Rob Tobias photo
Maximo Productions Audio Video
Rob Tobias and Friends

Discography

CD Baby

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Rob Tobias and The Northwest Express

Performers

Rob Tobias: Acoustic guitar, Keyboard, Vocals, Harmonica
Rich Glauber: Bass, Keyboard, Vocals
Nancy Evergreen: Vocals
Ralph Novak: Electric and Acoustic Guitar
Sean Brennan: Drums
David O’Toole: Horns, Flute

with special guests:
Jerry Zybach: slide guitar (3, 15)
Theo Halpern: Percussion (15)
Chip Cohen: Fiddle (4, 6)
Rick Markstrom (12), Karly Loveling (15), Eostar (9): Vocals

Reviews

Read the review by Serena Markstrom of the Eugene Register Guard

Lyrics

THE SEED   (Rob Tobias)
I’m trying to remember, a simple way of being 
A simple way of being in my mind, in my mind
Trying to recover, a simple way of living                 
A simple way of living in this time, in this time

(chorus)    Cause love is the gift that keeps on giving          
                
When we’re lovin’ the life that we’re living
                  It’s a seed, a seed, and an inspiration
                  It’s a seed, a seed, for re-generation, re-generation

I’m trying to discover, a simple way of giving      
a simple way of giving with my life, with my life
Trying to uncover, a simple piece that’s missing
a simple piece that’s missing in this time, in this time        (chorus)

BELLA RUE   (Rob Tobias)
Bella Rue, I love you   
Just want you to know it’s true
The air feels lighter when I’m with you               
I really love you Bella Rue

I just want to walk with you      
I just want to talk with you
I just want you close to me             
There’s no place that I would rather be

(chorus)    Bella Rue, (Bella Rue)
                 Bella Rue,  (My Bella Rue)     
                 Bella Rue,  (Bella Rue)     
                 I really love you Bella Rue

(bridge)    I really don’t know, why you affect me so
                 Could be the smile on your face, Could be your warm embrace

I just want to walk with you      
I just want to talk with you
I just want you close to me             
There’s no place that I would rather be
    (chorus)    (bridge)    (chorus)   

THE NORTHWEST EXPRESS   (Rob Tobias)
(chorus)   
Riding on that train, The Northwest Express
                
Riding through the rain,  on the North,  West,   Express

Before the 1800s, it was Indian land
Then came Lewis and Clark and “Go West Young Man”
For so many people, it’s the end of the rainbow
Breakin’ free from California, New York, Chicago...

(chorus)               Riding on that train, The Northwest Express

There’s that independent spirit, and the micro brew
Plenty of wholesome food, and people good to you
You can stand by the river, up in the Cascades high
Not too far from the coastline where the eagle still flies

(chorus)               Riding on that train, The Northwest Express

They got some good clean water, crystal clear lakes
Old growth forests, and salmon steaks
Ducks and Beavers, Huskies and Cougars
Mariners, and Blazers, hippies and loggers

(chorus)              Riding on that train, The Northwest Express

GOOD TIME     (Rob Tobias)
One bright morning, the sun was shining   
You came a riding, and we started talking
You showed me the flowers in your bouquet
“Such bright colors,” I say,    
I picked one and it flew away, just like a bird
You said it was a good sign   
That we could have a good time             
Don't you want to have a good time, tonight

You said it was a tight fit, and we should never quit
But I took a hard hit, and I just can’t seem to shake it
Now, another day goes by, I can see those bluebirds fly
Wipe these tears from our eyes
I think we both should have a good time
Don’t you want to have a good time
I want to have a good time, tonight

S.O.U.L.  (Rob Tobias)
What’s the sound of universal love?
The sound of soul
What’s the sound of universal love?   
The sound of soul     S.O.U.L.    S.O.U.L.

Sometimes you just got to let it come on through
Just get on out of the way
No need, no need to judge
Let the soul have it’s way...

That’s the sound of universal love,
The sound of soul...     S.O.U.L.    S.O.U.L.    

You see it in the face of little girl standing on the beach
Just 6 years old, but you can see it in her eyes
She speaks with a voice that’s been through it all
So very young and very wise…

(chorus)    That’s the sound of universal love,
              The sound of soul...     S.O.U.L.   S.O.U.L.   

A certain vibration, you know it when you feel it
A goose-bump tingle in your chest
It’s like love, in the deepest sense
Being in the flow, and letting go

(chorus)    That’s the sound of universal love...

It’s loving exactly where you are          
Even loving the changes
Like going soul diving in your heart          
Breathing as the essence rings out 

(chorus)    That’s the sound of universal love...


GOING INTO TOWN     (Rob Tobias)
I’m going into town, see what’s going on (x2)   
Gonna take it all in,  sit down and write you a song

You might find me sittin’, sittin’ by that big old tree (x2)     
Looking for that connection, I feel it comin’ to me

Now the streets are full of holes, money’s kind of tight (x2)    
It’s time sing a new tune, shine a little light

I’m going into town, see what’s happening down there (x2)   
I hear the mood is changin’, something’s shifting in the air

Well I’m going down the hill past the school and the train tracks too (x2)   
I try to listen for the music, look past all the fools

If you follow running water you might find the waterfall (x2)   
If you listen to your heart,  might hear the angels call

A HOUSE DIVIDED     (Rob Tobias)
Abraham Lincoln was our 16th President
A backwoods boy from Illinois to Washington he went
Abe was a wise man, he knew just what to say
And many of his words hold true to this day

(chorus)      He said,   “A house divided can not stand           A house divided can not stand
                                     A house divided can not stand           It can not stand”

Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg address
“Four score and seven years ago...” you know the rest
He said the soldiers died, so that we might be free, in our nation built on liberty

He said, “You can fool some of the people, all of the time
And all of the people, some of the time
But you can not, fool all of the people, all of the time”    

(chorus)      A house divided can not stand    

He said, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing’s wrong.”
and “Those who deny freedom, don’t deserve it themselves”
So he gave that proclamation all people must be free
While the Union battled the Confederacy        

(chorus)      A house divided can not stand    

Lincoln had a dream that someone shot him down
He’d just began his second term and the war was winding down
His plan for reconstruction had only just begun
When a white supremacist killed him with a gun

He said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all,
Let us strive on to finish the work we are in,
That we may achieve a just and lasting peace
Among ourselves and with all nations.”                

(chorus)      A house divided can not stand    

PLANETARY  BLUES     (Rob Tobias)
Snow storms in April, Hail in May           80 degrees, and it’s Christmas Day
(chorus)           What have we done?   What have we done?
                        
Tell me what have we done         to the planet we’re living on?

When you can’t drink the water           And you can’t breath the air
And people walking around, like they don’t even care        What have we done?  (chorus)

The reservoirs are empty, The well’s gone dry
We’re trashing this place and it makes me want to cry        What have we done?  (chorus)

Could it be the pesticides are killing off the bees?
Who’s gonna pollinate the fruit trees?                                 What have we done?  (chorus)

Gonna pump the oil, Burn all the coal
Keep on taking from the land till the earth’s got no soul      What have we done?  (chorus)

BLESS ALL THE LAND   (SaraTone)
Bless all the land and the leaves and the trees
And the air we breath, air we breath,  breath in   (repeat)

Thank you earth for witnessing           Thank you trees for listening
To these human songs we sing in offering we sing  (repeat)

We sing, we sing,  We sing, we sing             We sing, we sing,  in offering we sing
(chorus)  Bless all the land...

Thank you for the streams that flow          
Thank you for the breeze that blows
Thank you for the breath to sing in offering   (repeat)

We sing, we sing,  We sing, we sing             We sing, we sing,  in offering we sing
(chorus)  Bless all the land...

GREEN IS HOT   (Rob Tobias)
(chorus)  Green is hot, and gettin’ hotter  We gotta stop this earth, from gettin’ warmer     
               Green ideas can turn it around,   Buy green,  sell green,  plant a tree in the ground

Grow your own food, support your local farmer, recycle,  cut down on waste
Keep a compost bucket, hang the clothes to dry, it’s time to give electric cars a try
Ride a bike; walk when you can, take a bus, commute on a train 
The smaller footprint that we make, leaves more ice for the polar bears to mate

(chorus)  Green is hot, and gettin’ hotter ...

Tax incentives for the carpool    Ice cream treats when you bike it to school
Create a carbon eater fly,           Green collar jobs - reach for the sky

Use solar,  to heat your hot water.  Insulate the house, put on a sweater
Cut down on that stuff you buy, Share with the neighbors, bake a zucchini pie
Make it natural, organic, go on a date with a bio-diesel mechanic
Environmental friendly, smoke free, ocean waves makin’ electricity

(chorus)  Green is hot, and gettin’ hotter 
...

Somethings got to give, after the flood where you gonna live
Maybe space will be the place to be, aboard a green ship powered by broccoli

Green tea, Seaweed pasta, Wheat grass, Spiralina
Spinach, string bean, guacamole, pear, if it’s a green, you got to be there

Cleaning up our carbon mess, seems like an awful difficult task
But we went to the moon and unlocked DNA, anything is possible, who’s to say!

When I say green I think sustainable, environmental conservation?  Think frugal
What’s good for the wallet is good for the planet Less is more, sometimes, don’t you know

(chorus)  Green is hot, and gettin’ hotter 
...

How bout a little green on the American flag, now there’s a green dream...

BEST OF A BAD SITUATION   (Rob Tobias)
Trying to make the best of a bad situation              
Trying to make the best of a bad situation
I can see it in her eyes, the way she looks right through me
I can see it in her face, like she don’t even know me

Oh it’s getting so cold, she’s giving me the freeze
She’s giving me the freeze and I can’t even breathe
Aw baby, you're giving me the blues                      
Oh baby, what can I do, to try and get back to ya

Trying to make the best of a bad situation                  
Trying to make the best of a bad situation
I try to remember the good things, when we were flying high
Now it seems like everything I say, just makes you want to cry

Well, I know I’ve been gone, I know it ain’t right
I know it ain’t right when you’re lonely at night
Baby, it’s giving me the blues                                    
Baby, what can I do, come on throw me a rope now

Trying to make the best of a bad situation               
Trying to make the best of a bad situation
Trying to make the best of a bad situation, yeah

Trying to make the best of a bad situation              
Trying to make the best of a bad situation
Was it something that I said?    Something that I did?
Give me just clue, Don’t keep it all hid

Cause we’re digging a hole, digging so deep
From down in the hole I can’t even see
Aw baby, you're giving me the blues                                    
Oh baby, what can I do, to try and get back to ya

Trying to make the best of a bad situation               
Trying to make the best of a bad situation
Trying to make the best of a bad situation, yeah

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE  (Rob Tobias)
Hope for the future, time    Hope for the future, time

A suicide bomber, a baby with aides, an oil truck driver, a child slave
A young single mother, a drunken house wife,
 a white collar criminal runnin’ for his life need some

Hope for the future, time    Hope for the future, time

A man with no home, or country to live,
a girl who fells she has nothing, nothing to give
A power hungry bully, who hurts with no care,
People holding back, cause they’re afraid to share need some

Hope for the future, time    Hope for the future, time

We’re gonna lie down, where we make our bed
It’s gonna reflect, what’s in our head
If we want freedom, and a promised land
We got to believe and say yes we can, yes we can have some

Hope for the future, time    Hope for the future, time
For the future time, For the future time

ANGELS HAVE BEEN BUSY   (Rob Tobias)
As in heaven, as on earth
Crossing over, giving birth
When your hear that sound                
It’s the angels gathering round
And the angels, have been busy, today

Across the water, thru the trees             
Just a whisper in the breeze
Could be a deer or a bird                   
Could be a feeling or a word
Those angels have been busy today

A knock came on my door                   
The phone rang, it rang some more
A shadow came across my face             
Then it left without a trace
Those angels have been busy today

The days & nights seem to go so slow             
That same old path, I no longer know
A new bloom in the flowerbed                     
A new thought came across my head
And those angels have been busy today   
And those angels have been busy today
All those angels have been busy____today

THE WEALTH OF KINGS   (Mary Kaufman Tobias / Rob Tobias)
Have you ever watched the sun come up, far on a distant hill?
Or had that inward feeling, that the light is God's will?
Ever watched the evening shadows dance across the lawn?
Or seen the world fall fast asleep until the breaking dawn?

