I love the Jewish parodies on pop songs (especially the ones about Chanukah) that have been popularized by artists like Shlock Rock, the Maccabeats, and others. But I'm also a huge country music fan, and as the song goes, "What a sad state of affairs I'm in, when I search for songs 'bout Chanukah to make me grin... Ain't no country!"
Jewish Country Fans, Unite!
The goal of this project is to create a Jewish Country Music album that will include 8-10 tracks plus a bonus duet track, all parodies on contemporary and classic country hits.
The songs will use the humor, storytelling, and down-home feeling that make Country music unique, to teach Jewish kids, teens, and adults about their heritage, and foster in them a sense of Jewish pride.
The album's primary focus will be Chanukah songs, but other Jewish topics will be included as well.
Focus on Education
For each song we release, there will be a corresponding lesson plan posted on our web site, available for free download by parents and educators who are seeking creative ways to teach Jewish country fans about our heritage.
The Rest Of The Story:
I've been entertaining and educating audiences since 1986. Many of my experiences over the past three decades have come together to spark this project.
I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where I was fortunate to experience the unique life of an Orthodox Jew in the South. Although Richmond is a metropolis when compared to most Southern towns, the comforts available to the Orthodox Jewish community (i.e. kosher restaurants, broad selection of Jewish schools, etc.) pale in comparison to those available in places like New York, Baltimore, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
As a teenager in the 80s, I started performing magic. This got me comfortable on stage in front of an audience, and has continued to be a major part of my life and career to this day.
Also in the 80s, I witnessed the beginnings of Shlock Rock, a band led by Lenny Solomon, whose mission was to use parody versions of Pop, R&B, and Rock songs to teach Jewish kids, teens, and adults about their heritage, and foster in them a sense of Jewish pride. I began writing songs and performing on stage with the band, and am a proud member of the Shlock Rock Hall of Fame.
Over the years since, my work has mainly centered around two things: Jewish education and entertainment. I have worked in Jewish schools, summer camps, synagogues, and youth groups, while continuing to perform my comedy magic act, write and perform parody songs, DJ parties, and provide many other types of interactive entertainment.
In recent years, I began to develop a strong affinity for country music. I love the humor, the stories, and the down-home feeling that the genre offers. And while I started off thinking I had to be the only Jew I know who loves country music, I have met more and more Jewish country fans everywhere I go.
Also in recent years, several other groups have begun creating and releasing Jewish song parodies in the style of Shlock Rock. And as Chanukah approaches each year, there are five or six new songs about the holiday by groups like the Maccabeats, Six13, Shlock Rock, and others.
So I started wondering, why aren't there any Jewish country parodies out there? I grew up listening to Country Yossi, and while he is an accomplished singer, song writer, and all-around Jewish media giant, it's been a long time since he released any new Jewish country songs.
And so, this project was born.
The goal is to become, to country music, what Shlock Rock is to pop. With your help, we can give Jewish country fans the same opportunities for learning, laughter, and Jewish pride that Jewish fans of pop music have had since the 80s.
All of the rewards offered to backers are listed in alphabetical order and described in detail below. Read this section so you really know what you're getting! If an item is marked with a star (*) there may be some special disclaimers or explanations you need to know, and you should definitely read this before you pledge!
- 1-of-a-kind Yidneck Menorah used in videos and album cover photo: Only one of these "Festival of Lites" Menorahs will be made, and it will be given to the one backer at the Album Producer level.
- Advance download of the ChanuKountry album: Once the album is complete, before it is released to the public, qualifying backers will receive a link to download the entire album.
- Advance download of the first single: When the first single is done, qualifying backers will be able to download it immediately, even before the album is complete, and before the single is available to the public.
- Autographed limited edition ChanuKountry CD: Most albums will be delivered by digital download, but a few CDs will also be made. Qualifying backers will receive an autographed copy.
- Avi's award-winning kosher chili recipe: Everyone's raving about this chili! You'll get your own copy of the recipe so your family can rave along. The perfect addition to your next NASCAR tailgate party!
- Be on screen as an extra in a Yidneck Records music video: Probably not a speaking role, so don't worry if you're shy! We'll let you know where and when we're shooting. Sorry, we don't cover travel costs, but we do have ways of including you even if you're not present at the video shoot! Your name will appear in the video credits.
