Shmueli’s “Believe” CD

“Believe,” the new album by singer-songwriter Shmueli, arranged, orchestrated, and produced by John Sawoski, has just been released for streaming on your favorite streaming music services and stores. For links, please click

Listen to the album and take a wonderful musical journey listening to Shmueli’s incredible voice and beautiful songs. Accompanied by rich instrumentation (some of LA’s top studio musicians) with a classical yet modern sound, the strong feelings of the songs will bring a smile to your lips and a tear to the eye. Highlights from the album include several songs scored for full string section conducted by John Sawoski with touching violin solos by Mei Chang; a jazzy/hip-hop/big band song co-produced with Jon Mattox, featuring trumpets by Don Clarke, trombones by Gary Tole, and sax section and solo by Jay Mason; a new country style song with pedal steel solo by Doug Livingston and intricate piano accompaniment by John Sawoski; lots of great guitar playing by Tom Hynes, including searing electric and tender acoustic guitars as well as mandolin; great woodwind playing by Larry Hughes, Audrey Molinari, and SEA Flute; Latin and orchestral percussion by Valente Casas; commanding horn playing by Branden Cervantes; rocking and sensitive drums by Jon Mattox, additional nylon-string acoustic guitar by Kate Lewis; and much more. It’s all anchored by electric and upright bassist Tim Christensen. The album was tracked and mixed by Jon Mattox, with string section recorded by Damon Tedesco, and mastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol.

Favorites include:
“Va Haviosim” – like a rock opera with great string playing
“Al Naharos Bovel” (On the Rivers of Babylon) – an anthemic ballad with a touching solo by Mei Chang
“Just One Move” – a Hanukkah song based on the concept of “pay it forward”
“Believe” – which sends a message that “bad things happen to good people” but we must continue despite all of it

Shmueli’s language is song, straight from the heart, and through this vehicle everyone can access the energy, spirit, and direction which time-tested wisdom brings.

Produced by John Sawoski
Words and Music sung and written by Steven E. Schwartz (ASCAP)
Published by Ashira Music (ASCAP)
Arranged and Orchestrated by John Sawoski

Recorded and Mixed by Jon Mattox at Bright Orange Studios, Reseda, CA
Assistant Engineer: Jason Whitton
String Section Recorded by Damon Tedesco assisted by Jon Mattox at Firehouse Recording Studios, Pasadena, CA
Pro Tools Engineer for String Section Recording: Jeremy Underwood
Piano tracks recorded by Aaron Field at Firehouse Recording Studios, Pasadena, CA
Mastering by Ron McMaster, Capitol Studios & Mastering, Hollywood, CA

Flute: SEA Flute
Oboe: Audrey Molinari
Clarinet: Larry Hughes
Saxophones: Jay Mason
Horn in F: Branden Cervantes
Trumpets: Don Clarke
Trombones: Gary Tole
Percussion: Valente Casas
Additional Percussion: Jon Mattox and John Sawoski
Drum Set: Jon Mattox
Electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin: Tom Hynes
Nylon-string acoustic guitar: Kate Lewis
Pedal Steel Guitar: Doug Livingston
Electric and Upright Bass: Tim Christensen
Harp: Samara Jones
Piano: John Sawoski
Synthesizers: John Sawoski
Violin Solos on “Mi Adir” and “Al Naharos Bovel”: Mei Chang
String Section Conducted by John Sawoski

“Chasdei Hashem” co-produced by Jon Mattox
Piano: Bösendorfer

Special thanks from John Sawoski to:
The late conductor / musical director Dov Scharf – for initial production ideas and bringing Shmueli to John Sawoski
Steve Genewick – for listening and guiding us to Jon Mattox and Ron McMaster
Ken Hirsch – for listening and providing valuable production feedback and ideas.