If you’ve seen and savored all these things
Then you my friend possess the wealth of kings             
The wealth of kings, wealth of kings                      
You my friend possess the wealth of kings                          

Have you ever seen love in a raindrop or felt the kiss of a snowflake?
Ever gone to sleep at night with faith in the morning you’ll wake?
Ever seen his touch in a field of waving wheat?
Or felt his cool close presence in a scorching heat?

If you’ve seen and savored all these things
Then you my friend possess the wealth of kings             
The wealth of kings, wealth of kings                      
You my friend possess the wealth of kings                          

YOUR LOVE   (Rob Tobias)
The saving grace on a hot summer day   The way that the wind blows across your face
In the time it takes to speak your name    Love surrounds you like the falling rain
And I know, it’s your love

(chorus)      I love your love, your love, your love    I love your love, your love, your love                
                   I love your love, your love, your love   I love your love, your love and
                   I know, I see,  it’s your love

In a perfect stream where the sun beats down      And the chorus of life has got a natural sound
Compassion rules the rocks in the road                Clearing the path where we take our load 
And I know, it’s your love... I love your love... (chorus)

Love is like a mountain (mountain)  You’ve just got to climb (climb)
Love is like the valley (valley)  With the fruit (with the fruit) on the vine (on the vine)
I love your love... (chorus)

CD Baby

Click Here to listen to tracks, or purchase the CD.

By the River Renewing the Jewish Spirit

Performers

Rob Tobias: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard, Harmonica, Percussion
Maxxine: Flute
Nancy Wood: Vocals
Rich Glauber: Bass, Keyboard
Natty O: Bass, Electric Guitar
Jeremy Wegner: Mandolin, Sitar
Ken Sokaloff: Drums, Percussion
Debby Sugarman, Beth Rose, Jenya Lemeshow, Paul Safar: Vocals

Reviews

"I received your new CD and it is wonderful. The prominent flute is a lovely touch. Also, the Days of Awe song will certainly get onto a future program."
Mike Sherman
Host of Rejuvenating Heritage
KUMA, College Station, TX

When I saw the song list on the album, I couldn't wait to listen to the CD. And I wasn't disappointed. A practitioner of Jewish renewal (a form of Reform Judaism), Eugene, Oregon's Rob Tobias is the modern version of the traditional Jewish music group Safam. Tobias relies on his Jewish roots to help inspire his music. His music has been referred to as Jewish Americana. Tobias takes traditional Jewish songs and performs them for a modern world. By the River is Tobias's fifth album. He uses his voice, guitar, piano, a few friends and the exceptional flute playing of pal Maxxine to paint images of rivers, peace and Shabbos (the Sabbath). Some of the 16 songs were taken from traditional Jewish songs and others were inspired by a trip to a kibbutz in Israel, but all of them are tunes to lift your hearts and celebrate life. By the River is an album with Jewish music, but it is an album for anyone who enjoys good sounds.
Sherrill Fulghum
Rambles.NET review

Lyrics

DAYS OF AWE   by Rob Tobias

In the days, days of awe We come together to center ourselves
In the days, days of awe We come together to cleanse ourselves
T’shuvah, Returning, Turning, to the essence
T’shuvah, Returning, Turning, to the essence
Of who we are, of who we are, of who we are

In the days, days of awe We come together to center ourselves
In the days, days of awe We come together to cleanse ourselves
T’shuvah, Returning, Turning, to the essence
T’shuvah, Returning, Turning, to the essence
T’shuvah, Returning, Turning, to the essence We are opening up to the sweet surrender
T’shuvah, Returning, Turning, to the essence Of the luminous love light of the one
Of who we are, of who we are, of who we are

HI NEY MATOV   by Rich Glauber / traditional

(chorus) Hi Ney Matov U-Ma Na-im Shevet A-chim Gam Ya-chad
Hi Ney Matov U-Ma Na-im Shevet A-chim Gam Ya-chad, Gam Ya-chad

That means together, Gam Ya-chad
Sisters and Brothers, Gam Ya-chad
How good and how pleasant, Gam Ya-chad
When we come together, Gam Ya-chad (chorus)

People of the World, Gam Ya-chad
Jews and Muslims, Gam Ya-chad
The Rich and the Poor, Gam Ya-chad
The Left and the Right, Gam Ya-chad (chorus)

Sisters and Brothers, Gam Ya-chad
Under one tent, Gam Ya-chad
People of the world, Gam Ya-chad
Together in peace, Gam Ya-chad

TRAVELING AGAIN  by Rob Tobias

Through the dark and the rain, we’re traveling again
Trying to find the way back home
Through the hurt and the pain, we’re traveling again
Trying to find the way back home

Where there can be love and there can be light even in the darkest night
The darkest night, that’s when we light up the flames
There can be peace if we start right here
Even if it’s not so clear, not so clear, which road will take us there

From Eastern Europe and from Spain, Ethiopia and the Ukraine
Just trying to find a place to call home
We’ve been accused, we’ve been blamed, now we’re traveling again
Just trying to find a way back home

Where there can be love and there can be light
Even in the darkest night, the darkest night
That’s when we light up our flames
And there can be peace if we start right here
Even when it’s not so clear, not so clear
Which road will take us there

TREE OF LIFE   by Rob Tobias

Yay dy dy, yay dy dy, yay day day day day day…

Breath in, breath out, breath in Breath out, breath in, breath out
Etz Chaim, Tree of life Etz Chaim Etz Chaim, Tree of life Etz Chaim

What the tree breathes in I breath out What I breath out, the tree breathes in
Etz Chaim, Tree of life Etz Chaim Etz Chaim, Tree of life Etz Chaim

And I reach and I turn, I teach and I learn I'm reaching for the highest branch I see
I reach and I turn, I teach and I learn I'm reaching for the branches of that tree

Breath in, breath out, breath in Breath out, breath in, breath out
Etz Chaim, Tree of life Etz Chaim Etz Chaim, Tree of life Etz Chaim

JORDAN RIVER SONG   by Rob Tobias

Walking along by the Jordan River, underneath green canopy
Water flowing and the birds are singing, it’s such a peaceful place to be
(chorus) Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelu, ooo, jah
              Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelu, ooo, jah

Walking along by the Jordan River, among the willows and sycamores
Birds in the sky make loops, call out to me, with colorful wings I’ve never seen before
(chorus)

The sun is setting on the Jordan river, clouds reflecting pink and orange
Ahhh, its heavenly, can you smell, the honeysuckle fragrance in the air
(chorus)

Walking along by the Jordan River, Biblical land of history
Peace is here in the beauty of nature, flowing on through the centuries
(chorus)


RIVERS OF BABYLON   by B. Dowe / F. McNaughton

By the Rivers of Babylon, where we sat down
And there we wept, cause we remember Zion

And the wicked carried us away captivity, required from us a song
How can we sing a holy song in a strange land

And may the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts
Be acceptable in thy sight, over I

SHABBOS SONG  by Rob Tobias

On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, candle lights
On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, cup of wine
On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, hallah bread
On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, Shabbos song

On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, we relax
On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, take our time
On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, we give thanks
On Shabbos, on Shabbos, on Shabbos, Shabbos song

It’s such a joy, it’s such a joy, just to sing on a shabbos song
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice and sing on a shabbos song Ly ly ly…

Shabbat Shalom, Shabbat Shalom, Shabbat Shalom
Shabbat Shalom, Shabbat Shalom, Shabbat Shalom
Shabbat, Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom, Shabbat Shabbat Shalom
Shabbat, Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom, Shabbat Shabbat Shalom

SH’MA   by Rob Tobias / traditional

Sh'ma Yisrael Yah Eloheinu Yah Echod
Sh'ma Yisrael Yah Eloheinu Yah Echod

Listen people listen, we are one Listen and know we are one
Listen people listen, we are one Listen and know we are one

Baruch Shaym Kivohd Malchutoh, Layohlum Voy-ed
Baruch Shaym Kivohd Malchutoh, Layohlum Voy-ed

We will love G-d with all of our hearts, all of our souls and our might
We will love G-d with all of our hearts, all of our souls and our might

Sh'ma Yisrael Yah Eloheinu Yah Echod
Baruch Shaym Kivohd Malchutoh Layohlum Voy-ed

NEVER WALK ALONE   by Rob Tobias

Look to the east, look to the west To the north and to the south
Look high above and down below and deep inside

(chorus)  Water, healer          The air we breathe
               Fire, burning desire These earth roots hold me here
               We never walk alone, never walk alone
Never walk alone, never walk alone

Uriel, Gabriel , Michael, and Rafael Angel, Earth Angel, calling you
(chorus)


CHANGE IN THE WORLD
  by Rob Tobias

Here we are right now, this is the state we’re in
If we want to make changes we got to roll up our sleeves and begin
Some days I want to change the house I live in
Some day I want to change the car I drive
Some days I just want to wake up and feel more alive
And make some changes, make a change

Transformation happens every day in the work we do and the games we play
Who calls the shots, who makes the pitch, who molds the clay
It’s so easy to complain, so easy to place the blame
Another day, another dollar, another chance, to make a difference in the world
Make some changes, make a change

(chorus) oh Monday, get ready to go, Tuesday, get yourself on a roll
Wednesday, you got that thirst Thursday, it’s a little bit worse but
Friday, joyful night Saturday, step out into the light, and
Sunday get ready for a change in the world
Change in the world, change in the world, change in the world

Change is happening all around, it’s just, sometimes we get stuck and we get down
And the darkness covers up, the light within
If I could learn to just get out of the way, Let the brightness come and fill my day
I could heal, I could see a clear path ahead… and make some changes, make a change

(chorus)

KEEP ON DREAMING    by Pied Pumkin

I can make the mountains ring, hear those birdies sing
Wind will set the trees to dancing
We can sing the sun to shine (We can sing the sun to shine)
Set your mind to glowing (Set your mind to glowing)

Laugh away your troubles, break out the moonshine (monkey shine now)
Sitting in a tree sheltered from the cold of an evening breeze

You can change the world, set your mind to it (Put your heart through it)
Reach out to what you can climb, You know where we all belong so
Keep on dreaming and get yourself strong (Keep on dreaming and get yourself strong)

OR SHALOM  by Rich Glauber

Now we kindle a miracle, the flame that would never die
Let it guide us on our way, through the darkest night
It’s growing brighter every day, I know it in my soul
It’s the light of freedom, light of peace, Or Shalom

(chorus) Or Shalom, Shine the light of peace
It can illumine every home, Or Shalom, Or Shalom
Or Shalom, Shine the light on me
Let it illumine every home, Or Shalom, Or Shalom, Or Shalom