- Cameo and/or product placement in album cover photo: Please note that we have final say on all creative content in music, photos, and videos, so we need to approve what you want to include. There is no travel required to take advantage of this benefit.
- Cameo appearance in a Yidneck Records music video: This is a walk-on roll that may or may not be a speaking part. Please note that we have final say on all creative content in music, photos, and videos. Sorry, we don't cover travel costs, but we'll do our best to find a location that works for you; we also have ways of including you even if you're not present at the video shoot! Your name will appear in the video credits.
- Download a special bonus duet track that will not be on the album: There will be a single that is not on the album and will only be released on a limited number of music download sites. Qualified backers receive this single.
- Download one additional song of your choice (after album release): Once the album is released, choose any track from the album and we'll send it to you.
- Jewish Country song about you (or someone you choose): We'll write it, perform it, record it, and send it. This will not be a studio quality recording, however that can be arranged at cost if you want one.
- Live concert in your home or any venue you choose: After album release, get a live 45-minute performance in the venue of your choice. Venue rental fees and travel expenses are not included. Subject to schedule availability.
- Participate in the studio recording of a song: Sing backup vocals, clap your hands, hit a tambourine, or just sit back and watch! The studio is located in Hollywood, FL, and travel costs are not included, but you may be able to participate remotely if you can't get here. Let's discuss!
- Personalized "Gold Record" plaque honoring you as ___ Producer: A one-of-a-kind engraved plaque with your name and role, the album cover, and a gold-ish record, suitable for display in your home, office, or recording studio!
- "Purebred Yidneck" baseball cap (Best ChanuKountry gift EVER!): Show off your Yidneck-ness with a classic Yidneck snapback.
- "Purebred Yidneck" limited edition bumper sticker: Perfect on pickup trucks and mini-vans alike!
- Special shout-out in the lyrics of a song: We get to decide how you get written into the song but there will be a special reference to you.
- Starring role and/or product placement in music video: You'll also have creative input into what happens in the video. Sorry, we don't cover travel costs, but we'll do our best to find a location that works for you; we also have ways of including you even if you're not present at the video shoot! Please note that we have final say on all creative content in music, photos, and videos.
- Supporting role in a Yidneck Records music video: Please note that we have final say on all creative content in music, photos, and videos. Sorry, we don't cover travel costs, but we'll do our best to find a location that works for you; we also have ways of including you even if you're not present at the video shoot! Your name will appear in the video credits.
- "Thank You" shout-out on our web site and social media: We'll show our appreciation via Facebook, Twitter, and a "Thank You" page on our web site. Provide your Twitter handle and follow @yidneck so we can tag you!
- VIP admission to album launch party OR VIP table (up to 6 people) at album launch party: Once the album is complete, a launch party will be held at The Roundup in Davie, Florida. Qualified backers receive free admission and VIP treatment!
- Your business card & web link on our web site for at least 1 year: We'll place your business card (or any business card size ad that you send us) on our web site with a link to your web site. It will remain up for at least one year, but once a year is up we really won't be in any hurry to take it down.
- Your logo on all of the Purebred Yidneck hats given to backers: This is only available at the Executive Producer backer level. Your logo will be embroidered on the backs of every baseball cap that we make and distribute to reward backers and promote our album launch.
- Your logo on all of the Purebred Yidneck Tshirts given to backers: This is only available at the Video Producer, Album Producer, and Executive Producer backer levels. Up to three small logos will be placed in a row for the Video Producers; Album and Executive Producers will have much larger logos. All logos appear on the backs of the hundreds of shirts that will be given out to reward backers and promote our album launch.
- Your name listed in album/song/video credits as: You'll be listed in the credits accompanying each song and/or video that you're involved in. Executive and Album Producers are also listed in the album credits. Executive Producer gets top billing in all locations.
Risks and challenges
In every music project there is the risk of falling behind schedule. The studio we are working with has so far been very flexible in scheduling our sessions, and have gotten everything done in a timely manner. There is also the possibility unforeseen creative obstacles (a/k/a "Writer's Block") which can never be predicted until they happen. We have a very creative group of people collaborating on these songs and don't expect that to be an issue. Furthermore, several of our music tracks have already been recorded so we are starting this project ahead of schedule. We are confident that this project will be done early!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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