Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
The one-man act Rebbe Soul grew out of founder/producer/vocalist/guitarist Bruce Burger's love for Hebrew music. Burger was introduced to the music as a child but quickly gravitated to rock & roll, which seemed a better vehicle for a guitarist in the early '90s. After kicking around the Los Angeles rock club scene for several years, Burger reacquainted himself with the old Hebrew melodies just for fun. His own emotional response to it, not to mention the overwhelming positive response from colleagues and fellow musicians, inspired him to produce and record the first Rebbe Soul album, simply entitled Rebbe, in 1995. While Rebbe was mainly comprised of English-language originals, the Hebrew songs received the most attention from listeners and members of the music industry. One song in particular, entitled "Avinu," garnered a huge response when it was played on San Francisco's jazz station KKSF. Album sales and support from a Jewish and non-Jewish fan base encouraged Burger to produce a second Rebbe Soul album, Fringe of Blue. The electric rendition of "Avinu" on Fringe earned rave reviews from critics at Playboy Magazine and New York Jewish Week. The success of Burger's one-man act up to this point inspired fellow Jewish artist Richard Krevolin to write him a one-man solo theater piece entitled, quite logically, Rebbe Soul-O. The theatrical show and accompanying album appeal to audiences because of the down-to-earth tone, catchy and beautiful melodies, and the easily accessible story line (a modern-day youth connects with his faith while finding his musical voice). He countinued his output with A One Man Musical Journey in 1998 and Change the World With a Sound in 2002. Rebbe Soul's works, past and present, solo or accompanied by a six-piece band, have become famous among the Jewish community. The group tours regularly, performing at major venues and festivals from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles to Boston. Burger also is the founder and lead guitarist of world music band Common Tongue.