We remember the miracle, a flame that would never die
Let it guide us on our way, through the longest night
It’s growing brighter every day, I know it in my soul
It’s the light of freedom, light of peace, Or Shalom    (chorus)


ROCK OF AGES   traditional

Rock of ages let our song, praise thy saving power
Thou amidst the raging foes, was our sheltering tower,
Our sheltering tower, (Praise thy saving power) Rock of ages
Rock of ages (Was our sheltering tower) Rock of ages

Furious they assailed us, but your arm, your arm availed us
And your word, it broke their sword, when our own strength failed us,
Our own strength failed us (Praise thy saving power) (Was our sheltering tower)

Children of the wanderers whether free or fettered
Wake the echo of the songs, though they may be scattered,
They may be scattered (Praise thy saving power) Rock of ages
Rock of ages (Was our sheltering tower) Rock of ages

Yours the message that we cheer, and the time is drawing near
When we will see people free, and the tyrants disappearing,
Tyrants disappearing (Praise thy saving power) Rock of ages
Rock of ages (Was our sheltering tower) Rock of ages

CIRCLE ROUND FOR FREEDOM   by Linda Hirschorn

Circle round for freedom, circle round for peace
For all of us imprisoned circle for release
Circle for the planet, circle for each soul
And for the children of our children, keep the circle whole

Keep, Keep, Keep the circle whole, whole, whole
Keep, Keep, Keep the circle whole

ANGEL SONG   by Shlomo Carlebach

In the name Hashem, one God
Michael is on my right, Gabriel on my left
Before me is Uriel, behind me Raphel
Above my head, Shechina, the holy presence

CD Baby

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World in the World

Performers

Players:
Rob Tobias: vocals,  acoustic guitar, keyboard,  harmonica, percussion    
Maxxine Smith: flute
Jeremy Wegner: mandolin, sitar, acoustic guitar
Nancy Verdouw:  harmony vocals
Natty Bumpo:  bass
Robin Aronson: vocals
Rich Glauber: bass, keyboard
Ken Sokaloff: drums, percussion
Mike Brewer:  electric guitar
Paul Safar: vocals
Hanan Sills: vocals
Tibor Bessko: vocals  

Reviews

"This kind of a delicious eclectic gumbo, mixing an extraordinary variety of musical styles, all reinforcing very positive, often spiritual themes. Tobias, a gifted songwriter with many talents, attracts a wonderful group fo associates in this project -not least- Maxxine, whose playing infects most of the songs with a high and happy energy. "Blessings," a boucy opening song provides just what it promises. "Narrow Bridge/Tree of Life" manages to combine reggae and a Klezmer edge. "Where is the Peace?" moves through a gentle reggae vibe and many seeming lullabyes and plaintive prayers follow. I don't think you had to live through the rebirth of the 1960s to enjoy this celebration of peace and diverse cultures. Most will simply enjoy and find a quiet home in the music that has resulted in the music that has resulted from Rob Tobias's profound, creative life journey.
Victory Review

If you get a bunch of your best friends together and make an album full of songs about peace and love, this is what you'd get.Far from doom-and-gloom, "World in the World" offers messages of hope and possibility. It's a refreshing change from the "we're all gonna die" message albums. Stylistically, this album works because the flow of music and lyrics places every song on the same realm of the possibility of a brighter future. It's fun music that teaches without preaching.
Independent Songwriter Web Magazine
February 2004

"The lyrics that come through Rob Tobias are nothing less than inspired prayer. The music Rob and Maxxine create together surround these prayerful words and carry them into the spheres where prayers are heard and answered."
Renee Welfeld November 2003
Author/Therapist/Teacher

Lyrics

BLESSINGS      ©2002 by Rob Tobias 

We're coming alive, alive, and it feels all right
As we celebrate the birth of something new
We're coming alive, alive, lighting candle lights
Sending blessings and best wishes out to you

CHORUS
And may the moon and stars light the way
When darkness falls upon the road you're on
May the bright sunshine warm your heart
And love surround the path you walk upon

Shine on, shine on, there's a party going on
And we're celebrating here just for you
Shine on, shine on, be healthy and be strong
May your dreams and intuitions all be true

CHORUS

NARROW BRIDGE / TREE OF LIFE   ©2001  Traditional / Rob Tobias  

All the world is just a narrow bridge, just a narrow bridge, just a narrow bridge (repeat)
And above all, above all, is not to fear, not to fear at all  (repeat)
Yay dy dy, yi dy dy, yi da di di  di… (ect.)

Breath in, breath out, breath in 
Breath out, breath in, breath out
Etz Chaim,  Tree of life  Etz Chaim
Etz Chaim,  Tree of life  Etz Chaim

What the tree breathes in I breath out 
What I breath out, the tree breathes in
Etz Chaim,  Tree of life  Etz Chaim
Etz Chaim,  Tree of life  Etz Chaim

And I reach and I turn,  I teach and I learn

I'm reaching for the highest branch I see
I reach and I turn, I teach and I yearn
I'm reaching for the branches of that tree…

Breath in, breath out, breath in 
Breath out, breath in, breath out
Etz Chaim,  Tree of life  Etz Chaim
Etz Chaim,  Tree of life  Etz Chaim

WHERE IS THE PEACE?      ©2003 by Rob Tobias and Rich Glauber  

When the world is turned upside down and no answers can be found
Where is the peace?  Where is the peace?

When you're taking on too much stress    Feel like an alien to the rest
Where is the peace?  Where is the peace?

Each of us holds the key, in our collective wisdom and our humanity
We just need a few to make that shift, from where we are to where the spirit lives

There's too much information, Not enough appreciation  Where is the peace?
When it's hard to see beyond our selves and love is hidden in our shells
Where is the peace?  Where is the peace?

We can all sense our unity, but when do we ever just let it be?
It's so easy to fall into despair and not to see the joy that's there

Now they're making war overseas, They say they're killing for you and me  
Where is the peace?  Where is the peace?

Iraq and Afghanistan, Where is the justice in this land?
Where is the peace?  Where is the peace? Each of us holds the key…

There's spice in our very soul but there's some more that I'd like to know  
Where is the peace?   One day!  Where is the peace?   One day!

PRAYERS GIVEN WINGS    ©2002  by Rob Tobias

The rulers heart has hardened again, blood has spilled on the land
Armies are massing to fight over something, no one can understand
Wealth and power asserting their will and others are forced to obey
But the struggle for freedom in the face of oppression is never going away  Remember

Miriam danced by the water’s edge shaking her tambourine
Delivered from danger with joy in her heart, her prayers given wings
Dance, dance, dance, let your soul sing   Dance, dance, dance, like prayers? given? wings

With soldiers coming to kill and enslave, people have little choice
Walls are built and limits are set, who will hear our voice
With death and destruction coming our way, how can we hope to survive?
With heart and courage to pierce through the veil, joy will keep us alive!  Remember

Miriam danced by the water’s edge, shaking her tambourine
Delivered from danger with joy in her heart, her prayers given wings

Dance, Dance, Dance  Let your soul sing
Dance, Dance, Dance  Like prayers,  given wings   Ly, ly, ly, ly, ly, ly…

WHOLE WORLD   ©2001 by Rob Tobias  

CHORUS
Whole world, whole world, world round
Whole world, whole world in this town

And there are people dying, there are children crying
Now the pain is so great, for some it’s too late
Tell me what your thinking, this water’s not fit for drinking
Bitter taste growing, ugly face is showing                                               
CHORUS
           

No one else to blame, for the blood in my name
From distance it seems small, or I don’t see it at all
Still I know it’s certain, many people sure are hurtin’
Change comes from the heart, at least a place to start                
CHORUS
           

I know, sometimes I can be wrong             
Completely blind to what's going on
I know sometimes it don't seem real But truly free I can not feel

Want to live so isolated, then we wonder why we're hated
Even in community, fences between you and me
If one is oppressed, surely brings down the rest
Without a sense of sharing, there can be no repairing
CHORUS           

I know it's midnight for the earth, and every rock has it's worth
What's happening in another land, is not separate from my hands

Break down the walls of country, from space you can see
Borders artificial, lines between you and me
Politics and revolution, when will it be time
Peaceful evolution, all in a state of mind                                               
CHORUS           

HATE KILLS      ©1993 Green Marble Music (Three Track Mind)

CHORUS                    
Hate kills there is no doubt  
Hate can kill you from the inside out
Hate can kill you from the outside in
Release the hate and let love in  (repeat)

Hey, hey, hey, I cry                  Look the innocents have died
Hate, hate, hate, I say              Hate has killed them in so many ways
La, la, la, I sing                        Seasons changing and it's going to bring
Love, love, love I pray              Let?s live to love each other every day

CHORUS

Let love (Let love)   Let love (Let love)   Let love (Let love)  Let love in
Try, try, try I shout                  Try to love you from the inside out
Peace, peace, peace I see       Peace through love that is our destiny

CHORUS

Let love (Let love)   Let love (Let love)   Let love (Let love)  Let love in

CHILDREN OF THE EARTH    ©2003  by Rob Tobias

CHORUS                    
Children of the earth go down to the water
Children of the earth go down to the water and heal…  heal…
Children of the earth go down to the water
Children of the earth go down to the water and heal…  heal…

Hey now, hey now,    hey now, hey now,    hey now, hey now,      yeah
Hey now, hey now,    hey now, hey now,    hey now, hey now,      yeah

Hey now tell me where are you going, on that dusty road
Hard times have come now, where are we going to go?    Go down…            Go down… 

CHORUS        

As you’re traveling down the road, with your healing hands
I know you want to make a better world, anyway you can
You can heal it, change it, fix it, shake it, just try and do your best
And then go down, go down to the water and let your body rest
And heal…  heal… heal… heal…      (solo)
Hey now, hey now, hey now,  yeah    Hey now, hey now, hey now,  yeah  

Just like the Israelites in times of old… got to go down to the water, 
got to let your body go Just put one toe in at a time,  It's going to feel all right
You can do it one day at a time   Every day and every night 
Go down… go down   heal…   heal…   CHORUS                    

Mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim  (water)

ONE WORLD      ©2002  by Rob Tobias 

CHORUS      
One world, is all we've got               One love, but that's a lot
If you want peace, in our time           Together, is the bottom line      

The bottom line is justice or there can be no peace
A home for the homeless, food so the hungry ones can eat            

CHORUS      

Now's the time to express yourself,  try to get your message through
Cause every day, we get a chance to say,   I'm just the same as you, and you, you, you

CHORUS      

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you join us and the world will be as one                           

CHORUS      

You know there’s just one world, if we go messing it somewhere
It's gonna come back on us
You can try and isolate yourself for awhile but
It's going to come on your side of the fence one day
Talking about peace, talking about justice
There can't be no first world, can't be no second world
Can't be no third world, There's just one world

CHORUS      

LOVEBIRDS     ©2003  by Rob Tobias

Two lovebirds up in the tree, one could be you, one could be me
Oh those lovebirds make such a pair, away from the others without a care
In the light, and their love, in the sky high above
In this life, on this day, two lovebirds flying away____

Two lovebirds wing to wing, filling the air with their song as they sing
Oh those lovebirds so naïve, living a dream in which they believe
In the light and their love in these trees high above
In the sky in your eye in the song lovebirds sing as they fly_____

