In the Bible’s story of the Gospels, the Talmidim, (plural form of “talmud”) were followers of Jesus. In Hebrew, the term “talmud” means means “disciple.” Through music, six local individuals have come together, with the goal of acting as disciples and carrying on Jesus’ word through verse.
“Our sound is what we call acoustic roots worship,” explained Shawn Rineholt, vocalist and guitarist for the Bethany Beach-based group Talmidim. “We take songs that aren’t as popular, or some that have not just been introduced to a church culture, or not Biblically sound, and try to expand our repertoire of songs in worship. We write songs that do the same, as well.”
With their genuine folk sound, Talmidim have performed for congregations, as well as other groups, with natural tones backed by strong rhythm, pulling their influences from bands such as Jars of Clay, Waterdeep and Neil Young.
Roughly four years ago, Talmidim was formed for a church fundraiser, and they immediately caught the public’s eye, and their ears.
“We all knew each other informally,” said Anna DiNenna, who lends vocals and percussion to the band. “We came together for an event, and word quickly got out. People would hear us and our name started to travel.”
Cathy Bostaph and Jen Rineholt provide added percussion, while Matt Bostaph and Daniel Bezduk play guitar and strings, respectively.
This past weekend, on Saturday, April 17, the band officially released their first album and other Talmidim merchandise at an event in Georgetown, aiming to gain more exposure and fans.
“We had never done a lot of promotion,” said DiNenna. “Now, with a CD to our name, we’re hoping to do a little more of that.”
For now, the group is pleased to pick up a following and do what they enjoy most.
“We have a lot of fun when we perform,” DiNenna added. “We do shows in Baltimore and in Pennsylvania, so we keep busy. We play a kind of sound that we are all into. A lot of our inspiration came from Enter the Worship Circle. That sound has really carried over into what we do. We’ve added a violin and mandolin, shakers and drums – basically, whatever we can.”
Music wasn’t always DiNenna’s deepest passion.
“I grew up with athletics,” she said. “I loved music and I sang a bit, and I would help lead worship at youth group, but it was never in my head to do something more with it.”
At High Tide Church in Millsboro, she sang with the praise band and soon found her calling in music.
“I found the musical style I wanted to land in,” she noted, “and began listening to more Christian music. Bands like Enter the Worship Circle were definitely a big influence for us. That’s where our heart was. You don’t hear this sound a lot. People have said we sound a little like Rusted Root, but they’re secular. It’s that sort of style. We got together and realized no one’s making Christian music like that.” Talmidim have changed all that, despite juggling six schedules.
“Our sound is a little unique,” she added. “Scheduling has been tough. Most of us have flexible jobs, though, and can shuffle around. Usually, it tends to work out. If God wants us to do something, we’ll be able to do it. That’s a belief we lean on a lot. We’re not always the ones in control. He is.”
“First and foremost,” Shawn Rineholt added, “we’re worshipers of God, and we present music that does the same. It has an organic feel to it, especially through our percussion instruments – the bombo and djembe. We also incorporate the mandolin and violin, and pride ourselves in being primarily acoustic. We draw fans from teenagers and up. People love our music because of its rootsy, raw sound. There’s a cleanness to it.
Last Saturday’s CD release party was a huge success, and Talmidim’s first album is readily available at Amazing Grace Bookstore in Millsboro, or by contacting the band via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those wanting to keep track of the band can become a fan of Talmidim on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, at twitter.com/talmidimmusic. The band’s Web site, at www.tamlidimmusic.com, will be up and running soon, and tracks will be available to purchase on iTunes in the near future.
“We are totally overwhelmed by the support of the entire community,” said DiNenna. “It’s something we never expected. We give glory and credit to God for blessing us with the talent and opportunity to come together. We want our fans to see Christ, not through us, but through our music. We all feel very blessed and encouraged.”