Chopped Liver River Band | Shmear of Chopped Liver

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Spiritual: Judaica Moods: Mood: Quirky
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Shmear of Chopped Liver

by Chopped Liver River Band

The Chopped Liver River Band performs breath-taking, exhilarating rhythms that propel you onto the dance floor, and simple, sincere melodies that touch your heart.
Genre: Spiritual: Judaica
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Mazel Tov
3:56 $0.99
2. Zol Zayn Gelebt
3:03 $0.99
3. 7:40
3:04 $0.99
4. Sunrise, Sunset
3:26 $0.99
5. Odessa Bulgar #2
4:12 $0.99
6. Bei Mir bist du Schoen
4:43 $0.99
7. Lebedik und Freilach
2:41 $0.99
8. Papiros'n
3:17 $0.99
9. Hava Negila
3:37 $0.99
10. Ocho Kandelikas
3:23 $0.99
11. Ose Shalom
2:40 $0.99
12. Tish Nigun
2:22 $0.99
13. Freilach Medly
3:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hundreds of thousands of Jews arrived on the shores of the United States. They brought with them a style of music, klezmer that had flourished in the Eastern European countries from which they came. As the original immigrants died, so did their music until the 1960's when klezmer was rediscovered. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is fortunate enough to have its own klezmer band, the Chopped Liver River Band.

Uncontrollable Joy

The klezmer revival sprung up as generations of Americans set out in search for their roots. The comeback was inspired by the same 1960s self-expression movement that revived bluegrass, old-time swing, folk, soul, and many other vanishing styles. As the social and cultural backlash for being "too Jewish" was disappearing, many Jews sought to learn more about their background, of which they had only a vague romanticized "Fiddler on the Roof" notion. In their attempt to understand their heritage, these Jews discovered a rich tradition of klezmer music that perfectly expressed their yearning for the Old World and their need to find a solid, powerful, and expressive culture. Dancing in the aisles is permitted.

The Chopped Liver River Band

On a Sunday evening in the fall of 1998, several members of Congregation Shaarai Shomayim in Lancaster, PA were at a rehearsal of the congregation's choir, Chavrai Zamir. One of them, Jeffrey Woodman, a one-time saxophonist, inquired if any of the others played a musical instrument. As it turned out, several of them had. David Stameshkin played the clarinet, Jeff Packer played the trombone, John Healy played the guitar. Jane Sandhaus Packer was an accomplished singer. Why not start a klezmer band? Thus, Lancaster's first klezmer band was born.

Most had not touched their instruments in 20 or 30 years. Not to worry. They went home, dusted off the instruments, cleaned off the rust, bought some new reeds, got some music and started playing. Since many of the original members had children who attended religious school on Sunday mornings, they used the time they would have spent waiting for their children to rehearse.

A few months later, David invited his long-time collaborator Alan Levine to come "listen" to the band. Alan should have realized that David had another idea up his sleeve. Shortly thereafter-the details are a bit sketchy-Alan "volunteered" to direct this motley group. After all, he had never directed anything before, hadn't played in a band in 30 years, knew nothing about klezmer music and wasn't even a member of the congregation. A perfect choice!

In the ensuing years, several new members joined the band and a few left to pursue other interests. Currently, the band has 13 members, ranging in age from 12 to 81, all members of the congregation. They still rehearse on Sunday mornings while religious school is in session. Jeffrey Woodman serves as the band manager.

The Chopped Liver River Band plays a variety of Jewish music which includes Klezmer music, Yiddish songs, Jewish show tunes, big band, light jazz and comedy.

The band has performed all over southeast Pennsylvania including Longwood Gardens, Harrisburg Arts Fest, Lancaster Community Day festival, the Fulton Opera House, the York and Lancaster Jewish Community Centers, and Long's Park. They have also played for a few Bar Mitzvahs, weddings and other joyous occasions. However, they are still awaiting their big break-an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

The band would like to thank Rabbi Jack Paskoff and Cantorial Soloist Debra Mudrick of Congregation Shaarai Shomayim for including the band in the musical program of the synagogue and for giving them a place to rehearse. They would also like to thank Jim Kenniff and JJ Gammache of K-Sound Studios for their help in recording this album, and to Steve Puffer for his help in mixing it. Finally, they would like to thank their spouses, significant others, parents, children and pets for putting up with supporting this wonderful musical journey.


Congregation Shaarai Shomayim's, the fourth oldest Jewish community in the United States, rich history dates back to the beginnings of colonial Lancaster. The history of Lancaster's Jewish community is an intriguing yet typical story of the arrival and gradual assimilation of generations of Jews. The immigrants of past centuries came from Europe and Russia. They spoke no English, practiced orthodox Jewish ritual, and over time adjusted their religious practices to meet their new lifestyle.

On the north side of Liberty Street between Lime and Shippen Streets is the Shaarai Shomayim Cemetery, the historical link between Lancaster's earliest Jews and the present. 1997 marked the 250th anniversary of the establishment of this cemetery, the fourth oldest Jewish cemetery in North America.

Today the cemetery is neat and well-tended. To walk among its graves is to feel the power and the history of 250 years of Jewish life in Lancaster.



to write a review

Chuck Shadel

Great band, great music!
A really entertaining band with a GREAT klezmer sound. The only thing better than listening to their CD is seeing them in person.

Ellen Hart

This is a great CD for those honorary Jews out there. Yes its great seeing these guys in action, but try living with one of them!
Keep up the good work...