Two lovebirds together in flight, swooping and slanting they make such a sight
Oh those lovebirds, off on their own, no one will follow until they feel
The light, or the love, or the moments they're dreaming of
With their love, and their light, two lovebirds into the night

In the light and the love, in these trees high above
And they fly, and they wing, and the lovebirds sing
In the light, and their love, in the sky high above
In this life, on this day, two lovebirds flying away____

SPIRITUAL WAVE      ©2003  by Rob Tobias

And I'll be riding on a spiritual   Riding on a spiritual    Riding on a spiritual wave
I'll be riding on a spiritual          Riding on a spiritual    Riding on a spiritual wave

They're rolling in big today, rolling in sets      I slip into the waves with great respect
I can feel the power, I can feel it in my chest    It  picks me up and puts me to the test
And if I look around and see who’s here, and try to let go of my fear
I can be a healer, I can draw the angels near…

And I can ride on a spiritual... CHORUS        

Sometimes people are not too nice, they say hurtful things and not think twice
But I know in my heart, it's not my pain to keep, I got to let it roll into the deep
And if I ask myself why I'm here and angels whisper in my ear
You’re much too strong to let the current take you out to sea, listen to me
You can ride on a spiritual... CHORUS              

Sometimes I swim out too far, I forget where I am and where you are
And the waves get so big, well they could take me down below
I try and relax and go with the flow
And if I see that eagle fly or a dark wind blowing across my sky
It’s just the rise and fall, the very breath of life, that keeps me
Riding on a spiritual… CHORUS         

REFLECTIONS IN A PHOTOGRAPH    ©2002  by Rob Tobias

Looking back on some photographs, remember all the good times that we had
Our hair was long and our pants was loose, that youthful spirit was a shining through
Oh… how does it feel, now that some time has passed
Change, slow and surreal, reflected in a photograph

Revolution and revelations coming together with some good vibrations
Culture clash and misunderstandings, the end of the Beatles and lunar landings
Change, does come slowly, if it comes, comes at all
But each moment can be holy, rising high, or in free fall

Since we were babies all aglow and the world crashed down on our angel soul
Our hearts have yearned to believe, there’s more to the world than what we see
Hearts know joy and sorrow and hearts do forgive
Hearts leave tomorrow, for the precious moments where we live

Looking back on some photographs, forever young we had some laughs
Now we struggle just to make it new, sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s you
Change, does come slowly, if it comes, comes at all
But each moment can be holy, rising high, or in free fall

When we were young, to right now, shining through, trying to make it new
Oh how does it feel, now that some time has passed
Change, slow and surreal, reflected in a photograph

SHINING THROUGH    ©2002  by Rob Tobias

Your eyes, your eyes, twinkling in the twilight
Your eyes, your eyes, shimmering with love light

And when I think about your eyes, shining through, shining through

Your face, your face, blessed with expression
Your face, your face, filled with compassion

When I think about your face, shining through, shining through… CHORUS

I remember how you picked yourself up, even when life got tough
Oh and it was hard, but we shared so much
Now the tears will flow, I’m gonna let them show
For the love that you gave to me, such joyous memories

Your spirit, your spirit bigger than a mountain
Your spirit, your spirit flowing like a fountain

When I feel your spirit, shining through… CHORUS

I remember the very first day, when you came my way
the days we had in fun, going swimming out in the sun
You showed it all to me, how love can set us free

Now I know your spirit's strong, forever on and on and on    CHORUS

MAMA    ©2002  by Rob Tobias

Sitting in the yard, just mom and me, birds are singing up in the tree, mama, oh mama
Well mostly things are not too bad, sometimes she gets a little sad, mama, oh mama

I remember the other way around, when I came home feeling down
And she let the tears fall beside her
She said, “The world’s not always fair, but I’ll will try to be right there,
and you can let your heart take you where you want to go”

She kept a clean house and a garden too,
she made me wear those rubber boots to school, mama, oh mama
Well now I live kind of far away,
But when I smell those flowers in the month of May, mama, oh mama

House to house when she would move, she always took her rosebush too
And loved those blooms like her babies
Roses red and violets blue, on cloudy days and skies of blue
I can feel her love all around me

So listen to the birds go tweet, tweet, tweet,
And try to make each moment sweet, mama, oh mama
Time is short but the bond is strong,
Let the love flow on and on, mama, oh mama

SIMPLE RULES    ©2002  by Rob Tobias

CHORUS           
Just a few simple rules that we can live by
Reminders how good this life can be              
With just a few simple rules to live by
We can find the harmony

Never judge a day by the weather
The best things in life aren't things
Tell the truth, there'll be less to remember
Walk softly but wear a loud shirt

CHORUS

Loosen up, if you don't aim, you can't miss
The one who dies with the most toys, still dies
Age is relative thing
Cause when you're over the hill, you pick up speed

CHORUS         

There are two ways I can think of to get rich
Make more money or require much less
Looks don't matter, cause beauty is on the inside
No rain, you don't get rainbows

CHORUS         

PEACE TRAIN / SALAAM     (Cat Stevens / Sheva)

Now I've been happy lately, thinking bout the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun

Oh I've been smiling lately, dreaming bout the world as one
And I believe it could be, someday it's going to come

Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again
Oh peace train sounding louder, glide the peace train
Come on the peace train

Od ya-vo shalom alenu                 Od ya-vo shalom alenu
Od ya-vo shalom alenu                 V' al    ku-lam

Salaam (Salaam)                          Alenu v'al  kol ha-o-lam
Salaam,  shalom

I've been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?  Why can't we live in bliss?
Get your bags together, go bring your good friends too
Cause it's getting nearer, it will soon be with you

Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again
Oh peace train sounding louder, glide the peace train
Come on the peace train

Od ya-vo shalom alenu                   Od ya-vo shalom alenu
Od ya-vo shalom alenu                    V'al ku-lam

Salaam (Salaam)     Alenu  v'al   kol  ha- olam        Salaam,     shalom
Salaam (Salaam)     Alenu  v'al   kol  ha- olam        Salaam,     shalom

CD Baby

Click Here to listen to tracks, or purchase the CD.

Sparks

Performers

Rob Tobias: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboard, Percussion
Robin Aronson: Vocals
Jeremey Wegner: Mandolin
Bibs Goff: Drums
Jerry Leff: Bass

Special Guests:
Rich Glauber: Bass, Keyboard/Piano, Trumpet, Horn Arrangement, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Judith Levine-Friedman: Vocals
Kris Crowley: Vocals
Kathy Burleson: Vocals
Janie Smith: Vocals, Flute
Lori Deskin: Vocals
Jaime Maderas: Electric Guitar
Frank Sprouse: Electric Guitar
Paul Prince: Electric Guitar
Dan Powell: Saxophones
Mike Hatgis: Bass
Mark Schneider: Bass
Kris Thomas: Drums, Percussion

Reviews

"Eugene, Ore. based Tobias sings Jewish themes in an American country-rock style, supported by his own acoustic guitar and harmonica; mandolin, keyboards, soft percussion and friends' voices complement this gentle down-home album. The cover photo of Tobias, crouching by a campfire next to a river, casually hatted, says it all: Here's a Northwest guy incorporating the local imagery of salmon, water, stars and mountains, with Jewish ideas."

The Jewish Transcript
April 2002
by Gigi Yellen-Kahn

"Tobias combines a variety of folk styles into his songs which center around Jewish holidays and traditions, but you certainly don't have to be Jewish to appreciate the music. The overarching universal themes of freedom, peace and harmony resonate in the listener regardless of faith. The songs are upbeat and spirited -- in more ways than one -- with lyrics, melodies and harmonies that beg you to sing along."  full review at: http://www.rambles.net/tobias_sparks.html

Rambles Magazine
September 2001
by Donna Scanlon

"From the first "Because There Were Miracles" to the last "Peace, Perfect Peace" Rob Tobias's CD "Sparks" is truly upbeat and inspirational. It is contemporary Jewish music where Tobias and his group negotiate songs to celebrate by for the entire Jewish year. The songs also range from religious devotion to secular songs of hope in a wide variety of musical styles. Highlights include: "Ad Lo Yada", a funky cajun melody for Purim, "Avinu Malkeinu", an original song of spiritual renewal, "Eight Nights" a lovely, upbeat Chanukah tune, and an homage to the prophet Elijah like I hadn't heard before. Rich Glauber on keyboards and Judith Levine-Friedman on background vocals add to the joyous feel of the CD."

by Michael Sherman
Host of
Rejuvenating Heritage on KEOS

"I'll admit to knowing next to nothing about the Jewish soul or its music, but I certainly didn't expect this. It's more a blend of pop and world music that is thoroughly homegrown, like a Victory Garden, built from need, but then growing into something beautiful.

The title song, 'Sparks,' blends congas and mandolin into the usual acoustic guitar and vocal from Rob and several backing vocals, with a chorus of 'And we gather sparks to lead us from the place of dark / And the wine and spice, lead us in our daily lives / Finding strength in song, blessings that leads us on / As we begin anew, to see the mystery of me and you'. It's a song for 'Havdallah, the end of Shabbos on Saturday night when the sun goes down,' and the sparks refer to the connection of Jewish and misc. cultures that come together to connect everyone, including the author.

But it's the instrumentation and groove that really makes it hard to pin this recording into a specific genre. 'Ad Lo Yada' uses the synth to bring in a steel drum (or something of that sort) into the very tropical feel that you'd think would be more akin to beaches and Jimmy Buffet. 'All you lovely people step on down, all the best in this town / It's time to shake loose, let your hair down, let your body go round and round / AD LO, AD LO YA, AD LO YA, AD LO YADA.'

Sometimes he sounds like a white Lou Rawls, other times he's like that guy from The Band, but musically, I'm at a loss for comparison. When you hear 'I Forgot To Pray,' with the trumpet and the sax and the mandolin coming together, it's easy to get taken back to the late 60s when belief and music co-existed. It still does here."

musicdish.com
July 2001
by Ben Ohmart

"Rob's new CD is upbeat, fun and joyous. I defy anyone who hears this CD to not jump up, move, dance and celebrate with body, heart, and soul.

These songs are like old wine in new bottles the way they renew the old and make the new holy.

The melody for Sparks is so deep, so soul rending, so touching in the deepest place... the kind of thing where it brings a thrill and a tear to my soul and eyes and heart at the same time.

Rob has a wonderful way of addressing themes of our tradition and bringing it to modern times. The song, Eight Nights is a winner, a wonderful Hannukah melody for kids and young people of all ages. Overall the CD is well produced with lots of fabulous harmonies, great rhythms, and positive, inspiring messages."

Rabbi Hanan Sills
Ad-Olam, Eugene, Oregon

The newest release from Oregon-based singer/songwriter, Rob Tobias is called Sparks. With assistance from his colleague, Rich Glauber who plays keyboards, bass, brass and sings, Rob has created a CD with interesting arrangements and a jazzy, light rock feel with lots of "island" influence. Also enjoyable were the occasional vocal enhancements of Judith Levine-Friedman.

The CD begins with "Because There Were Miracles" a tune with a very John Mellencamp type feel. Rob's "Avinu Malkeynu" gives thanks and praise to God incorporating both masculine and feminine aspects of God.  The title track "Sparks" -- about Havdalah -- has a slow, jazzy feel. It's hypnotically, melodic niggun will have you swaying with the beat.

