Beth Schafer - Building Bridges With Music

Orlando, FL (PressExposure) October 24, 2007 -- If people are lonely, “…because they build walls instead of bridges,” singer-songwriter Beth Schafer must have friends on every street in America. She’s been steadily building bridges with her guitar and voice over the course of six albums, leading to her most accomplished work to date, the appropriately titled “Build That Bridge.”

Beth is not your typical pop star. She plays lead guitar with her own band, writes her own songs, and has a voice somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Sarah McLachlan. One of Schafer’s songs, “Still Small Voice” won on American Idol Underground. Oh, and she happens to be a groundbreaker in contemporary Jewish pop music.

What is “Jewish pop music”? Some of Schafer’s early albums were sung entirely in Hebrew, but the minor-chord, “Fiddler on the Roof” sound wasn’t what she was aiming for. “I started playing classical guitar when I was six,” Beth says, “I had exhausted my “folk music” phase pretty early; by the time I was eleven I had my first Les Paul knockoff and got into jazz.”

What Schafer writes today is Jewish, message-oriented lyrics set to pop music. “I’m interested in letting Jewish music sound American, but still be Jewish music. I didn’t expect that to be a problem, but some people come up and say, “That’s Jewish? It sounds like rock.”

Over time, Schafer’s songs have grown simpler, more direct. She says, “I’ve often tackled difficult subjects. I’ve tried to write in poetic ways about the not-so-nice things I’ve experienced. Through it all, I’ve become certain that what people are in need of is joy. Unapologetic, uncomplicated joy.”

Will audiences see “simplicity” as trite? Schafer says, “Love and joy should be simple. The first line of “Love Your Neighbor” explains it. “It seems so perfectly simple, we make it so complex. What should come naturally to us leaves us unnaturally vexed.” Loving your neighbor seems really simple, but apparently we haven’t gotten it right yet.”

The title “Build That Bridge” is not just a song, but also an interfaith message. Schafer explains: “To convince the world that religion is not the downfall of humanity, but is in fact the light of humanity, we need to examine what we believe and recognize the same principles in other religions. Dialogue becomes the bridge.”

What should be talked about? “Birth, death, marriage, family. These are the real issues we have in common. They expose the real humanity in religion.”

The closing song on “Build That Bridge,” entitled “Unsung,” is really a rallying cry: “Don’t let songs of praise go unsaid; Don’t let bells of freedom go unrung; Don’t let hearts of gold go unlead; Don’t let songs of hope go unsung.”

Beth Schafer’s entire catalog is available on, iTunes and all major download services. For more about her work and career, visit her web site at

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Press Release Submitted On: October 23, 2007 at 9:56 am
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