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A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album, a solo guitar tribute to the holiday, is now available on Reboot Records. With heartfelt appreciation of the 1968 classic The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Record, Lockwood has sweetly crafted eight songs, one for each night of Chanukah, to celebrate the dancing candlelight with his new, blues-inspired takes on the most beloved melodies of the holiday’s canon.
Lockwood’s career has followed a unique path, with deep musical inspiration coming from two mentors. His grandfather Cantor Jacob Konigsberg (1921-2007) infused in him the melodies of the Jewish liturgy, with Lockwood performing in his choir. Lockwood credits his career as a guitarist to a decade-long apprenticeship with the legendary blues musician Carolina Slim, a.k.a. Elijah Staley (1926-2014), who passed down to Lockwood the Piedmont blues tradition of Brownie McGhee and Buddy Moss. Lockwood also leads the band Sway Machinery, which features Jordan McLean of Antibalis and at one point Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The Great Miracle is the ultimate realization of both sides of Lockwood’s learning, as he translates the major Chanukkah melodies into a blues language, through his fingers and the strings of his Gibson guitar.
“Jeremiah Lockwood …has recorded an outstanding instrumental album of Chanukah songs in the style of American primitive icon John Fahey…Those familiar with the original source material will pick up on those melodic lines woven within his deft six-string picking. For example, “Ritual” opens the record with the simple melodies of the bracha, or blessings, but becomes increasingly complex. Lockwood repeats the phrasing multiple times, surrounding them with more and more mellifluous chords and picking until the original prayers become camouflaged within the whole of the song. It’s a metaphor for the whole album (not to mention, for many secularized American Jews themselves): maintaining melodies and traditions, but exploring how to make them meaningful and relevant in new ways.” — Hilary Saunders, No Depression