We Are One - Celebrating The Music of Temple Israel's Shabbat Unplugged
Dedicated to Wendy and Rabbi Paul Yedwab and their 25 years of building, inspiring, and elevating Temple Israel and our Jewish Community.
This album was made possible by the Stern family.
In 1986, I started college. I had a full head of beautiful curly brown hair. I weighed 160 lbs. after eating an entire pizza and chili fries, and I knew everything. I didn’t expect much when I came home for High Holy Day services to meet the new Rabbi that year. Then, I met the Kennedys. That’s what it felt like. Paul and Wendy were not what I was expecting. They were young, beautiful, brilliant, charming and charismatic. I wanted to hang out with them. I got my wish.
After college, I got a chance to play in bands at a lot of Detroit clubs, restaurants and hotels. In addition to the random people that I didn’t know, my “groupies” included my parents, my girlfriend (Lisa) and my Rabbi. The other guys couldn’t say that. Paul would show up to hear the band and hang out with me. We shared a love for discussing, playing and writing music. Now, it seems, my life has come full circle. I have the opportunity to get back to some music, and once again, I get to share it with Paul.
We wrote most of the Shabbat Unplugged songs together. We usually start with scotch and end with sushi. Somewhere in the middle, occasionally, a song comes out. Paul and Wendy’s 25th gave us the perfect reason to make this album in honor of the Yedwabs and recognize their immeasurable contribution to Temple. Cantor Smolash took the initiative and put the whole thing together. If Paul is the heart of this project, Michael surely is the brains. With an incredible group of musicians and sound producers, along with our Shabbat Unplugged Band, we created this amazing album. Paul and I have talked about doing this since our first Shabbat Unplugged service more than 10 years ago. We hope you love it as much as we do.
Now, it’s 2011. I lost the hair, found the weight and learned that I don’t know much. What I do know, is that we have been blessed – all of us. Paul and Wendy have touched our lives, elevated our Temple and enriched our community and our people. May the next 25 years be as fun, productive, challenging and full of love and friendship as the last. Thank you Paul and Wendy for everything you do. We Are One!!
Coproduced by Ben West and Michael Smolash
Recorded and Mixed by Ben West at Aashrum Studio, Ortonville, MI
Raise Your Voice Mixed by Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound Studios
Mastered by Jim Kissling
Paul Yedwab: vocals, acoustic guitar
Scott Stern: vocals, piano, Rhodes
Michael Smolash: vocals, electric guitar
Neil Michaels: vocals
Sam Kay: vocals
Melissa Hortick: vocals
Stephanie Michaels: vocals
Condido Lomax: vocals
Danny Cox: kit, percussion, acoustic guitar, wave drum
James Simonson: bass
Michael Mulliniks: electric guitar
Titos Sompa: congas, bongos, percussion
Ben West: B3, synth
Stephen Scapelliti: electric guitar
Scott Loudon: acoustic guitar
Chuck Alkazian: piano and synth on Raise Your Voice
Additional musicians on Ein Keiloheinu: Ari Posner: piano, synth, Jason Fowler: acoustic guitar, Tom Loncaric: piano, Dan Maslanka: kit, Larry Prentiss: bass, Frank Marinello: electric guitar
Additional vocals: Wendy Yedwab, Ariella Yedwab, Cherri Black, Beth Griffith, Deena Shields
Graphic Design: Kathy Armstrong
The Shabbat Unplugged Family: David Appelman, Meg Bennett, Mitch Elkiss, Melissa Hortick, Matt Jenkins, Stephanie Michaels, Stephen Scapelliti, Norton Stern, Scott and Lisa Stern, and the many other musicians who have beautified our services over the years. Rosanne & Bennett Fienman for their generous support, the Detroit Jewish News , Temple Israel’s clergy, staff and executive committee, Simone Vitale, Sam Kay & Chuck Alkazian, Ari Posner , Stacy Beyer, Michelle Citrin, The Kensington Crew: Danny, James and Michael, thank you for bringing your mad talent and passion! The Aashrum Crew: Ben and Scott, thank you for bringing that Ortonville sound, Jen Green for giving up a month and, of course, Rabbi Paul Yedwab for your creativity, heart and leadership!