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HILLELKAPS – Readers Answer


Just a few days ago I posted the following question:  Which singer/group can you listen to completely nonstop without getting “figuratively” sick of listening to the same voice over and over?

Since then there has been many answers,in fact many more than I was originally expecting.We are currently up to 17 and still going strong. I’d like to head off the article with a follow up to it before it disappears off of JMR’s Home page and then depending on how many more answers there are after that I may have to do a follow up to the follow up.

I had one main point that I was trying to make by asking this question.To preface the point I was trying to make let me say this: Most people nowadays are not exposed to too much out of their circle. Because of how we grow up, where we go to yeshiva etc. and sometimes even because of biases many times we find ourselves stuck in our own little circle. I wanted to get recommendations from everyone based on their own experiences with Jewish Music and then share them with everyone else. This could end up with all of us trying out (and who knows? maybe even enjoying) music/singers that we would not originally have listened to.

I will start by listing the names that came up in the answers. Some may seem somewhat obvious due to their fame in the Jewish Music World but that’s alright. These are being listed in order of comments, not in talent or anything else.

1. Abie Rottenberg (This was my vote) – 2 votes
2.Avraham Fried – 3 votes
3.Michoel Pruzansky
5.Chaim Yisrael – 3 votes
6.8th Day
7.Shalsheles Junior
8.Sheves Achim
9.Ari Goldwag
10.Yaakov Shwekey – 2votes
11.Lipa Schmeltzer
12.Udi Davidi
14.Schwebel, Scharf, & Levine
15.Ira Heller
16.Shlomo Simcha
17.Dovid Gabay
18.Mendy Werdyger
19.Aryeh Kunstler

Now from this list we do see some names that are quite well known (Fried,Lipa,Gabay,Shwekey)
Then there are some names that the typical Jewish Music listener (not someone who follows Jewish Music constantly because I would venture to say that someone who considers themselves a connoisseur of Jewish Music should probably know all of these names) would not be so used to, partly because some are marketed more in Israel than in America, partly because some of them might be considered out of the “mainstream, and partly because some do not do too much advertising. The names I would pick out of this list that I think fit into that category are

-Chaim Yisrael
-Udi Davidi
-Schwebel,Scharf, and Levine
-Ira Heller (for the most recent generation of Jewish Music listeners)
-Mendy Werdyger
-Aryeh Kunstler

You may object with me picking some of these names but I bet if you ask around at any typical Summer Camp this summer you will find that I may be making a good point. Chaim Yisrael and Udi Davidi seem to be more Israel-based and may not have gotten their CD’s into as many American homes as a typical American Singer such as Shwekey. Schwebel Scharf and Levine have been doing this for a while but someone who enjoys only the “new” music (electric,rocky etc.) may not enjoy their music as much as the person who enjoys classics.Ira Heller also made his big debut a while back. Still it would be worth it for someone who enjoys older styles of music to go back and get themselves some of Ira Heller’s albums. And Mendy Werdyger. For Mendy, although I am a big fan of his work I feel like his last album didn’t mnake as big as a splash as I thought it would have. His last album “Tomid B’chol Yom” came out in 2010 and I still find myself listening to it constantly. He also has many collaboration Albums as well as another solo album that he had released in 2005. I myself have heard these singers that I singled out and I would recommend if you have not given their music a chance then go right now to and download some of their music. Then come back to this article and let me know if you now have another favorite singer besides the one you originally had.Last but not least I picked Aryeh Kunstler (Not just because he worked on my newest single). For those of you that may have been brought up very “mainstream”, Aryeh’s music can be a breath of fresh air. There are unfortunately many people who listen to music but don’t have any idea what the song is talking about (due to a lack of fluency in Hebrew, Yiddish, or both). Aryeh’s songs are mostly English and many of the ones with Hebrew also have English lines in them. Currently he has 2 albums out as well as a number of singles including his latest single, a cover of Moshav Bands “Don’t Give Up”. Although many people may consider him completely out of the “mainstream” (which he very well may be) I would bet that after listening to some of his music you may be adding his albums to your Jewish Music Collection.

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