A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album
For A Great Miracle, Jeremiah Lockwood reimagines songs of the Chanukah season as acoustic Piedmont Blues numbers. As well as reimagining traditional Jewish songs, Lockwood also pays tribute to John Fahey’s 1968 release The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas.
Lockwood is the grandson of Cantor Jacob Konigsberg. He grew up steeped in Jewish musical tradition, but learned guitar playing on subway platforms with blues legend Carolina Slim. Lockwood often incorporates Jewish liturgical music into his work with his band The Sway Machinery. A Great Miracle distills his two greatest influences into a work of sheer beauty.
For this release, Lockwood reimagines eight tunes, one for each night of the holiday. The source material ranges from prayers sung as part of the holiday observation to the Israeli Chanukah tune “Mi Yemalel.” I have to admit that the only tune I’m familiar with is “Little Dreydl.” You don’t really have to be Jewish to appreciate this record, but I’m sure it helps.