Ten Shekel Shirt Release New CD "Jubilee": Exclusive Interview with the Band ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ten Shekel Shirt Release New CD "Jubilee": Exclusive Interview with the Band

On August 19th, Ten Shekel Shirt released their third CD Jubilee (Rounder Records). Vocalist/songwriter Lamont Hiebert had taken some time off from music prior to this release to form Love146, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to help end child slavery and exploitation.

Jubilee is very accessible musically (Snow Patrol is a good point of comparison) but the lyrical themes are pretty heavy. Lamont breaks down each song on one of his MySpace blog posts and here are a few excerpts.

A guy recently told me that he liked my old songs better. He said the old ones made him feel good while the new songs made him think about others. I took it as a compliment.

Although I cut my teeth in the music industry on "worship music" I believe it is dangerous and unhealthy to be self-absorbed with vertical religion. I often warn faith-based audiences that if we hold our hands in the air for too long we become spiritually constipated. Conversely, if we strive to be about God's business without His influence of love, forgiveness, justice, mercy, compassion, etc… we soon become burned out and bitter.

The origin of the word Jubilee has nothing to do with a wedding anniversary or a schmaltzy Las Vegas show. It has everything to do with the emancipation of slaves and the celebration of freedom and justice. When I wrote the title track, Jubilee, I combined that ancient meaning of the word with this true story of a teenage girl rescued from slavery and her first moments in a safehome.

At the tender age of 12, she was sold to a brothel by her stepfather. After 4 years of unspeakable violence, cruelty and shame she was rescued and brought to a safehome our charity (Love146) supports. The first moment she entered the home she noticed a small picture of Jesus on the wall. When she saw it she fell down and wept in utter relief and astonishment. She then explained that while she was in captivity she would often dream of being in a safe place and that in those dreams she would picture that face.

I had the chance to catch up with Lamont and guitarist Johnny Rodgers on the day that the album was released. We talked a bit about the new disc, the inspiration behind it and what's going on with Ten Shekel Shirt.

Ten Shekel Shirt is currently out on a lengthy tour and they have a date at First Baptist Church in Queens tomorrow night. Here are the band's tour dates for August/September.

Aug 30 2008 8:00PM, First Baptist Church, Queens, New York, New York
Sep 12 2008 8:00PM, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida
Sep 14 2008 7:00PM, Harriet Himmel Theater, West Palm Beach, Florida
Sep 17 2008 8:00PM, Southern CT State University, New Haven, Connecticut
Sep 19 2008 7:00PM, FBC, Portland, Maine
Sep 27 2008 7:00PM, Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Ten Shekel Shirt's MySpace Profile