Poochamungas Rocked the Badges

Photo By John Garrido

Photo By John Garrido

WOW!  That’s what it feels like after every show I play with my fellow Poochamungas.  For a long time I have been telling folks that discounting our music because we sing for parents and kids is a mistake. Well last week I entered Poochamungas into a Chicago Police and Fire Battle of the Bands called Rock the Badges.  It’s one thing to tell folks how good the music is, another to listen to the CD, but to really grasp what we do you gotta see us perform LIVE. Because we are first and foremost a ROCK BAND! We’re taking names and kicking tails so to speak.  We’ve been at this thing now 7 years and we put on a goood show.  That’s what the 200 or so folks saw and heard when we took the stage on Saturday, August 22nd at 6:15pm.  People were surprised at how good we are and the total rockality of our show. I don’t blame them.  All you hear in the mainstream is Disney, Dora and Barney.  Because kindie music as we call it (kids independent) really never gets the fair shake it deserves. Bands like The Not-Its, Josh and the Jamtones, Red Yarn, Brady Rymer, and us Poochamungas. This Blog is filled with rockin bands that most parents haven’t heard of …Yet!  But I digress… Well I’d like to tell you we won. We did not. We did however show folks that a family music band can rock with anyone, anywhere, anytime.  We also went on when the news channels showed up and got coverage on two local stations for the evening news… PLUS local DJ legend Lin Bremer gave us a shout out WXRT  during his Monday morning show.  So a word to all the show bookers and producers in the city, state and country. If your looking for original fun family friendly interactive music that rocks. Give us a call. WE ARE READY!


I would also like to thank John Garrido and all the folks who worked the Rock the Badges III event. Great Job raising money for our brothers and sisters in need.  Also thanks to all the bands that gave up their time to play whether competing or just entertaining the folks, you all rocked! And last my condolences to Veilside and the family of Tom Finnelly. Our prayers and thought are with you.

Deep Woods Revival rocks!


3000 miles is a long time in a car. But family road trips are an American rite of passage. Along with that right of passage one needs the right music along for the ride.  Among the Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Los Lobos, Hits from the 70’s, and others. I brought 3 kindie road worthy Cd’s. Josh and the Jamtones (Rocksteady), Ratboy Jr (Hamster Pants) and Red Yarn’s latest Deep Woods Revival.  Let me tell you  when you head off on quiet outback two lane highways Red Yarn is the musical answer.  Deep Woods Revival is like a big ole’ Andy-Furgeson-with-guitarslice of tasty American Pie. Perfect crust, amazing apples and that perfect cohesion that holds all the flavors together. I gotta be honest that I had no idea what Bile That Cabbage Down meant and had to look it up (Bile=Boil).  What I do know is that Andy Ferguson is crushing that opening traditional song (with a modern lyrical twist or two) and the sound of the CD only gets better from there! Red Yarn music is pure Americana and one of the best CD’s I’ve heard.  Andy’s live shows include puppets but with this music I say he may have to one day forget the felt and just play the music cause it’s just that good.  As my kids sang it Ain’t Gonna Rain dozens of times I can only see clear skies ahead for the man and band known as Red Yarn.  Keep up the good music Andy and well keep listening even when we’re not traversing the American landscape. Go support an independent artist today! Check out the video below.

Don’t call it “kiddie music”… It’s rock n’ roll to me!

ROcksteady Josh and the Jamtones

Nobody rocks harder than Josh and the Jamtones. Period.  Other bands are equal too but nobody surpasses the kinetic energy this band brings to shows and CD’s. Once they get moving this Jam is hard to stop!  I’d class them sharing the most energetic kindie band title with The Not-Its (one of our favorites and awesome live shows!).  These are bands that can rock out with anyone.  Don’t just call it “kiddie music.” There is a whole lot going on here for the whole family!  On their upcoming release Rocksteady, Josh and the Jamtones folk Josh Jamtonesbring all that power once again. Not only that but I think this is their most cohesive effort to date. Don’t misunderstand me. The music is always infectious, horn powered and rocking!  While I loved the music I found the narration on their  last effort  Bear Hunt a little distracting. However my kids found it hilarious. So-what-do-I-know???  On this one the whole clan is in agreement and Rocksteady has been sharing space in the much vaunted car CD player with Red Yarn’s upcoming release (review next week). The groves and vibes are so good on this CD it’d make Pooh forget about honey, Snow White forget about that poison apple and Scrooge a good tipper!  Rocksteady is a infectious, skatastic driven, old school, original  horn powered reggae music festival of kinetic joy!  When it comes out GO BUY IT!  The CD releases on August 21st and will be available at the Jamtones page plus iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.  Go support an independent artist today!!!  Check out the first video from the new CD Rocksteady below!!!

Pooches at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David Kindler

Tomorrow is going to be 70 degrees and sunny. What better way to celebrate such beautiful weather than head on over to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Not only is it one of the most visually stunning places you have the added fun of the Poochamungas!  Come on by as we hit the stage at 5:30pm for a two hour jam-a-stravaganza!!!  Get there a little earlier and enjoy the amazing gardens.  The show is free to anyone entering the gardens  but it does cost $20 per car for parking so be sure to fill the minivan.  If your a CBG member (which my family is) the parking is free as well. Get your plans in order and head on down to the Garden tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

Best Darn Festival there is Every year!


