August 30, 2014, 9:15pm
Lazer Lloyd, who many call "Israel's King of the Blues", is a blues, rock, and folk guitarist and singer/songwriter who has spread love of the blues across Israel. The Washington Post recently noted, "One of the most popular blues singers and guitarists in Israel is Lazer Lloyd."Read More
His latest recording is a roots acoustic blues album entitled "Lost on the Highway" release Aug. 2013 on Blues Leaf Records where Lazer is the only Israeli artist. In the Blues Blast Magazine review of "Lost", Rex Bartholomew writes, “I have been listening to the blues for most of my life and had never run into a blues record from Israel before, but this first one is setting the bar high. His guitar playing alone is worth the price of admission, and when you add in his vocals and strong songwriting skills, this disc is a winner.”
"Lost" has gotten airplay on blues and AAA radio all across the US as well as in Italy, Germany, England, and Scotland. The most recent Lazer Lloyd electric album, “My Own Blues”, was the Israeli Blues Society’s selection for Best Israeli Blues Album in 2012.
Touring around the world, Lazer has opened for such artists as Johnny Winter, Prince, Snowy White, and Olie Brown as well as years of headlining weekly in clubs and major festivals in Israel. In 2013 he played in Russia and the USA in support of the release of "Lost on the Highway". Lazer will return to perform in Russia and N. America in 2014.
Raised on the roots of rock and blues growing up in Connecticut, at age fifteen Lazer was already playing in night clubs along the Connecticut shoreline and in New Haven with his group Legacy. At eighteen, Lazer went to Skidmore College to study music under famous blues men Milt Hinton (bass player for Louis Armstrong), Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat and Tears), and Gene Bertoncini.
After college, Lazer returned to Connecticut to form a blues based rock band called The Last Mavericks. Their first demo gained them a showcase with Atlantic Records. Toby Mofet from A&R at Atlantic took Lazer to Manhattan to record with plans to send him to Nashville to work with producer Garry Tallent (the bass player from The E-Street Band). One night in NY, Lazer played a gig with the legendary Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach who invited Lazer to play with him in Israel and he quickly decided to take his blues rock music to the Middle East in 1994.
Once in Israel, Lazer joined beloved jam band Reva L’Sheva as the lead guitar player and second singer and toured and recorded with them for a decade. In 2004, he released his first solo project "Higher Ground" mixing inspirational folk rock and his signature blues guitar and vocals. He then formed his own power roots rock trio Yood and wrote, recorded, and produced their albums “Passin’over” in 2007 and "Real People" in 2008. Yood toured Israel as well as US college campuses.
In recent years, Lazer has shifted his focus to a new project, the Lazer Lloyd Blues Band, which has successfully crossed over into the Israeli mainstream music scene, been featured playing live on Israeli Channel 8 TV's "Guitar Heroes" hosted by Tal Friedman, Channel 10's "London and Kirschenbaum", as well as on Yoav Kutner's Army Radio program. Kutner commented, "From the moment the sounds of his blues guitar reached the air it was completely clear that this is an international-level guitarist . His shows are worth every minute. One of the great musicians."
An Australian TV (ABC) crew followed Lazer and his band on the road in Israel and filmed part of their performance at the Jerusalem Woodstock Revival concert. ABC's Ben Knight described Lazer's blues rock trio as the hardest working band in Israel, "playing 5 nights a week across the country". Regular stage performances are divided between intimate solo evenings of acoustic blues and roots material and nights with the band rocking the crowd with a mix of original songs, classic covers, often ending with Lazer's own intense version of the Israeli national anthem, "HaTikva" ("The Hope").
Jerusalem Post's current Managing Editor David Brinn captures the live scene at a Lazer show, “When Lazer Lloyd enters the zone onstage, his eyes close tightly and he begins a peculiar dance - partly Tevye in the shtetl, partly psychedelic free form shuffle. He handles his guitar like it was an extension of his lanky but sturdy body, and the glorious noise that it emits sounds like wails and squeals emerging directly from his soul. He's lost in the moment. He's the best guitarist in Israel.”