Also included are a number of songs about peace and freedom. "Brick by Brick" is a layered, chant-like piece about how the bitterness of slavery turned into the sweetness of freedom. The song, "Freedom" was reminiscent of Neil Diamond and ends with a surprising calypso-like instrumental. Toots Hibbert's "Peace, Perfect Peace" ends the CD with its gospel, spiritual feel asking for peace in our neighborhoods.

One of my favorites was "Ad Lo Yada" which has a festive, carnival feel -- almost like Mardi Gras (being a Louisianian maybe that is why I liked it so much). It would be great for line dancing! And my most favorite has to be "Walk The Bagel". What a great song! Some of the lyrics: "In the shape of the bagel, there's a lesson to learn. All things pass and then they return. Can't you see, life's a bagel." A positive message in a feel-good song.

In fact, this whole CD sets an easy-going, feel-good mood. I also applaud Rob for his environmentally friendly (sans jewel case) packaging."

jewishentertainment.net
August 2001
by Judy Caplan Ginsburgh

"Eugene singer-songwriter Rob Tobias's new release is a kind of song cycle inspired by and marking the celebrations of the Jewish calendar, including Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Purim, and several songs devoted to Passover.

Interestingly, Tobias approaches these traditional touchstones in a modern way, blending a wide variety of popular styles, including rock, pop, reggae and elements of American and Jewish folk music traditions.

The sound is bright and accessible, inviting us to forget our troubles and dance even as his lyrics explore deeper themes of spirituality, religious heritage, freedom, and personal and cultural renewal."

Victory Music Review
April 2001
by Richard Middleton

"Rob's Jewish heritage is very much a part of this musical creation. The selections on the CD include new, folk representations of such traditional pieces as Avinu Malkeinu and Eliyahu Hanavi. The selections included on Sparks also include some new, pure folk melodies that are pleasant to listen to.

The title song is a quiet song about the end of the Sabbath and the Havdalah ceremony. Rob's spirituality inhabits every melody and lyric of every track. Listening to it the first time, I was surprised at the smoothness of the melodies.

The pieces are arranged with flair and contribute to the quality of the spirituality of the music. An example of the unique quality is the Chanukah song, "Eight Nights." Rooted in the folk idiom suitable for listening or singing along, especially the repeated chorus, the group breaks into a country digression that, while a little surprising, fits right in."

The American Israelite
May 2001
by Stanley Bard

"Rob Tobias and his friends are gifted musicians, singers and arrangers. Rob sings with a spiritual intensity that I found fulfilling. I got the distinct impression he was smiling when he sang. You can hear it in his performance.

The song "Avinu Malkeinu" has a South African spiritual feel. The world beat thrives in the background as "Malkeinu" is praised for guidance and wisdom. The vocal harmonies and layering of the vocal ensemble is musically sound and very well done. The recording is also very good. I could close my eyes and imagine myself sitting in the room with a choir."

godsofmusic.com
by Mat Edwards

"Rob, I just wanted to let you know that I am really enjoying your music. I looked up your lyrics and they are great. I love your positive message and your soulful music. Your tunes transcend the ordinary and take you to a special, magical and spiritual place."

Gil Reynolds
The Testament Jones Band

"I just got Sparks and I'm loving it! The "Glauber influence" is evident in the fun, funky, Carribean/Rasta rhythms and in taking chances on some songs. Shlomo with mandolin and harmonica - wow! Love Jaime's guitar work on "Freedom" - and of course, "Walk the Bagel," with it's country/gospel roots would go over quite well here."

Robbi Sherwin
Jewish performer
Austin, Texas

Lyrics

BECAUSE THERE WERE MIRACLES
©2000 by Rob Tobias

Ring out the old Ring in the new
Let our stories be told Let our dreams come true
We can make it real If we just believe
In the power of our love and the healing that we need

Oh yeah Oh yeah, yeah yeah
Oh yeah Oh yeah, yeah yeah
I want to live I want to love
I've got to give I've got to love

Breeze is blowin', the river flows by
The salmon are runnin' the eagle flys
Give thanks for the natural world, the blessings of life
Let the great spirit soar across planet tonight

Oh yeah Oh yeah, yeah yeah
Oh yeah Oh yeah, yeah yeah
Mama look at the mountains Flowing down to the sea
Papa look at the sky Look at you and me

Because there were miracles, in these dark nights
We dedicate and celebrate, here tonight
Because there were miracles, we light these lights
Call on the ancestors here tonight

Oh yeah Oh yeah, yeah yeah
Oh yeah Oh yeah, yeah yeah
I'm staying with the positive Let the negative be gone
Life's what you make it Let's make a good one


AVINU MALKEINU
©1994 / ©1999 by Rob Tobias/Jesse Rappaport/Rich Glauber

Avinu Malkeinu, you are the river of creation
I want to get to know you but I get so lost in this civilization
Avinu Malkeinu, I know we can't hold you or contain you
It's when we let go, that's when life flows right through us

Open our eyes, Open our minds to know your wisdom
Open our hearts, Open our mouths so we can sing
Avinu Malkeinu, Avinu Malkeinu, Avinu Malkeinu, Avinu Malkeinu

Avinu Malkeinu, we look to you in this change of season
You give us life and with each breath your inspiration
Avinu Malkeinu, you are mother, father, guide and teacher
Answer our prayers, give us mercy, justice, and compassion
Open our eyes....

Mother I feel you under my feet,
Father I hear your heart beating
River running through my soul,
Light will show me the way to go
(repeats)
You are the river, You are, The giver of life
You are a teacher, You are, A guiding light

Avinu Malkeinu... Open our eyes.... Mother I feel you...
Avinu Malkeinu, Avinu Malkeinu, Avinu Malkeinu, Avinu Malkeinu


SPARKS
©1999 by Rob Tobias/Jesse Rappaport/Rich Glauber

As shabbos ends, the night descends, four stars appear,
we reach up and we draw them near

Now each star's got a story to tell
as we draw forth water from the well
A star of spice and one for the mind,
a star of light and the fruit of the vine
They're in our eyes, they're in our feet,
in every word we speak
With the wine and spice and candlelight,
Havdallah begins our week

(CHORUS)
And we gather sparks to lead us from this place of darkness
And the wine and spice, leads us in our daily lives
Finding strength in song, blessings that leads us on
As we begin anew, to see the mystery of me and you

It's there in the sparks, a flame that burns in the heart
Where that sweet smell of spice, can liven up an empty life
When we decide, to taste, not a moment is left to waste
Sip the wine, feel the light, sing and dance into the night
(CHORUS)

What are these holy sparks?
What brings us together after so long apart?
The braid, the weave, includes everyone,
we're all different but we're one
When we breath the full richness, the joy the gladness,
feel the tingle of being alive
We strectch the shabbos sparks into the week,
weave light and love into our lives

From this rest from this still,
we branch out and we always will
The world falls down, and we build it up,
say our prayers, lift our cups
ooooo the mystery, there in our history
The lessons of old, stories that our ancestors told
as they gathered sparks...
(CHORUS)


EIGHT NIGHTS
©1997 by Rob Tobias

For eight nights we light the lights,
Remember the freedom fighters
For eight nights, increase the light,
Each night a little brighter

What can we learn from the Macabbes?
Who took back their temple by force!
Who refused to bow down, or be pushed around,
fought back and raised up their voice
With just a days worth of oil to relight the altar,
a miracle came to be
It burned for eight days and nights for the Israelites and they celebrated mightily

Now for eight nights we light the lights,
Remember the freedom fighters
For eight nights, increase the light,
Each night a little brighter (Brighter, brighter)

On the first night, let there be light,
let the shamas set the others to flame
On the second and third let songs can be heard,
On the fourth play the dreydle game
On five and six light more candlesticks,
let them glow in the dark winter night
On seven and eight the gifts are great,
we're in awe of this glorious sight

Now for eight nights...

Sometimes you've got to fight for what is right
but then then you turn into a fighting machine
Once victory is won, you forget where you've come
forget all the trouble you've seen
Ah but true victory is to really be free,
not to beat up on those who are down
To make peace in the end is to make a new friend,
spread the joy around

Now for eight nights...


AD LO YADA
©1998 by Rob Tobias

Come on down and get in line, this is a dance, this is the time
This the moment, we will see, who'll cut loose and get free

Move it on up, move it on out, lose all sense of your up and down
If you can't tell the difference you know you're there
You got no worry and you got no care
(CHORUS) AD LO, AD LO YA, AD LO YA, AD LO YADA (repeats)

All you lovely people step on down, all the best in this town
It's time to shake loose, let your hair down,
let your body go round and round
(CHORUS) AD LO, AD LO YA, AD LO YA, AD LO YADA (repeats)

Now is the moment you've dreamed of this day
If you dance all right, you chase the blues away
Bend your back, bend your knees,
move it around anyway you please
(CHORUS) AD LO, AD LO YA, AD LO YA, AD LO YADA (repeats)

Hey now people, this is such a trip, you and me can sail this ship
Take this music, sail into the night,
wherever we land it's gonna be all right
(CHORUS DOUBLES) AD LO, AD LO YA, AD LO YA, AD LO YADA (repeats)

I FORGOT TO PRAY TODAY
©1999 by Rob Tobias/ Rich Glauber inspired by Naomi Boone

I forgot to pray today... Then I saw your face...
What could I say... I felt a state of grace...
Ever since you passed away I felt you close, like an angel
And I remember, I remember...
Even though you felt bad, and you were sad
You found it in your heart to reach out
So compassionate, so giving, such a blessing to us all, You said...

(Chorus) Life is so beautiful, cherish the moment
No matter what it feels like inside
Show up and greet the new day, present in a loving way
And always speak the truth, straight from your heart

I forgot to pray today... Then I heard your voice...
I know that you're OK... You said, "God will make the choice"...
What is this healing anyway?
Does it mean we get to live in these bodies forever?
I don't think so...
You said that, hardship makes you stronger, at those broken places
And you remind me what it is that I forgot to do...
(Chorus)

Let the angels sing, ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la
Don't fly away ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la...
Won't you stay ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la...
Let the angels sing, ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la
I forgot to pray today ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la, ooo la la...


BRICK BY BRICK
©2000 by Rob Tobias

Brick by brick I lay my brick, I lay my brick in the sun
Working like a slave, working for the man, laying brick ain't no fun
(Sweet Honey Baby)

Sweet honey baby (Brick by brick)
Sweet honey yeah (Sweet Honey Baby)
The fruits of my labor (Brick by brick)
Sweet honey yeah (Sweet Honey Yeah)

Make the bitter go down easy (Brick by brick)
Make the bitter go down (Sweet Honey Baby)
Make the bitter go down easy (Brick by brick)
Make the bitter go down (Sweet Honey Yeah)


ELIYAHU
©1994 by Tobias/Glauber/Rappaport

Who's the man who's got the key? (Eliyahu!)
It's Eliyahu Hanavi (Eliyahu Hanavi)

Lived on earth so many years (Eliyahu!)
Now he travels the heavenly speheres (Eliyahu Hanavi)

You never know where he's gonna be (Eliyahu!)
Eliyahu's got the master key! (Eliyahu Hanavi)

He's got all access clearance (Eliyahu!)
Never know when he'll make his next appearance (Eliyahu Hanavi)

Eliyahu! Eliyahu Hanavi Eliyahu! Eliyahu Hanavi


FREEDOM
©1994 by Rob Tobias

(Chorus)
Remember, Remember, Always remember the days of slavery
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom is what we celebrate today
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom, Freedom

So much pain, so much suffering
Ah but look what a beautiful morning,
and all the hope tomorrow brings
When trouble blows in, you know it's time to act
There's no time to let your bread rise,
but plenty of time to open your eyes so...
(Chorus) Remember....

