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Part of the rising religious hippie scene in Riverdale, New York, singer/songwriter Jon Weiss has been coming and going from Israel for more than 10 years now, and playing gigs whenever he can. His latest project, Humble Kings, is sponsored by a new cultural initiative called Macabee Music, which develops artists through live shows rather than studio recordings.
On the heels of some open-mic performances in New York and a June appearance at Tel Aviv's Mike's Place (pictured), Humble Kings is now ready for an Israel mini-tour.
Israel is the band's spiritual home. When Weiss was visiting over Pessah, "I played at a bonfire and noticed that the people were really listening and vibing with me, more than in New York. There is a deeper soul thing in Israel, and my music is geared for the deeper soul."
The band's current lineup features two members of the band Hamakor, with Yakir Hyman's experimental guitar licks and Nachman Solomon's hand percussion and backing vocals providing the backbone to the laid-back sound. Add a drummer, bassist and Weiss himself on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, and we're dealing with a formidable group. Sound-wise, Weiss's songs derive from the likes of Johnny Cash and Bob Marley - "reggae country" is Weiss's own description.
According to Weiss, "This is real partying for six days straight; no holding back. This will be the second of three tours, brother. It's the real deal."
Following last night's lead-off show at Levontin 7 in Tel Aviv, Humble Kings plays Mike's Place in Jerusalem on Saturday, Habe'er in Kibbutz Tzeelim on Sunday, and the Bloom Bar in Tel Aviv on Monday. All concerts begin at 9 p.m., with free admission.
For more information, visit www.thehumblekings.com