…back to his senses, ISRAEL PORTNOY Kind of Greenery
Israel Portnoy – Facing Flames ft. Guilda is available on Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify.
by Walter Price
The journey into the uncertain world and experiences of reclaiming one’s self after an unconscionable disaster can be daunting. But, just maybe, you’ll hold a dear old friend in your arms and document it all in song. That’s what Israel-based singer-songwriter Israel Portnoy has done and the result is a beautiful uplifting single, “Kind of Greenery”, from the 12-track LP, ‘Facing Flames’ ft. Guilda.
The single, as with the album itself, is a personal journey, and Portnoy was kind enough to send over the heartbreaking until its inspiring backstory for this folk-pop track, “Kind of Greenery was born out of a realization that I needed to return to nature to heal myself after going through the intense experience of losing everything that I owned in a wildfire that tore down our homes and the gorgeous surrounding forest of the village I was living in. Upon relocating to a temporary emergency housing, I missed my daily strolls and writing sessions in the majestic nature with which I’d formed an emotional/spiritual bond. I was feeling a little stuck, not getting out enough, and probably a little subconsciously over nature for a little while (fire, after all, is nature too). There may have also been an element of me avoiding the things that I know heal me the most because healing isn’t an easy thing.”
“Kind of Greenery” is just one of the mighty tracks on ‘Facing Flames’. A cohesive LP with emotional weight throughout. But, ultimately, it’s a compelling bluesy folk album with plenty of heart intertwined in its inspirational rock and gospel vibes. Sounds and feelings that carry the beautifully written lyrics and are backed by Portnoy’s closest of mates. Which includes the mysterious Guilda.
“So who is “Guilda” I hear you ask? Well, despite his entire musical instrument collection and countless lyric-books and recorded music being destroyed by the flames (and without prior warning), Israel “through a divine miracle” had left the house earlier that day holding his 1963 12-string Guild guitar, aptly named “Guilda”. They formed the bond which would ultimately be the springboard for Portnoy to try and restart his life as he has clearly done in “the only way he knows how” – art.”, a quote from a press email sent to the GTC explains.
If you’re a fan of the storytelling of Lukas Nelson, Croce, and/or Glen Campbell, then I know you’ll really get into the sounds and soul of Israel Portnoy’s recovering ‘Facing Flames’ and its spiritual reawakening, “Kind of Greenery”.
You can stream the album in full as well as see the unlisted music video for the single, here at the GTC.
ISRAEL PORTNOY Facing Flames
+ Kind of Greenery, the film
Artist photo via Facebook // Quotes courtesy of Israel Portnoy
Kind of Greenery
Written/Produced/Performed – Israel Portnoy
6 string Guitar/Organs – Benny Weill
Mandolin & Solo: Sruli Solomon
Bass: Yogev Glusman
Drums: Yoav Arbel
B.Vox: Malka Russel
B.Vox: Ari Wenig
Mix: Ben Wallick
Master: Conor Salmoral
(at time of publishing, this video is unlisted and may not play or be shared in some territories)
Filmed by: Josh Fleischer
Edited by: Gil Yishai
Starring: Avi Friedman
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“The story does not end there. Just when I thought this story couldn’t get crazier, the week after we filmed this music video for “Kind of Greenery” (which is shot in the Jerusalem hills, the backyard of my new home), a wildfire broke out here too! We were evacuated immediately and through miracles upon miracles after 3 raging days of wildfire, we were safe. The windswept it out of our village and this time around, our homes were not destroyed. But so much nature, including much of the nature which we filmed only a week earlier, is now destroyed. As you can imagine, this song now has an even deeper meaning to me. Nature has been slowly coming back now day by day very slightly and I try and get out to see it every day to be there for the healing process, just like nature was there for me and mine. If you have read this far, I sincerely thank you for your time and for caring.” – I. Portnoy