I remember, me and my brother asking why
Why do we eat this unleven bread,
and this bitter herb it's gone to my head
And Papa said, "Imagine all your friends in bonds and chains...
Imagine your first son dying,
and blood pouring down from the sky like rain"
(Chorus) Remember....

We had to go, we had to leave real fast
Leave this place of misery and find ourselves a home at last
But we always remember those slavery days and we...
Realize, the way things are, those days are never far away so...
(Chorus) Remember....


WALK THE BAGEL
by Rob Tobias ©1994

When hunger creeps up and the futures unclear,
a little bit of heaven is always near
It's in the dough, It's in the whole
It goes around and it comes around
It's the bread of life, our destiny
It's all right here, in the bagel

(Chorus) Walk the bagel, Talk the bagel
Reach out your hand, it's mannah from heaven
In the shape of a bagel there's a lesson to learn
All things pass but then they return Can't ya see, life's a bagel

Walking around the desert with an aching thirst,
seems like life can't get much worse
But look around, there's plenty for all
Moses got the word, "We'll all be fed"
next day it rained that holy bread
Don't ya worry, just grab a bagel (Chorus)

It feeds the hunger of the body, and the hunger of the soul
So come on let's eat that holy roll, source of life, our daily bread
Just like matzah led em out of slavery,
gave em the strength to cross the ol Red sea
Behold, it's the bread of freedom (Chorus)


IN MY GARDEN
©1993 by Rich Glauber/Jesse Rappaport

Adam I, Adam one, In my garden under the sun
Take a good look at my face, see the entire human race
One and one and one is one, In my garden under the sun

People, there's no difference, don't be fooled by the names
Underneath the surface, we are all the same
One and one and one is one in my garden under the sun

Don't get separated, That could only break your heart
Remember where we were created,
we've been related from the start
Right from the start, Living in the garden

We've got apples, potatoes, red ripe tomatoes,
chick peas, cherries, bananas and berries
Mangoes, mung beans, carrots, and collard greens,
cebolla, lechuga, melocoton y fruta

Welcome to my garden, everybody's home
Right here in this garden, nobody feels alone
One and one and one is one in my garden under the sun


NIGGUN #2
by Shlomo Carlebach (wordless melody)


PEACE, PERFECT PEACE
©1984 Toots Hibbert

(Chorus) Peace, perfect peace, I cry for peace in this neighborhood
Love, perfect love, I cry for love in this neighborhood

No water can cool this fire, only love can save us
I cry for peace (Cry for peace) in this neighborhood

I take one look inside and this is what I see
We need more love, we need more love in this community

I take one look inside and this is what I see
Fate can move mountains, only love can set us free

CD Baby

Click Here to listen to tracks, or purchase the CD.

Bagel Roots and Water Dogs

Performers

Rob Tobias: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Organ, Harmonica
Rich Glauber: Keyboard Bass, Penny Whistle, Accordion, Vocals
Paul Safar: Vocals, Piano
Lori Deskin: Vocals
Mary Heubel: Vocals
Megan Bassett: Vocals
Queen Bee: Vocals
Chico Schwall: Acoustic Guitar
John Fohl: Electic Guitar
Don Latarski: Electric Guitar
Brian Chevalier: Dobro, Electric Guitar
Ian Smith: Acoustic, Electric Guitar,Vocals
Jeremey Waegner: Mandolin
Chip Cohen: Fiddle
Sharon Rogers: Vocals, Banjo, Accordion
Steve Carter: Banjo
Jerry Leff: Bass
Eric Shirazi: Bass
Kris Thomas: Drums, Percussion
Pete Burger: Drums, Percussion
Kenny Sokaloff: Drums
Austin Blood: Drums

Reviews

Rob Tobias' second album provides fresh good feeling music. His instrumental passages land in the pocket and you can't help but smile as you listen to his works.

The music is sing-a-long good time acoustic folk pop while occasionally melding into sophisticates story-teller style. Families will appreciate the substantive and appealing content.

earBuzz Review, July 1999, earbuzz.com


Eugene singer/songwriter Rob Tobias offers up a set of original songs that celebrate the spiritual in everyday life with humor and hope.

His music covers a wide stylistic range, from pop and country to Texas swing to reggae, all played with a pleasantly relaxed yet groovy feel.

Tobias' songs are innocent without being naive, optimistic without ignoring the difficulties of life. Indeed, some songs address issues such as the struggle for social justice, environmental conservation, and the death of a friend, managing to avoid cynicism or dishonest sentimentality.

Favorites were "Walk the Bagel" and "Standing on Holy Ground."

Victory Music Review
July 1998
by Richard Middleton


Lyrics

SPARKLE IN THE EYE (1993)
It takes time to master anything
Just give me a moment, see what the morning brings
I'm feeling tired and sore, but I'm ready for more
Cause the sun is shining in my back door
It takes love to conquer hate
It takes patience to learn to wait
It takes endurance, to go the long run
You've got to care about the boy
if you want him to put down the gun

I wanna ride across these waters, see the steam rise up
Roll on over the country, see how my friends have all grown up
I wanna see the sparkle in the eye of my baby asking me why...
Why does the big bright sun keep shining in the big blue sky?

One lonely day, a voice spoke to me
With the sprinkling of a golden dust... a child's honesty
I felt the weight on my shoulders, scatter to the wind
I felt the breath of a new day about to begin

I wanna ride across these waters, see the steam rise up
Stand at the edge of a lifetime and fill my cup
I wanna see the sparkle in the eye of my baby asking me why...
Why does the big bright sun keep shining in the big blue sky?

SALMON BOY (1997)
Return, return, return, turn, turn Return, return, return, turn, turn

In a village by a river a boy went fishing for his dinner
He caught a salmon and he took a bite,
didn't like it spit it out in the night
He threw the bones in the fire with no respect for the salmon choir
Next day he went for a swim, he went down didn't come up again

Salmon Boy, swim, swim, swim
Don't forget to come back again
Return, return, return, turn, turn...

The drowning boy lost his skin, but in it's place he grew some fins
Now he's gone to Salmon school
to learn all about mother natures rules

Salmon Boy, swim, swim, swim Don't forget to come back again
Return, return, return, turn, turn...

His journey was hard with many twists and turns
To find his way home, many lessons learned
Back at the village he lost his scales,
sat down by the fire, and told a salmon tale

Salmon Boy, swim, swim, swim
Don't forget to come back again
Return, return, return, turn, turn...

Now every year when the salmon run,
the people come down and get them some
They build they're fires by the river banks
Place the bones in the water and say their thanks
Thanks for returning, creatures, plants and trees
The sun and the wind and the air that we breath
Thanks to the earth, and all that you give
We show our respect with the lives that we live

Salmon Boy, swim, swim, swim
Don't forget to come back again
Return, return, return, turn, turn...

RAISE IT UP (1996)
It's time to lift up that first glass of wine
Drink to healthy bodies and consious minds
Raise it up, Raise it up, A little bit higher, Raise it up now

I hear the stories of our inhumanity
We've got to lift up every spirit if we want to be free
Raise it up...

You wanna talk about modern day slaves
How about that minimum wage
Raise it up...

You're feeling whipped n' cut, battered and bruised
Got to get out and live the life you choose
Raise it up...

It's time to lift up another glass of wine
Nobody can oppress a liberated mind
Raise it up...

Oh you just got to think about raisin it up just a little bit higher,
Raise it up now

ROOTS (1994)
Roots, Roots, Roots Roots, Roots, Roots
Roots, Roots, Roots, Roots in heaven
Roots, Roots, Roots (Where I'm coming from)
Roots, Roots, Roots (Where I'm going)
Roots, Roots, Roots, my ancestors

And the world turns and we see how we're all connected
How it's all right here, all time, long before we were born...
It's just one source, one well, a channel running through everything
We've got to stop, tune in, take a drink, see where we're come from

Oh oh oh, here we go again, we're on that same road back home
Oh oh oh, here we go again, we're on that same road back home

Roots, Roots, Roots...

We live in a promise land, a holy land, walk it everyday
Where the earth meets the sky
It¹s all a great circle, going round and round again,
I feel it in the roots deep inside

Oh oh oh, here we go again, we're on that same road back home
Oh oh oh, here we go again, we're on that same road back home

Roots... Roots Roots without end
Roots Roots circle again
Earth below heavens above
Round and round in a circle of love
It¹s a circle, circle of love

Roots, Roots, Roots...

YOU'RE AN ANGEL (1994)
We go walking through the shute of time,
lift the veil and we're feeling fine
You're the one who takes me there,
you're the answer to my prayers

You're an angel (Angel), You're an Angel
You're an angel (Angel), You're an An‹gel

You go flying through heaven¹s gate
You got no lines, you got no wait
You go directly through, that's what you were made to do

You're an angel (Angel), You're an Angel
You're an angel (Angel), You're an An‹gel

And you're flowing like the water (water)
Bringing life to all you touch
Come and wash me in the water (water)
You know I need you so much

You come to me in a dream and that's as good as it's ever been
When the world is looking bleak, you're the one, that I seek

You're an angel...

And you're flowing like the water...

You come to me in disguise to separate the truth from lies
Just when things are caving in, you can make em right again

You're an angel...

THE AVENUE (1996)
Sitting up here, watching the flow
People passing by below on the avenue, crazy avenue
Every kinda species moves on by
They look so fragile from way up high above the avenue
Glad that I'm here with you

Sun is shining, oh what a scene, my oh my
A dirt road flows with humanity watch em go now
I could stay here all day long cause...

I know (I know), I know (I know), I know how this love feels,
I tell you that I know, I know, this love is real

They say that it takes, it takes all kinds
You never know, what you'll find on the avenue, that crazy avenue
One minute it's sweet, everything smiles
Next your toe to toe with a crocodile
Down on the avenue, good thing I'm here with you

The tatoo man wears a skirt, my oh my
The black leathered blond, has got eyes that burn
Watch her flirt now
All I can do, is keep my eyes on you cause

I know (I know), I know how this love feels
I tell you that I know, I know our love is real

SILVER MOON (1994)
For many years I've known you were there,
a guiding spirit, and a solid rock
I never thought one day you'd be gone,
and we couldn't sit down and have a talk

You were a friend in the neighborhood,
out on the corner chewing the fat yeah!
You said, "This use to be all orchards when you were a boy,
Riding your pony, imagine that"

I dug it when we got on the same wavelength,
You use to slip me some piece of advise.
I dug it when you came home from your travels,
You had that certain look in your eye

I'm gonna miss it, I want to say goodbye...
goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
Silver Moon (Silver Moon) Silver Moon (Silver Moon)...

I may not have known you very well
I wouldn't say that we were all that close
But you were always an open book
I just wish that I¹d picked you up more yeah

CHORUS

You brought that tire swing over for the boys
Always took time for the joys in life
Sometimes people just leave too soon
and you find yourself grasping at the shadows of the moon

CHORUS

Don't take the moon for granted, that's all I can say
Don't take your moons for granted, they might be gone some day

Silver Moon (Silver Moon) Silver Moon (Silver Moon)...

