[Track note from the original record release:]
[The] Klezmorim: Freylakhs Fun Der Khupe
This band of young musicians from California has captured the zany sound of the itinerant Yiddish musicians who were fixtures at festivals and in cafés in 19th-century Europe. This tune is a traditional wedding song.
[Writing in 1980, album producers Phil Ciganer and Tom Akstens explain how and why they created an audio documentary of the 1979 Great Hudson River Revival festival:]
This album is a celebration of a celebration. The Great Hudson River Revival celebrates our ethnic heritage — celebrates who we all are — by giving aour culture back to us. The Revival is a celebration of our awareness of ourselves and of one another. This record, in turn celebrates the Revival by bringing together some of the most memorable and outstanding performances from the 1979 festival.
You will hear some music on this record which is undoubtedly familiar, as well as some music which may be completely new to you. In either case, we trust that the music here will communicate clearly with you through its own universal language. All of this music, taken together, will give you at least a suggestion of the incredible scope and diversity of the Revival and the enormous vitality of folk and ethnic music in general.
Our only real regret as producers is that this album could not be 110 hours long, because 110 hours of tape had to be edited down to less than an hour of recorded material. The final selections were difficult to make, and many excellent performances could not be included because of the obvious space limitations. We also wanted this album to honestly reflect the fact that the Revival is a cross-cultural event with a strong emphasis on the music and dance of the many ethnic communities in the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan area. All of us who are connected with the Revival feel that these communities make up what is surely the richest single resource of living ethnic tradition anywhere in the world. We wanted this aspect of the Revival to have its legitimate place on this record.
It must also be said that any selection of music represents only a part of what the Great Hudson River Revival is all about and what it has come to mean to the people of this community. Music and dance at the Revival is balanced with extensive programs in alternative energy, the environment, traditional crafts and small boat building and authentic ethnic foods. Proceeds from the event are used to support the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater's important environmental programs. We take special pride in the fact that the Revival is the cleanest festival anywhere.
Working on this project has been an exciting experience for both of us. Listening to the entire event several times over has reconfirmed our conviction that music is, after all, the common denominator among all of us: that the Revival is a place where people who are Black, White, Asian, Native American, Hispanic, Jewish and Arab can gather together as a community to share in each other's heritage of music and dance. It has also given us a chance to relive a very special festival, some remarkable music and some wonderful people. We hope you enjoy it.
Recorded live at Croton Point Park, Westchester County, New York, 23 & 24 June 1979
Co-producers: Tom Akstens and Phil Ciganer
Recording engineer (Freylakhs Fun Der Khupe): Don Wade
Mixdown engineers: Barney Cole and Don Wade
Mixed at Golden East Recording, New Canaan, Connecticut
and Calf Studios, Ithaca, New York
Final mixing and editing: Steve Cuniberti, Acme Studio, Chicago
The Great Hudson River Revival is a project of the Hudson River Sloop
Phil Ciganer, Director / Tom Akstens, Associate Director