Articles By: Shimon Simpson

Shimon’s Review of “Those Were the Days” by Yaakov Shwekey

Shimon’s Review of “Those Were the Days” by Yaakov Shwekey

Oh, a new Jewish music compilation album?  Must be a day ending in Y.  I have written previously about my love for compilation albums—twice, as a matter of fact.  However, besides for the wedding album, there is another type of compilation album: the “nostalgia” album.  The album that takes us back to a time long [&hellip

Shimon’s Interview with Benny Friedman: “Fill the World with Light”

Shimon’s Interview with Benny Friedman: “Fill the World with Light”

It’s been two years since Benny Friedman released Kol Haneshama Sheli, the hit album which featured “Toda”, “Bum Bum”, and several other hits. His new album, Fill the World with Light, might be his best effort to date. Yes, you heard that right. Benny’s new album may actually be better than Yesh Tikvah.  I would have [&hellip

Shimon’s review of “Dance 2: Not Shayach” by Shloime Daskal

Shimon’s review of “Dance 2: Not Shayach” by Shloime Daskal

In my review of Beats by Yoeli Greenfeld and EvanAl Orchestra from two years ago, I mentioned how “compilation” albums can be a perfect time capsule of the zeitgeist of Jewish Music.  By listening to a compilation or wedding album, the listener gets a snapshot of what songs were popular at the time of the [&hellip

Shimon’s Review of “The Shabbos Experience” by MRM Music and Co.

Shimon’s Review of “The Shabbos Experience” by MRM Music and Co.

Have you ever been at work on a Friday—or at home prepping for Shabbos—and thought to yourself, “I wish I had a playlist of just Shabbos songs to have on while I work”?  There are actually several worthy competitors in this genre, ranging from the old-school (Regesh Volume 3 and Volume 7) to the mainstream [&hellip

The Definitive Interview: Cantor Netanel Hershtik

The Definitive Interview: Cantor Netanel Hershtik

Part 3 in a series. For Part 1 with Dovid Gabay, click here. For Part 2 with Eli Gerstner, click here. Cantor Netanel Hershtik is easily one of the most fascinating personalities in all of Jewish Music.  He is a fourteenth-generation chazzan (how many people on this planet can say that they are the fourteenth-generation [&hellip

The Definitive Interview: Eli Gerstner on “A Time for Music 29”

The Definitive Interview: Eli Gerstner on “A Time for Music 29”

A Time for Music. The words evoke a certain imagery—a top notch concert hall, a large orchestra, the biggest names in Jewish Music, and raising funds for the special children of the Camp HASC summer program.  The list of great moments is almost as long as the Who’s Who list of headliners: MBD and Shlomo [&hellip

The Definitive Dovid Gabay Interview

The Definitive Dovid Gabay Interview

Full disclosure: This article is not—I repeat, NOT—an objective review of Dovid Gabay’s newest album, Hakol Letova.  That would be impossible for me, given that we were classmates for four years, in the yeshiva band together, and played multiple gigs together in each other’s communities over the years.  And, as anyone who knows me will [&hellip

Shimon’s Review of “Shades of Green: Pianesque” featuring Mendy Portnoy

Shimon’s Review of “Shades of Green: Pianesque” featuring Mendy Portnoy

Here are two questions for you: 1) Do you like the piano? -AND- 2) Do you like Yossi Green’s music? If the answer to both of these questions is “yes”, then you should pick up Shades of Green: Pianesque, featuring piano master Mendy Portnoy.  Mendy, who also just released an all-piano compilation of Carlebach songs [&hellip

Recent Jewish Music You Should Be Listening to Now

Recent Jewish Music You Should Be Listening to Now

Hi everyone.  It’s been awhile since my last review, and I noticed that there is a fairly sizable backlog of albums which I haven’t reviewed yet.  Therefore, I decided to put together a quick-hits version of my usual reviews and knock out as many of these as possible, so you, the Jewish Music consumer, will [&hellip

Shimon’s Review of “A Kumzitz in the Rain 2”

Shimon’s Review of “A Kumzitz in the Rain 2”

  Welcome back to sefirah, folks!  I’ll be your host (one of them, anyway) for the next few weeks, while we put to the test the Jewish Music world’s latest attempts to make us forget that we aren’t supposed to be listening to music between Pesach and Lag BaOmer (or between Rosh Chodesh Iyar and Shavuos—I [&hellip

Shimon’s Review of “Ut Ut” by Yerachmiel Begun and the Miami Boys Choir

Shimon’s Review of “Ut Ut” by Yerachmiel Begun and the Miami Boys Choir

Very few Jewish artists are active for long enough to release thirty different albums.  Fewer can take credit for composing virtually every song on all thirty of those albums.  However, Yerachmiel Begun has done it.  In the thirty-eight years since the release of Victory Entebbe featuring the Miami Choir Boys (who were actually based in [&hellip

Shimon’s Best of 2014 Awards

Shimon’s Best of 2014 Awards

  It’s that time of year again, when every site on the Internet comes up with its summary of the year gone by, and various forms of media begin their respective awards seasons.  Here’s the problem though: the Grammys, for no apparent reason, inexplicably continue to ignore the Jewish music scene completely. Insane, I know. [&hellip

Shimon’s Review of “Kol Haneshama Sheli” by Benny Friedman

Shimon’s Review of “Kol Haneshama Sheli” by Benny Friedman

The date: Monday, August 13, 2001. The place: Camp Romimu, Sackett Lake, Monticello, New York. It was my second summer at Romimu, and I was the counselor of Bunk Yud Beis, the second youngest bunk in camp’s day camp division.  That meant I had a lot of free time on my hands, which was a [&hellip