(for Kenny)

GET INTO THE RHYTHM (1994)
Check out the people walking in step now
Right foot first, then the left yeah
Moving like clocks and we don¹t even know it
Feelings masked, we don't know how to show it
Ahhhhh, Can't you feel the heartbeat
Ahhhhh, We're moving to a backbeat

Sounds of thunder in a parking garage
Footsteps quicken and I'm dodging cars
A door crashes open, there¹s a man in a black coat
His eyes are on fire as he¹s staring at my throat Ahhhhh...

Yes I know that we¹re almost ready
There's a cultural void and the grounds unsteady
This evolution gonna change our way of living
We're gonna get into the rhythm hey, hey, hey...
Get into the rhythm

Clear my head and clean my desk now
Forget about what the television said yeah
We all just lay there like it¹s holy ground
Praying to the God of Surround Sound Ahhhhh...

CHORUS

You know that rhythm surrounds us in our daily lives
From our shifting moods to the shifting tides
In the body of a women and the music we make
To a knock on a door and a friendly handshake

CHORUS

PIECE OF SOUL (1996)
I heard the news, I heard it loud and clear
Somebody thinks they can make some money here
From what I¹ve seen, it's nature we must defend
Nothing more will matter in the end

They come to this place with profit on their mind
For jobs and money the city fathers go blind
They want to cover the earth and turn our waters gray
If this is progress, I wish they¹d go away

Cause it's a piece of soul
And it's here for us to know
If we let it go
Watch out now, watch out now
What's here today
Might be gone away
Come on and have your say, hey, hey, hey

We know they'll be change, but which way should we go
We can nurture what¹s here, help it to prosper and grow
Or go searching for big money and a corporate mentality
Get phoned, and zoned and cabled permanently

It's a piece of soul.... It's a piece of soul... Don't let it go
It's a piece of soul... Don't let it go It's a piece of soul...

Listen to the news, but read between the lines
Cause what those headlines scream could be a lie
We've got to think for ourselves and open up those blinds
They can't fool everybody all the time

It's a piece of soul... Don't let it go
It's a piece of soul... It's in the land
It's a piece of soul... It's in our hands
It's a piece of soul... Don't let it go

THE OCEAN (1994)
The ocean is a very beautiful sight
The ocean is a very beautiful sight
Across the ocean we sail
Across the ocean we sail
Across the ocean we sail

I met her by the ocean side
Our hearts were opening wide
We walked deserted beach
Where twisted minds don't reach
We swam into the sun that night
In blue water and golden light and...

The ocean is a very beautiful sight...

The boat was comfortable
And we were getting along
We were singing songs but...
Somehow it all broke down
Like waves crashing on stone
I was walking all alone but...

The ocean is a very beautiful sight...

I still love the ocean
I love the shifting sea
I can dream at the ocean
Dream she's with me
Building sandcastles again
Seeing ghosts, remembering when

The ocean is a very beautiful sight...

WANDERING DOG (1994)
I heard he went back east to ring a Philly belle
Or was it down in Texas, you never can tell
That low down dog is always on the run
They said he wasn¹t hungry and he sure was clean
I bet he had a gig down in New Orleans
If I ever catch that hound, I'm gonna tie him down

He's a wandering dog He's a wandering dog
Wandering dog, when you gonna wander back home

Went down to Hollywood and wandered on a set
Snuggled right up to some starlet's pet
She took to him and he followed her home
He lapped up her love like mothers milk
Swimming in the pool, sleeping in silk
But when she tried to tie the knot, he was on his way

He's a wandering dog He's a wandering dog
Wandering dog, when you gonna wander back home

Riding on a Mississippi river boat
Trailing some good lookers coat
Out in the open air, that boy can charm
But once he gets her down below,
and finds out all that he needs to know
He's gonna jump in the river and he'll be gone

He's a wandering dog He's a wandering dog
Wandering dog, when you gonna wander back home

Rain is falling on your camp tonight
You¹ve made it now, not a soul in sight
Way out here with your head in the dirt
Do you ever think about the hearts you¹ve hurt?

Well now I hear he's Seattle bound
Sniffing out the scene, checking out the sound
If anybody knows the grunge, I swear it's him
He's a son of a gun, and a loveable squeeze
A free spirit wind blowing through the trees
If I only had the guts, I'd go track him down

He's a wandering dog He's a wandering dog
Wandering dog, when you gonna wander back home

WALK THE BAGEL (1994)
When hunger creeps up and the futures unclear
A little bit of heaven is always near
It's in the dough, It's in the whole
It goes around and it comes around
It's the bread of life, our destiny
It's all right here, in the bagel

Walk the bagel, Talk the bagel
Reach out your hand, it's mannah from heaven
In the shape of a bagel there¹s a lesson to learn
All things pass but then they return
Can't ya see, life's a bagel

Walking around the desert with an aching thirst
Seems like life can¹t get much worse
But look around, there¹s plenty for all
Moses got the word, "We'll all be fed"
Next day it rained that holy bread
Don't ya worry, just grab a bagel

Walk the bagel...

It feeds the hunger of the body, and the hunger of the soul
So come on let's eat that holy roll
Source of life, our daily bread
Just like matzah led em out of slavery
Gave em the strength to cross the ol Red sea
Behold, it's the bread of freedom
Walk the bagel...

STANDING ON HOLY GROUND (1995)
Everybody's searching for those high places
Everybody's looking for that holy ground
But right here where we're standing is
All the joy that can be found
We're standing, Standing on Holy Ground
Standing on Holy Ground
We are standing, Standing on Holy Ground
Standing on Holy Ground

Moses walked through the desert, he was trying to unwind
He saw a burning bush, was he losing his mind?
An empty valley is what it seemed to be
But when he looked closer he could see...

He was standing... standing on holy ground...

Well you sat down to dinner and then you got up
Did you notice the miracle you just ate up?
That holy macaroni from the chain of life
Takes on a whole new magic when you realize...

You¹ve been standing... standing on holy ground...

Sometimes you'll meet a person, they're truly very wise
They know the daily grind is just a disguise
So many moments we just dance around
Forgetting our intentions to really get down

Where we're standing...standing on holy ground...

WATER (1998)
Water, oh water that flows to the sea
Are you the same water that flows right through me?
From the gentle spring rains to the tears in our eyes
We drink from your fountains all the days of our lives

And we need you, to keep flowing on and on
Yes we need you, sing a water song
From you, flows every living thing
From your rain pools, bubblin' up from your spring

Water, oh water, giver of life
We're married to you like a husband to wife
You flow to your children, the plants and the trees
Make mighty the rivers, for all creatures to be

And we need you...

Water, oh water, burst from the sky
Make forests on mountains and never run dry
From the darkness of rain clouds you light up the land
Bring color to oceans, break waves on the sand
And we need you...

Water, oh water that flows to the sea
Are you the same water that flows right through me?
From your gentle spring rains to the tears in our eyes
We drink from your fountains all the days of our lives
Yes we drink from your fountains all the days of our lives

CD Baby

Click Here to listen to tracks, or purchase the CD.

Constant Rain

Performers

Rob Tobias: Lead and Harmony Vocals, Piano, Organ, and Harmonica
John Fohl: Electric and Acoustic guitars
Rich Glauber: Piano and Accordion
Pete Burger: Drums and Congos
Eric Freeman: Bass
Jerry Leff: Bass
Inspirational Sounds Choir: Background Vocals
Debbie Diedrich: Harmony Vocals

Reviews

Rob Tobias' first album, Constant Rain, forges the path the artist takes into upbeat, folk/pop sing along melodies. His bright wit and heart warming lyrics soothe the listener into a trouble-free space. Very similar in style to his second work, Bagel Roots and Water Dogs.

earBuzz Review
July 1999
earbuzz.com

It's hard to pigeonhole this one into one distinct category, but Rob Tobias is surely delivering messages of optimism, good times, spirituality, and hope. He does it drawing from personal experience and observation, not images derived for the sake of a good story.

Musically, Tobias uses a wide range of styles, without compromising the overall feel of the collection. The mix includes the bluesy "If I Woke Up To A Miracle" and light rockers "It'd Make A Good Movie" and "Love Won't Wait". Vocal backing on several cuts by The Inspirational Sounds Choir give the occasional gospel feel.

Lyrically, as well as musically, Tobias evokes comparison to veterans such as Randy Newman (lots of piano base) and Bob Dylan (well placed harmonica). Top Cuts: New Earth, Circle, It'd Make A Good Movie

The Internet Music Review Service

Constant Rain hails from Eugene, Oregon, but is universal in it's lyrical message of light, love and hope.

Tobias has brought together a rich confluence of music in this album with a full backup of talented musicians and singers. The blend is both interesting and enjoyable, with musical tones as varied as Mexican, Jewish and Gospel.

Sound original? Throw in a little Dylan and a lot of Tobias, and you've got it! . . . one unique album. Visionary poetry carries this music along: "May this rain bring miracles to the earth and plant the seeds of peace and justice throughout."

The album opens with three songs that are backed by the lush Gospel tones of the Inspirational Sounds Gospel Choir. Circle is especially danceable, with a strong upbeat rhythm and Dylan-like harmonica riffs. A true song of unity and celebration, it suggests that when people get together with their schemes "We put the power in motion to live out our dreams."

If I Woke Up to a Miracle dives into pure bluesy fun, and is a wake up call to the vision of a world free of discrimination and war, where "species would thrive in forest alive/With harmony and respect for the land.../We'd learn to live by the secret of our soul." In the last cut, What Do I Know?, Tobias reaches into his Jewish heritage, musing on the lessons of the past, and the holocaust.

Altogether, Constant Rain is great music for dancing, driving, working around the house, and just plain listening. These catchy tunes are fun to sing along with and definitely uplifting to the heart. Highly recommended.

Heartsong Review

A respectable self-produced debut by Oregon singer/songwriter Rob Tobias. His strength is in blues inflected up-tempo works.

Dirty Linen

It's difficult to comprehend such a positive, hopeful collection of songs. Even in recognizing room for an improved world, Tobias structures his observations to ring with healing affirmation.

In Town Magazine

Tobias swerves between blues shuffles, to folk/rock, to a Jimmy Buffett sound-alike (It'd Make a Good Movie). The strength of the album is in the arrangements and harmony work, especially by the Inspirational Gospel Choir on Gates of Love. This tune builds from a gentle folk shuffle into a harmonic explosion.

Northwest Independent Music News

Lyrics

CITY OF CONSTANT RAIN (1986)
Day in day out there is rain, there is rain
Most days I have no doubt
tomorrow's gonna bring the same
Men in the streets, girls in the shops,
sipping coffee they speed to their jobs
Cause there's no substitute for the pain...
Lifestream rivers keep flowing...
In the city of constant rain

I had a girl, now she's gone
I know that the flame lives on
One day this heart 's gonna mend
I guess I'm gonna have to look again
But sometimes I feel so down and low,
it hurts so much to let go
And there's no substitute for the pain
Lifestream rivers keep flowing...
In the city of constant rain

I know there's got to be a way,
I'm talking bout a brighter day
One time I can step out
and see something but these clouds....
and the constant rain (Rain) Let it rain...

