SR2: Shake, Rabbis and Roll!
by Robbie Harris
Tales From the Upper West Side is SR2's debut record, originally issued in 2003. Robbie formed the band in 1991, in Pelham, NY and we have been more or less performing ever since. Like most groups, we started as a "cover band," performing rock and roll classics from the 50's-60's and 70's (as well as more contemporary music). "Tales" is entirely comprised of original rock 'n roll, with a touch of blues, jazz and folk. Like our live repertoire, it contains no Jewish or specifically religious music - just straight, good old-fashioned rock and roll!
Although at one point in our history, the band consisted entirely of rabbis, this is no longer the case. Robbie (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jeff Hoffman (vocals, lead guitar) and Larry Sebert (drums) form the band's rabbinic core; Jerry Snider (slide guitar and guitar synthesizer), Jerry Goldman (bass) and Barry Presser (drums) are the remaining members. In 2003, when this CD was recorded, Naomi Less was a featured vocalist with the band, and you can hear many of her great backing vocals on this record.
In addition to performing at clubs in NY and Westchester, SR2 often performs to raise money for a variety of worthy causes. For instance, we have performed on behalf of a church soup kitchen on 111th & Broadway; at the West End Cafe in Manhattan, where we raised nearly $2000 for World Trade Center relief; and have done several shows for MAZON (which means “food,” in Hebrew), an organization which distributes food to the needy of all faiths; at The Knitting Factory on behalf of “God’s Love, We Deliver.” In 2004 we dedicated funds towards Darfur refugees; last year, we returned to the Knitting Factory, raising money for “the Downtown Kehilla,” an organization representing several synagogues and other Jewish institutions.
Visit SR2's website: www.shakerabbisandroll.com