al stewart

Kim and Reggie Harris

beach full of shells

Kim and Reggie Harris
& Rabbi Jonathan Kligler

Let My People Go!



“With passion and conviction . . . Kim and Reggie Harris, accomplished gospel singes, and Jon Kligler, who leads a synagogue in Woodstock, New York, do a wonderful job of rekindling that old-time feeling in which there was not only hope for people to gt along, but a darned good reason they should do so. And the music here is a nice smattering of spirituals and religious songs, as well as poetry set to new music. . . . More than a throwback or a trip down memory lane, though, this album is an uplifting reminder that more work needs to be done before everybody can get together.” 
 – Dirty Linen
“The tone for the album is set in the first track, a medley of ‘B’Chol Dor Va’Dor,’ a song taken from the Passover Haggadah that stresses the importance of every generation knowing the Passover story and applying its lessons to their own time, and ‘I’m On My Way,’ an African American spiritual that repeats the lesson that every generation must know that it is part of the ongoing struggle for freedom. Throughout the rest of the album, in more Haggadah songs, more spirituals and a number of contemporary compositions, the common themes of freedom and liberty are celebrated. The breadth of the musical settings is broad, sometimes incorporating more than one musical style. ‘Venomar Lefanev,’ for example, has a Sephardic arrangement but Peter Davis’s clarinet adds a klezmer flavor. A common message of hope and belief is found in a medley of ‘Ani Ma’amin’ and ‘We Shall Overcome,’ that combines arrangements from both traditions and before reminding us, via a rap by LeVonn Brown, of the songs’ contemporary relevancy. This CD is a very moving collection of songs and stories. . . . [An] exciting celebration of common values expressed in song."
Sing Out!
“. . . Let My People Go: A Jewish & African American Celebration of Freedom is a felicity worth savouring. It is an inspiring fusion of traditional songs from the Pesach seder, African American gospel songs and spirituals and the occasional Civil Rights-era reading. The collection will resonate with anyone who enjoys the lyricism of the sweetly sung, familiar melodies of the Haggadah and the deeply resonant harmonies of black gospel song. . . . The work is a collaborative effort of folksingers Kim and Reggie Harris and Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, all of whom have richly entertaining voices. But the record features many more voices, young and old, and benefits from the high-calibre musical arrangements.”
– Canadian Jewish News
“Don’t write this off as a documentary set.  While ‘a Jewish and African American celebration of freedom’ might not appeal to Ashlee's fans, the music on here starts out as music that was the soundtrack of the Jews rebelling against the Egyptians through Civil right anthems. With a back up crew that is loaded with stellar names like Pete Seeger, Tony Levin and others from all across the spectrum, this is as important a set as something like the tribute to Stephen Foster. Everyone is up for the task of keeping this from being a museum piece and it's certainly an ear opener for adults with consciences.  Certainly a left field entry but a great reminder that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
Midwest Record
“If you’re looking for something different and meaningful, check out Let My People Go! A Jewish & African American Celebration of Freedom. The CD celebrates freedom, combining Jewish and African-American traditions. . . .While the album especially will appeal to those two groups, it can be embraced by anyone who appreciates what those struggles cost and the benefits they provided to all peoples. The album’s power also lies in its ability to touch listeners individually as each one struggles with his or her personal oppressors.”
Word & Way, Jefferson City, MO.

Thankfully, the Let My People Go! CD doesn't wallow in nostalgia or provide a ‘greatest hits’ soundtrack from the good old days. The music and the performances are decidedly unsentimental, and everywhere the touch of new musical influences and innovations give even the golden oldies of the civil-rights movement a fresh patina.”
Cleveland, OH, Jewish News

“There are plenty of connections between the Jewish and African-American people. Both have been oppressed and enslaved during history, and many Jews were involved in the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. This album is as much a celebration of that time as it is a political statement of solidarity in song, cantorial chant, and spoken word reminiscences. At times quite extraordinarily lovely, as on 'Venomar Lefanav (Let Us Sing a New Song),' with its klezmer overtones, or 'I Have a Million Nightingales,' it can also turn deeply spiritual, as on 'In the Mississippi River.' It's definitely not a background disc, but one that comes back time after time, showing different facets with each track, all coming together to paint a picture. In its own small way it’s glorious, if low-key, the type of record that brings a glow of satisfaction (as is the case with everything Kim & Reggie Harris do).****” 
All Music Guide

“This lively multi-ethnic tribute to the human spirit in song and story makes for an invigorating and stimulating 72-minute CD. It’s steered by well-respected singers, songwriters and storytellers Kim and Reggie Harris . . . and carries on the folk tradition of preserving important songs from the past and adding meaningful new songs from the world around them, while recognising and embracing different ethnic traditions into a common folk heritage. . . . The individual treatments are exuberant or heartfelt as relevant, with sincerity and warmth of genuine expression a hallmark of each and every performance; good use is made of the various ethnic idioms . . . The concluding “I Won't Turn Back” is at once profoundly moving and defiant . . . Integration and integrity, indeed, are the primary characteristics of this imaginative, intelligent and virtually self-recommending release.”
NetRhythms, UK