I’ve gone to a few non-observant family simchas recently and I’ve noticed that the great majority of the music played comes from before the 90s. My wife’s cousin, a drummer by night, told me at one of these affairs that the difficulty of making a living made many potential musicians and children of musicians avoid the field, and thus the dearth of good music nowadays. So for those of us who gave up our Classic Rock, we’re probably not missing much.
I remember early in my Baal Teshuva experience giving up all music for a few years. Then my Shul sponsored a concert at Westbury Music Fair featuring, Shlomo Carlebach, The Piamentas and The Miami Boys Choir. When I heard Yossi Piamenta wailing away on the electric guitar, I felt that I had received Kapora (atonement) for the rock-n-roll. Perhaps the clincher was when R’Shlomo requested people to come up on stage and we collectively rotated in the theater in the round as R’ Shlomo’s music touched our souls.
After that I started to listen to Jewish music and it has basically filled my musical needs. However, even that’s not so simple, as my attraction to the music of Blue Fringe was met with feelings of disapproval from some family members as being “too bummy”. At the same time another BT friend thought there were some tremendous mussar lesson in their song Flippin’ Out.
The world of the BT is anything but rote.