April 18, 2006
Meir Ariel's musical offspring
The Jerusalem Post profiles Shahar and Ehud Ariel:
While things may currently be looking good for the brothers, it can't be easy carrying the "son of" tag with you on stage. "It doesn't bother me at all," says Ehud, at 29 the younger of the two by seven years, who recently became religious. "I feel it is a great privilege to be the son of Meir Ariel."
Shahar has a somewhat less PC take. "If anyone just looks at us as the sons of Meir Ariel, that's their problem," he declares. "We do our own thing." It's not as if the Ariels are exactly in denial of their famous parent. Both admit to learning a lot from the troubadour who died suddenly in 1999 at the age of 57. Besides his blues- and folk-inflected tunes, Ariel Sr. was known for his ability to mold the Hebrew language into practically any form he wished. Shahar and Ehud recall that with affection.
"Yes, the language thing comes into my work a lot," says Shahar. "I get inspiration from Meir's songs, and play around with things. The written word is very important for us, as it was for Meir, but we believe our new CD has its own merits. Sometimes I feel Meir's presence very strongly when I'm working on something."
There are plenty of other influences too. "Ehud will probably tell you he takes a lot from British rock, but I'm more into American rock, folk-rock and blues -- guys like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead." In fact, Ehud mentioned the first three as major sources of inspiration, plus local artists such as Shalom Hanokh and seventies super group Kaveret.