Next Gen Rockers!

“I’m David Kindler’s plus one (Thanks David!)”  With those words I entered into what I consider the best music festival I have ever attended. David is a friend and photographer extroardinaire (his photos below), plus fellow music geek.  I know many paid big bucks to see the last dead shows at soldier field but they could of saved a lot of money if the goal was many great bands for a great price.  Running for four days every summer around Independence Day.  The American Music Festival at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn has been running for 34 years and my only regret is missing the first 32. My thanks again to David Kindler (photographer extraordinaire)  for introducing me to this great festival. On to my personal Highlights…


  • School of Rock kids from across the world jamming their hearts out.
  • Tom Cimm’s fantastic Cajun Food!
  • AmySarah Muscle Shoals
  • Sarah Borges and Amy Black and the Muscle Shoals Revue.  A great tribute to some of the greatest music ever made. Those women can flat out sing!
  • Meeting Val (Thanks David Kindler)! of Val’s Halla Records in Oak Park. Your recommendation to see the the band below was spot on!
  • What Four –  Thank you Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, Phil Angotti amd Matt Warren in the sidebar. The pure joy and harmonies were amazing!
  • Luke Fitzgeralds
  • Luke Underhill. The young man of 19 has a great voice, solid songwriting and a bright future.
  • Terrance Simien
  • Terrance Simein and the Zydeco Experience. He always seems to be the one having the most fun! His band brings it too!
  • Cochombo!!! Best Sandwich Ever. Seriously.
  • Marcia Ball crushing it as I returned after a short hiatus.
  • Cold Beer starting at $3 a can!
  • Water stations
  • The bartenders, waitstaff, cooks, security, and anyone else working this event do an incredible job working very long hours on little Sleep.  Job Well Done!

Fitzgerald family

  • The FitzGerald Family for bring this amazing event to the masses for the 34th year.

Fitzgerald Venue


Maybe I’ll see you there next year…


Play Date made a good CD and stole my photographer!

we all shine play date

Last year I had the privilege of playing a couple of my songs at Lollapalooza on the Kidzapalooza stage. Along with the gig I received a free artist guest pass which I gave to my friend and excellent photographer David Kindler. David caught my show and then we went and explored Lolla.  We slipped backstage, hung out at the artists lounge and listened to all the great music. It was a lot of fun. Another kindie band playing on the same stage as I that day was the band Play Date. When David geeked out a bit at seeing them play he quickly pointed out to me that Greg Attonito is the Lead vocalist for the punk band Bouncing Souls (good stuff). I had never heard of them as my punk music knowledge has

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David T. Kindler

come later in life. Introductions were made. Shanti (Wintergate) and Greg are really nice folks and play some solid kids music as a duo.  We then went our separate Lolla ways.  That is till David got hired as a photographer at Riot Fest a month later and who should happen to be playing… Bouncing Souls. Who should he run into… Greg and Shanti. There’s a story there but I shall leave David to tell it.  Anyway earlier this year I got a text message from my friend David and how he had just finished a secret Ninja Pajama photo shoot with Play Date.  They stole my photographer!  Then in the mail I received an advanced copy of the new Play Date CD from MY publicist and amazing human being Elizabeth Waldman Frazier (Recess Monkey, Laurie Berkner, Laura Doherty). They stole her too!  The humanity!!! Well in all my rage and anger I did manage to listen to the WE ALL SHINE CD and it’s pretty darn good.  Stevie the Fox opens with a happy pop vibe and cool rhythm. Ninja Pajamas is a quirky, rap, one of a kind lullaby but not really. It’s pretty cool.  My favorite song is the total rock out over the top Ruin Your Appetite which totally hearkens to Greg’s punk rock roots. Did I forget to mentions Shanti’s stellar vocals? She really shines on the closing song Goodnight. This is a good listen for the whole family as my kids can attest to. What can I say? It’s hard to stay mad when folks hire quality folks and put out quality product.  Buy this CD and support an independent artist today! I also posted a video below from a previous CD.

Botanical Pooches!

Poochamungas-The Poochamungas have been quiet since winter but they have exited hibernation and headed to a show  July 15th at the Chicago Botanic Garden! It’ll be one of the few chances to catch one of Chicago’s most dynamic kindie rock bands this year. If you  are or aren’t a member of the Garden ( I suggest membership as they are a great organization) all the shows are free. Not only do mister gthey have the Dancing Sprouts series on Wednesdays they have music nightly Monday – Thursday! Getting live music at a place as cool as the Botanic Gardens  is like getting pie with Ice Cream, bacon with a grilled cheese, a free train ride and getting to drive the train! It’s that awesome. A few bands that I know Laura Dohertywho will be playing include Miss Jamie, ScribbleMonster, Mister G, Future Hits (just jammed at their CD release party!),Laura Doherty, Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies and Zak Morgan.  There is a variety of music styles here to entertain the whole family. Do yourself a favor and head over to the Chicago Botanic Garden on a Wednesday night it’s gonna be a great time! All shows start at 5:30pm. See you there!Mr singer