Matisyahu Brings Spiritual Reggae-Rock Back to Club Helsinki Hudson

MATISYAHU at Club Helsinki by Seth Rogovoy(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Almost a year to the day that he last performed there, Grammy Award-nominated reggae-rock performer Matisyahu brings his annual “Festival of Light” tour to Club Helsinki Hudson on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at 8pm. Fresh from tours of Mexico, South America and Israel, the spiritual seeker and beat-boxing phenomenon will perform Hanukkah-themed songs as well as material spanning his entire career.

In 2004, Matisyahu released his first album, introducing listeners to his unique blend of roots-reggae, hip-hop beatboxing, and lyrics infused with Jewish concepts and spirituality. It wasn’t such a stretch, as so much Jamaican reggae, with its own spiritual roots in the Rastafari movement, had always drawn upon Biblical themes and tropes, e.g., exile, Zion, Babylon.

What was unique, however, was that for a number of years, Matisyahu literally dressed his reggae in Hasidic garb, wearing the outer vestments – the long beard, black hat, white shirt, and dark suit out from which poked ritual fringes – of the Lubavitcher Hasidim, with whom he lived and studied. In more recent years, Matisyahu has shed these outer trappings, but his newer songs – as heard on last year’s album, “Spark Seeker” — are still infused with spiritual concepts still based in Judaism but perhaps addressed somewhat more universally.

MATISYAHU at Club Helsinki by Seth RogovoyMatisyahu has always, however, appealed to a diverse audience on the basis of his abundant talents as a singer, beatboxer and composer of catchy, rhythmic dance tunes, and his warm, gracious personality. Writing about his Helsinki performance of December 2012, local critic Seth Rogovoy hailed Matisyahu’s “humble and endearing personality – overflowing with equanimity,” calling him “an engaging entertainer…. unflappable, grateful, and wholly committed to his songs of praise.” His Helsinki show last year featured a surprise guest – Hudson’s own superstar bassist, Meshell Ndegeocello.

For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.



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