Everyone can help with Dallas native’s 3rd album
By Deb Silverthorn
“It’s anchors or balloons, you keep building me up then shooting me down,” sings Dallas native Josh Goldberg. The title track lyrics of “Anchors and Balloons” reflect those closest to Goldberg; his friends, family, fans and his community, which began here in Dallas and now extends across the country as his beautiful and meaningful voice, the spirit in his step and song reach far and wide.
The musician, who turns 28 June 25, is hoping many of his followers will participate in an Indiegogo campaign, open until Monday, July 8. Goldberg will produce this, his third album, under his own label, Kosher Style Records, which has already produced 12 other contemporary Jewish music artists.
“Anchors and Balloons” is a mix of Hebrew and English, of liturgical and original heartbeats including “Adonai S’fatai,” “Found You,” “Hinei Mah Tov,” “Modeh Ani,” “Modim Anachnu Lach,” “Shalom Rav,” “Shema Koleinu,” “Shiru Ladonai” and “V’shamru.”
“Almost everything in life is either an anchor or a balloon. Anchors can keep you grounded, humble, calm and safe. But when they become too heavy, they can be burdensome, weigh you down, and make you feel stuck and unable to continue your journey,” said Goldberg, crediting friend Max Jared for the album’s metaphorical inspiration.
“Balloons, though, lift your spirits, bring self-worth and make you feel joy but, when too full of air, can give hubris and bloat your ego until you soar into the sun and burn like Icarus,” Goldberg added.
The one holding Goldberg’s chain and string is Andrea, his wife of 11 months. The two met in a choir. The upcoming album will feature “As Long As You’re By My Side,” their vows sung to each other under the chuppah.
Goldberg’s first taste of performance came through the Aaron Family JCC’s musical theater productions. The Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts graduate studied piano at the age of six, and began guitar in middle school. After graduating from high school, Goldberg ended up at the University of Southern California, where he majored in contemporary music.
Much of Goldberg’s music comes from intimate moments and people in his life. On his album “One,” there is “Love, Love, Love,” which he wrote the night his grandmother passed away. “Anchors and Balloons” will offer “Jenna’s Song,” written and first performed for his sister on the occasion of her bat mitzvah nearly a decade ago.
In “The Day that Turned my World Around,” Goldberg’s broken soul is expressed about the loss of the late Tracy Fisher, who passed away at the start of their freshman year in college. A precious friendship formed for the two as young children on the stage at the JCC.
“This new album reflects Josh’s continuing journey in song and prayer. He continues to evolve as a Jewish artist,” said Josh’s father, Marshal Goldberg. “I never cease to be amazed by Josh’s talents as a singer and songwriter and the depth of his Jewish soul.”
A cantorial student at the Academy for Jewish Religion California, Goldberg performs around the country, is the musical director at The Open Temple in Venice, California and is a cantorial intern at Temple Akiba in Los Angeles.
It is the clergy of Goldberg’s home synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, and its former cantor, Richard Cohn, Goldberg said, that have lifted him since his childhood.
“Watching Josh blossom and grow as a spiritual leader has been one of the joys of my rabbinate. In song he’s found his own language for the Jewish commitment that has always been part of his and his family’s path,” said David Stern, senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El. “His music is a window into his soul, providing an opening invitation to ours. What a blessing to the Jewish community that his vision and gifts continue to gain even greater reach, finding ever-greater depth.”
In addition to recording and performing, Goldberg was producer of the “Jewish Star” album. Among the three finalists of Jewish Rock Radio’s Jewish Star Competition chosen to record was McKinney resident and Adat Chaverim member Andrew Goldstein.
Houston native Joe Buchanan is one of the many Jewish music professionals with whom Goldberg has performed; Buchanan said being Goldberg’s friend and fellow musician is an honor.
“Josh has done so much to foster Jewish music,” said Buchanan, who will bring his own brand of Americana country about Jewish life to a concert in Dallas next year.
“Participating in this campaign, and helping this album come forth, is about joining the community around Josh, about supporting the music, the artist, this really fine young man. It’s about saying I support your vision and I’m on your team.”
Goldberg’s lifelong team cheerleader is his mom, Cyndi Goldberg, who looks to her son’s vocation as the definition of the man himself.
As a third-grader learning about the commandments, Goldberg took literally the concept of fulfilling all 613. The rabbi told him to do the best he could to care about people and the world. In that, he would be fulfilling what is asked.
“Between a song for his sister, for his grandmother — his Bubbe, for Tracy and together now with and for Andrea — those and so many others that define Josh, there’s never been anyone so full of love,” Cyndi Goldberg said. “He’s always had an old soul and a heart of gold and I’m so proud of him for reaching a place where he can give all of that to the world.”
To participate in the Indiegogo campaign, visit indiegogo.com/projects/anchors-and-balloons. For more information about Josh Goldberg, visit joshgoldbergmusic.com.