and conveys the deep spiritual meaning of the music in a way that most live recordings completely miss. Not content to focus solely on klezmer and East European traditional fare, BTP blend in hints of bluegrass and folk as well. Not convinced? How about some reggae-klezmer in the form of Terrastaman, a follow-up to their earlier Chasenjah, which the boys had the chutzpah and brilliance to term "Jew-Maican" music?
Beyond the Pale play the Glenn Gould Studio Saturday (February 12).