I know it helps things grow and keeps things green
but sometimes I just want to scream
And there's no substitutes in the game
Lifestream rivers keep flowing...
In the city of constant rain

I hope I can find out soon, what it is I'm gonna do
I keep looking up to the clouds
I need a little sun to help me forget about
this constant rain (Rain)

Rain Rain in my city (Every night)
Rain rain constant rain (Every day)
Rain Rain in my city (On my window pane)
In the city of constant rain (Let it rain!)
Rain Rain in my city (It's raining it's pouring)
In the city of constant rain
In the city of constant rain

THE LIGHT (1990)

The winter moon is shining through the mist,
snow drifts under my feet
Shuffling down a windswept alley
to warm vents where lost souls meet
There's a party down on the corner,
through the window it's warm and bright
Reaching out from the darkness
a helping hand pulls me into the light
The Light inside me... The Light over me...
The Light that lifts my spirits high....

We got wine flowing from a barrel,
we got bread in most every hand
We got a taste of the good life,
reaping harvest from the land
You got saints dancing in the doorways,
you got spirits dancing in the halls
I hear drums beating out a rhythm,
I feel the bass and I'm dancing in the light
The Light inside me... The Light over me...
The Light that lifts my spirits high....

You know the darkness can get you down
You feel so low with no one around
But there's a spark in your bones,
give it a light your not alone
I feel the sun I feel the wind
I feel the light shining within
Open the door let the love flow through
Feel the light it's calling you

Lift our spirits Lift our spirits
Lift our spirts up to the light Lift our spirits Lift our spirits
Lift our spirts up to the light Oh the light ....Oh the light ....
Oh the light .... Let it shine

CIRCLE (1992)

When the seasons change we take a long look
at what we gave and the things we took
We thank our love and we thank our friends,
gather the strength, go out and do it again
And we gather... in a Circle

And we celebrate round and around and around
Round and around again
We celebrate round and around and around in a circle

Chances come and chances go,
so don't sit crying get on with the show
When people get together and share their plans and schemes
We put the power in motiion to live out our dreams
And we gather.....gather.....gather.....in a Circle

Circle is the globe we live upon....yeah
Circle is the notion....
that things come back after their gone... yeah yeah yeah yeah

So grab your partner and grab a friend
This is a beginning and it's also an end
Like a light in a tunnel opens up your eyes
There's a new day dawning so let the old one die
And let us gather... in a Circle

And we celebrate round and around and around
Round and around again
We celebrate round and around and around in a circle
And we celebrate round and around and around
Round and around again
We celebrate round and around and around in a circle

IF I WOKE UP TO A MIRACLE (1993)

If I woke up to a miracle she'd be here by my side
She'd be my friend she'd be my lover
She'd be the one to make me laugh and cry
A love so strong we would glow
If I woke up to a miracle

If I woke up to a miracle everybodied be free
They'd smile as they pass, relations would last,
everybody could be who they wanted to be
Discrimination and hate just wouldn't go
If I woke up to a miracle
Wake up... Wake up now...
Wake up... Well I wanna wake up to a miracle

If I woke up to a miracle the headlines would read good news
They're stopping the wars, signing treaties,
peace is breaking out in the Middle East too
The guns are silent and the people's bellys are full
If I woke up to a miracle
Wake up... Wake up now...
Wake up... Well I wanna wake up to a miracle

If I woke up to a miracle the planet would be in good hands
Species would thrive, in forests alive,
with harmony and respect for the land
We'd learn to live by the secrets of our soul
If I woke up to a miracle
Wake up... Wake up now...
Wake up... Well I wanna wake up to a miracle
Well I wanna wake up.... to a miracle

IT'D MAKE A GOOD MOVIE (1993)

Sometimes I like to head out, out on the open road
See what I can see, see what the headlights hold
Once I drove down to Baja, to hang out with the whales
And a fisherman named Pachico,
showed me humpbacks, head to tail

I fell for a girl down in Cabo, the sparks began to fly
But she was moving on even while she was standing still,
I just waved goodbye
I walked alone out on lovers beach,
where I saw a man nearly drown
But he turned out to be a good friend,
and we partied at his house in town

I thought it'd make a good movie
It'd make me a real fine picture show
We could show it down in Texas
Maybe down in Mexico

I met a young folksinger, she lived up on a hill
She could sing so loud and clear, I never would get my fill
We climbed the nearest mountain, slept out under the stars
But we drank too much and we got real cold,
and then we couldn't even find the car

We wandered into a wooded camp
and our spirits were restored
There were nineteen women retreating there
and they offered us an open door
Now I was the only male, I was the only dude
And when we hit that mess tent man
it was the sweetest rendevous

I thought it'd make a good movie
It'd make a real fine picture show
We could show it down in Texas
Maybe down to Mexico, In some little cantina,
I'd be drinking tequila, down in Mexico

You know I've done a little traveling down there,
from Mexico City to the middle of nowhere
Hitched a ride down to Taxco with gay man, he was fair
Ended up in Acapulco, where I met some real stoned out dudes
When the Fedaralies busted them
they were stuffing money in their shoes
I was playing harmonica... the Fedaralie blues

You know it'd make a good movie
It'd make a real fine picture show
We could show it down in Texas
Maybe down in Mexico, In some little cantina,
I'd be drinking tequila, down in Mexico,
we'll have a big screen show,
Down where the snow don't go,
down in Mexico, down in Mexico

NEW EARTH (1990)

Listen to the moan and the groan of the mountain
Listen to the fields growing
Listen to the waves and the tide of the ocean
Listen to the wind blowing
Listen for the change at the day's end
Listen to the night shaking
Listen to the signs in the land around you
Listen to what people are saying yeah

We're standing upon... New Earth... yeah...
We're standing upon... New Earth
Don't you know we're standing upon... New Earth
Find out what it's worth

Listen to the noise and the sounds that surround you
Listen to the music playing
Listen to the flow and the current around you
Listen to the fire burning
Listen to your blood and your bones
Listen to your heart beating
Listen to the inside and the outside
to the living and the dying yeah!

We're standing upon... New Earth... yeah...
We're standing upon... New Earth
Don't you know we're standing upon... New Earth
Find out what it's worth

Wash away the old and a new skin forms
Rising up! Rising up! To be reborn!

Listen to the chatter inside your head,
Listen to your mind racing
Listen to the souls crying out loud,
Tell me what they're saying
Listen to the voice that you know so well,
listen to your child yearning
Listen to the love deep in your heart
It's the force that keeps us moving!

We're standing upon... New Earth... yeah...
We're standing upon... New Earth
Don't you know we're standing upon... New Earth
Find out what it's worth (repeat)

GATES OF LOVE (1991)

Open up the gates of love and see what's there for you
Open up to the gift of life and see what it can do
Open up, maybe find some truth, see if there's a clue
Open up to see the lies captivating you

Time and time and time again
You'll find out who's your friend
Time and time and time again
When the gates of love open up for you

Shades of darkness, shades of hate, fear inside your mind
Keeping you from passing doors, better left behind
Cause when your blocked you go nowhere,
if you're full of hate and fear
And if your waiting for your time to come,
remember that it's here

Time and time and time again you'll find out who's your friend
Time and time and time again when the gates of love open for you

What you see's not everything, everything to know
The pieces of the puzzle lie, buried in the snow
Like dreams of flying through the trees,
with birds tangled in wire
Wild things we've know in time,
that went down in the fire

Time and time and time again
you'll find out who's your friend
Time and time and time again
when the gates of love open for you
When the gates... gates of love... gates of love open...
They're gonna open for you...you...you (repeat)

IT'S NOT ALWAYS GONNA BE THIS WAY (1992)

Sky's grown black now, winds come up high,
oceans of thoughts cross my mind
Moments of love pass, lonely days come,
new love waits on the horizon
There...a child and dog walk on the street
innocent souls stuck to their feet
A passerby sees a man in a window cry.... he says,

It's not always gonna be this way,
things are gonna change, no matter what
But if you want to take part and have your say,
you better take this change to heart

Dreaming sunshine on all my waking cares,
and each one's like a musical chair
Shooting baskets, shooting stars,
such a thrill then they're gone
But now, I turn my head, what do I see? a white bird flies
Lands in a tree, stares in my eyes, sings a song to me... she says

It's not always gonna be this way,
things are gonna change, no matter what
But if you want to take part and have your say,
you better take this change to heart,
Take this change to heart...

Now I see a rainbow, thats where I wanna go,
for the moment it's all I know
But as I get closer, rain's falling harder,
I don't know if I'll ever get there
Then I knock on your door, you let me in,
laughing alot, I take your hand
You look in my eyes, but do you see the man I am? you say...

It's not always gonna be this way,
things are gonna change, no matter what
But if you want to take part and have your say,
you better take this change to heart,
Take this change to heart...(t's not always gonna be this way) (repeat)

LOVE WON'T WAIT (1993)

There is a love chain
Dangling in the pouring rain
I gave it to a woman
but she was driving me insane
There is a bar stool
Sitting there being cool
Lonely in the heart
Playing the fool
Pour out your gut to you
What did she make you do?
What are you going through?
Playing the game It's a long road,
But it's a strong road,
It's the only road, so be ready...
got to be ready now!

The streets are filled with hustlers
They try to take you for what your worth
Make you a deal while they're hand's in your purse
I don't need no deal I've got so much already
Need a little love to hold me steady
But it's a long road, It's a strong road,
It's the only road, so be ready...
got to be ready now!

Come on love won't wait!
You got to move while it's freshin your mind
Oh yeah, the world won't wait,
come on, be ready for love this time

Ready for love, sweet love,
dream about love, scheme about love,
Hungry love, in the groove love, love from above....
It's the long road It's the strong road
It's the only road So be ready, got to be ready now

Come on, love won't wait!
You got to move while it's freshin your mind
Come on, the world won't wait,
the world needs love, world needs love right now!
Come on, love won't wait!
You got to move while it's there in your heart
Oh yeah, the world won't wait,
the world needs love, world needs love right now!
Give it to me, Give it to me, Give it to me

WHAT DO I KNOW? (1993)

What do I know about suffering?
Compared to what my ancestors endured
What do I know about liberation?
All my life I've had an open door
What is this thing we call freedom?
To live a life an independent soul?
Who is connected to my story?
What are the things that I really need to know?

What my father told me
What my mother showed me
What my teachers said that I could be
Why my brother loves me
Why my sister loves me
Why my people are so proud to be free

What do I know about religion?
Stories passed down from books of old
what do I know about these rituals?
The link between the stories and my soul
What can I say about the children?
Springtime that reminds us from where we came
Bringing so much joy and happiness?
Redemption from this world of pain

It's what my father told me
What my mother showed me
What my teachers said that I should see
Why my brother loves me
Why my sister loves me
Why my people are so proud to be free

What do I know about Passover?
The Exodus of the Jews
When there was no time for questions
Only time to act, choose or lose
What do I know about the holocaust?
By the time I was born they said, "Never again"
Though that's what they say about all wars
It was an emotional time well worth remembering

It's what my father told me
What my mother showed me
What my teachers said that I should see
It's why my brother loves me yeah!
Why my sister loves me yeah!
Why my people are so proud to be free...

This recording has been in process since City of Constant Rain bubbled up in the Spring of 1986. Special Thanks goes out to some of the people who have helped me keep it growing along the way:
David Andersen, Jean & Steve Boone, Rich Glauber, Jerry Leff, Ramona McCoy, Janice Medvin, Michael Rechel, Syd Skolsky, Mary & Charles Tobias, Barb & Tom Tobias, and Mike Warshafsky.

Dedicated to the memory of some inspirational people who have passed on...
John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bob Marley, and John Lennon
Also in memory of a friend... Rebecca Shelquist

May this rain bring miracles to the earth and plant the seeds of peace and justice throughout.