Rick Recht shares
his love of
Musician Rick Recht
is probably best
"The Hope,'' written
as a personal anthem
Special to the Jewish News
S finger-songwriter Rick Recht uses one test for
measuring the success of his concerts. If the
audience joins in loud enough to drown out
his voice, then he knows he has been a hit.
Recht will be giving that test Sunday evening,
April 17, when he performs at Congregation
Shaarey Zedek in Southfield. The family music
artist will adapt selections from his CDs into inter-
active numbers, delivering Jewish messages in rock,
pop and folk beats.
The performer is sure to spotlight "The Hope,"
probably his best-known piece, written as a person-
al anthem for Israel.
"This show will be for all ages," says Recht, 34, a
guitarist whose vocals will be joined by percussion-
ist Dennis Stringfield and bass guitarist Logan
Detering. "By the end of the evening, members of
the audience — maybe according to age — should
be singing, dancing and even jumping up and
"One of the things I love about Jewish music is
that you can bring together little kids, teens, their
parents and their grandparents in the same setting
and create a type of musical magic that excites
everyone all at once," says Recht. "I look at these
community gatherings as incredible opportunities
to reach out to each person and help them all open
up and connect in a really positive, Jewish way."
Recht, whose only previous performance in
Michigan was at Tamarack's Camp Maas in
Ortonville, has six CDs to call upon for material in
his show, which is presented with English and
Hebrew lyrics. While five CDs have original and
traditional religious songs, his most recent record-
ing, What Feels So Right, features secular selections
to express different aspects of his personality.
Music began feeling right for Recht when he was
8 years old. A fan of Elvis Presley, he started taking
guitar lessons and coming up with songs of his
Although raised in St. Louis, Recht found a lot of
motivation in Motown legacies, from cars to music.
During summer family driving trips, to combat
getting bored in the backseat, he would work on
composing. Later and with a lot more excitement,
he would drive a van to appear around the country.
"I never played in high school bands and went to
the University of Southern California to study busi-
ness and communications," Recht recalls. "While I
was in college, I played in a professional band,
Collage, and worked in area clubs. I liked perform-
ing best of what I was doing, went on to take class-
es at the Music Institute of Hollywood and began
touring as a solo artist in rock clubs."
After completing his California schooling, Recht
decided to make his base St. Louis, where he had
developed a strong Jewish identity attending the
city's Traditional Congregation, a Conservative syn-
agogue, and participating in activities with the
Reform youth group NFTY (North American
Federation of Temple Youth).
Although enjoying his travels opening for national
acts — such as Three Dog Night, Supertramp and
Chris Rock — he ultimately got the idea for a first
album, Toy, devoted to Jewish music, and it was
completed in the summer of 1999.
"I had guitar students in St. Louis, and one, the
director of a Conservative Jewish day camp, asked
me to be a song leader," says Recht, who went to
Israel to celebrate his bar mitzvah and returned to
the country several times since then. "During that
summer at camp, I took off from the band and
quickly learned 30 Jewish songs. I loved working
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