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Friday, April 3, 2015

Israel's Blues-Rock King, Lazer Lloyd, delivers a hot, new, self-titled album due June 9th in North America and kicks off his 2015 tour at the House of Blues in Chicago on April 20th

Israel’s Blues-Rock King, Lazer Lloyd, delivers a hot, new, self-titled album due June 9th in North America and kicks off his 2015 tour at the House of Blues in Chicago on April 20th

Lazer’s signature deep lyrical writing and vocals combined with his virtuoso guitar work takes listeners from the depths of mind-searing pain to the highest pleasures of love, hope, and healing

CHICAGO, IL – Israeli blues-rock singer/songwriter and guitaris­­­­t Lazer Lloyd announces a self-titled album of all new electric and acoustic material to be released on CD and vinyl in the USA on June 9th.  The Lazer Lloyd album, releasing on the Chicago-based LL Records label, is packed with 11 new original songs and a cover of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay.” It follows on the critical success of his 2013 stripped-down acoustic solo album, Lost on the Highway (on U.S. label Blues Leaf Records) and his 2012 electric CD, My Own Blues (on Helicon, chosen by the Israeli Blues Society’s for best 2012 blues album). The new album was written and recorded in two Tel Aviv studios (Sonic and Papa) during a period of intense songwriting throughout 2014.  Lazer gives voice to his experiences shuttling between a demanding touring schedule on the stages of Israel, as well as in Russia and North America – often playing live knowing his wife and five children were sitting in a bomb shelter back home. 
The cover art for the album was done by Markus Greiner, a brilliant Chicago-based artist who designed the DVD release cover for the 2015 Oscar-winning film, Ida, as well as many album covers for Bloodshot Records, and other musicians such as Graham Parker, among others.
Highlights of Lazer Lloyd's upcoming Spring and Summer 2015 tour include: House of Blues (Chicago) on April 20 and May 19 (as part of the Israeli Jazz & World Music Festival); Steve’s Live Music (Atlanta) on April 30; Waterfront Blues Fest (Portland, OR) on July 5; Hayward Russell City Blues Festival (San Francisco Bay Area) on July 12 (afternoon); Biscuits & Blues (San Francisco) on July 12 (evening); The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI) on August 3; and Bayfront Blues Festival (Duluth, MN) on August 7. For a complete listing of tour events, visit his website. On his 2015 North American tour, Lazer will perform his new material backed up in the Midwest by notable blues veterans Johnny B. Gayden (Albert Collins and Johnny Winter) on bass, and in the West by Ron Perry (John Lee Hooker) on bass, with drums by Kenny Coleman of the Chicago Blues Kings and previously Koko Taylor and Sugar Blue, among others.

On the new CD, Lazer Lloyd takes his signature songwriting to another level with guts and groove that won’t quit, and is certain to become a favorite with global blues and blues-rock audiences.  During the recording sessions, Lazer was joined by his regular Israeli bass player, Moshe Davidson, and studio pros Kfir Tsairi on keyboards and Elimelech Grundman on drums.

Lazer’s music is influenced by blues, gospel, southern rock and the great guitar traditions of power and groove from Jimi Hendrix to Wes Montgomery.  Known by many as Israel's King of the Blues, he cites B.B. King as one of his biggest inspirations in music and in life. He also draws on the blues work of Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Son House, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Albert Collins, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter and Santana.

“This is the first record I ever made where I successfully recorded in the studio things better than I can do live,” Lazer says, “and I really am happy finally with how things came out. Hopefully, I can help release some pain from someone's heart and make them feel good. I think blues in all its forms continues to generate a devoted following because it's real; it's about everyone's life story and it heals." 
He also used a wide array of guitars to get specific sounds he wanted in each of the songs. “All of my guitars are always messed up because I'm always looking for a unique sound somewhere between a Gibson 335, a Fender Telecaster and a Stratocaster, so I usually have homemade stuff that I've changed the pick-ups on at least 100 times and I'm still not happy,” he recalls.

Lazer offered up some comments on the origins of several of the tracks on Lazer Lloyd. “On ‘Burning Thunder’ - this is a song about the raw energy of both the Godly and Animal soul driving a person in opposite directions.”

“Suffering” - “The life on the road and becoming a successful performer tears you in 1000 directions and it's no secret that there are dark times when a person feels alone and enslaved.”

“Rocking in the Holy Land” - “There were many places that I had a chance to break my career from and places that the record company thought I should break it from. But Man makes plans and God laughs - from a strange twist of meeting a homeless man in New York City’s Central Park, I played a concert with a hippie rabbi, who convinced me to play with him in Israel to check it out and I fell in love, so I'm there more than 20 years.”

“Love Yourself” - “This song is expressing the reality of the ultimate oneness of the world and to internalize the fact that if you hurt someone else or - God forbid - kill someone else, you are hurting or killing yourself. My original concept for the song was for so-called religious terrorists.”

“Time to Love” - “Everybody has their own blues and everybody has different levels of blues: their personal blues, blues for their loved ones, blues for their friends, blues for the country and then you have the big picture blues for the world.”

Born Lloyd Paul Blumen in New York, Lazer moved at a young age to Connecticut with his parents.  Eliezer Pinchas Blumen is his Hebrew name.  Lazer is short for Eliezer and Lazer Lloyd is a combination of his Hebrew and English names. Growing up in Connecticut, at age 15, Lazer was already playing in night clubs along the Connecticut shoreline. At 18, Lazer went to Skidmore College to study music under Milt Hinton (bass player for Louis Armstrong), Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat and Tears), and Gene Bertoncini.

After college, an A&R executive at Atlantic Records organized a showcase for Lazer in Manhattan with plans to send him to Nashville to work with producer Garry Tallent (of Springsteen’s E-Street Band fame).  One night in New York, Lazer played a gig with the legendary singing Rabbi, Shlomo Carlebach, who invited Lazer to play with him in Israel and he quickly decided to take his music to the Middle East in 1994.  Once in Israel, Lazer joined Reva L’Sheva as their lead guitar player.  With few blues fans in his new home country, Lazer became a trailblazer, as he wrote and performed his own blues tunes mixed with the classics and built an audience for the blues in a country where it was an exotic delight. 
In 2014 and 2015, Lazer brought his blues act to the USA to rave reviews, featuring great musicians such as bassists Johnny B. Gayden and Ron Perry, drummer Kenny Coleman, and for  Canadian dates his band featured blues all-stars Gary Kendall and Mike Fitzpatrick from JUNO award-winning band, Downchild. 

Lazer has successfully crossed over into the Israeli mainstream music scene, and has been featured playing live on some of Israeli TV and radio’s most popular programs. As one radio host said, “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. He’s one of the great musicians.”

Reviews of his previous albums have been total raves. “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,” wrote Blues Blast Magazine in its review.

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