Playing live is a key aspect of Matisyahu’s music. And so are live recordings.
The Hassidic rapper and singer broke through with 2005's gold-certified "Live at Stubb’s" and its hit single, "King Without a Crown." This year he returns to the scene for "Live at Stubb’s, Vol. 2," revisiting the decidedly nonkosher Austin, Texas, venue for a CD and DVD that includes the new song "Open the Gates" and up-to-date versions of some of his older material.
"The live thing has always been a really major part of what I do," explains Matisyahu (ne Matthew Paul Miller). "My sound is always kind of evolving, changing ... just ongoing as a singer and artist. I just wanted to capture where I was at now.
"And I figured why would we make a live record anywhere else? We might as well do it at Stubb’s."
Matisyahu hopes "a basic maturity in every sense" is evident compared to the 2005 effort. Meanwhile, his evolution continues with not one but two new albums he's working on: a more song-oriented set he's recording with the Dub Trio is titled "Akedah: Learning to Love" and focuses on the biblical story of the binding of Isaac by his father, Abraham. Matisyahu also is working on a more hip-hop styled project with producer Kool Kojak, who collaborated on his 2010 Hanukkah song, "Miracle."
"These two things are sort of happening simultaneously," notes Matisyahu, who will appear in his first film, "The Dibbuk Box," in January. "Even though it's two different directions, I couldn't really make up my mind as to what I wanted to do, so I decided to do both.
"I'm not sure which one to put out first or if I'll do both together, but it's been very inspiring."
Matisyahu and Tea Leaf Green perform Sunday, July 10, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 313-961-8137 or visit www.livenation.com.
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