By MIKE CHAIKEN
Lazer Lloyd’s life has been a series of journeys.
Lloyd, born Lloyd Paul Blumen, has been on a musical journey. Through the years, he has tackled 1950s rock and roll, blues, Americana, and a singer-songwriter style. His musical path also found him studying under jazz musicians at Skidmore College and opening for Michael Bolton.
Lloyd also has been on a geographic journey. He was born in New York City, grew up in Madison, Conn., and currently has a well-established music career in Israel.
And throughout those journeys, Lloyd has found himself on a spiritual journey that has landed him in the Holy Land.
Lazer Lloyd performs at Southington’s Crystal Bees on June 1.
“Every new experience helps a person grow and expand his vision,” said Lloyd in an interview from Israel via WhatsApp.
But, he said, “Israel is definitely beyond something that I can explain.”
“Here,” he said, “you feel it is the center of the world.”
“At the same time,” said Lloyd, “many times you’re dealing with… a feeling that you could die very quickly.”
“It gets hairy with the wars, so you… quickly have to deal with that issue,” said Lloyd. “That humbles you as a person. But also, at the same time, you want to give healing to other people.”
Most visions of Israel for America is that of a war-torn nation. But Lloyd said, despite the fear war elicits in the Middle Eastern nation “it really is totally different than anything you experience on the news.”
“People are blown away when they come over just by what a peaceful place it is and how happy the people are,” said Lloyd.
More importantly for a musician with an eclectic array of influences, Lloyd said Israel has a “vast culture.”
“The music scene is one of the most amazing… in the world just because of where it’s situated,” said the singer songwriter. “The whole mix of Middle Eastern music and Israelis’ obsession with travel helps infuse the local music with an array of influences.” The Jews who come back to Israel, bringing their own music with them, further enhances the musical stew.
“Together with (Israelis) obsession with rock and roll, blues, and all that, (the music scene is) just amazing,” said Lloyd.
Within the already broad Israeli music scene, Lloyd said, “I’m kind of unique. Not because I’m American… (but because of) the fact that I combine a kind of Appalachian look and personality with this deep spirituality of the land and my continued search for spirituality.”
Lloyd started his first band in his teens and music has always been part of his life, he said.
“My father had a lot of music in the house: jazz, blues, rock, and folk,” said Lloyd. His father’s record collection included Jerry Jeff Walker, Count Basie, and Bob Dylan’s “Slow Train Coming.”
Lloyd’s father further fostered his son’s interest in music by taking him to live shows. “My dad took me to see Stevie Ray Vaughan when I was 14. He took me to see Santana.”
Although Lloyd is from Connecticut, the Southington gig is one of the few times he has been able to get back to the United States.
Lloyd said he’s always working (he has a wife and five children to support). The trip to Connecticut is possible because it’s part of a larger tour that brings him to North Carolina, Virginia, and “all around.”
When he hits the stage, Lloyd said he often surprises himself. Sometimes, he’s emotional. Sometimes, he speaks about what’s happening in the world. Sometimes, he gets wild.
But whatever his persona is on stage, Lloyd said audiences will hear music that offers elements of blues, country, folk, bluegrass, and jam bands.
“That’s just who Lazer is,” said Lloyd.
Lazer Lloyd is performing at Crystal Bees, 240 Spring Street, Southington on Saturday, June 1 at 9 p.m.
For tickets, go to CrystalBees.com.
For more information about Lazer Lloyd, go to LazerLloyd.live.