Something caught my ear. Future Hits

future hits

It’s funny when life comes full circle.  Last year the first time I heard of a band called Future Hits is when they were co-billing with Little Miss Ann at the Hideout.  I was unable to attend that show and around that same time I found out that there was a music teacher in my kids school teaching songwriting. Imagine my surprise when I found out they were in fact the same person.  Matt Baron.  I discovered this at my kids school when they were hosting a parents night.  We had a nice conversation about the school, networking and music in general. I then ran into Matt again at KindieComm which was a great time (Thanks again Kathy and Robert!). There I acquired a copy of the new CD Today is Forever which is really quite good, bilingual and like nothing else in the kindie world. I would describe it as Bryn Ferry meets The Cure with hints of Elvis Costello. It’s full of moods and pianos and heavy drum beats and bass with electric guitars twanging about. It’s a whole lot of rocking fun.  Then all the songs repeat in Spanish.  So not only do the kids get super cool songs they get a bilingual experience as well.  We tend to play either the English half or the Spanish Half. That’s up to you. Future Hits has a album you should get. Go buy this CD and support an independent artist today!

KindieComm: Mission Accomplished.

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Snowstorm upon arrival!

It’s taken awhile but here I am to report on my success of completing my list (Things to do at Kindiecomm) at KindieComm in Philadelphia.  YES! I did share a 20150321_225839beer and a conversation with the legend herself Kathy O’Connel. Got to meet Bob McGrath from Sesame Street!!!  Shared beverages with many others including  Dean Jones and Kurt Gallagher (Both awesome and talented guys).  My family ran into the Cosgroves at breakfast, at KindieComm,  the hotel lobby and breakfast again. Good times not to mention the three girls were back-up dancers for Andrés Mauricio Salguero.  Seanster and the Monsters kicked some but on stage. Sean Hogan and the boys were great! So was Steve Denyes and Andres set as well.  Not only did I get to hang with the Jeff Bogle we got to have dinner with his amazing clan (he makes a mean pulled pork) and my son walked away with a Skylander guy! Which he is still playing with by the way…  The family 20150321_220327also got to see Independence Hall (They signed a few important papers here), National Constitution Center (life size bronze statues of the signers), Ben Franklin Museum (organized first fire US fire department), South Street (CHEESE-STEAK!) and Valley Forge (Them cabins were crowded).  Overall it was a great trip and my kids had a great time. I must thank the Omni Hotel in Philadelphia for the coolest perk of the trip. You can order cookies and milk to the room anytime till 9pm!!!  We even had them delivered to the lobby by the fire while sitting with Jeff Bogle. Supercool! I did fail to book a gig and only had a moment with Joanie Leeds Drummer. I leave you with a group shot of Bob McGrath, Kathy O’Connel and the attendees of com. I and the family had a great time. Hope to see you all next year.

kindiecom with Bob McGrath

Photo by Spark provided by Robert Drake

Ratboy Jr? Better late…

ratboy jrBack when I had Sirius/Xm Radio.  Back before they ended my subscription without a warning or email or letter or carrier pigeon.  Back when we were loyal listeners to Kids Place Live (we still love you Mindy, Jack and Kenny). We were up to date on a lot of kids music and How to Eat a Cloud by said above band was a pretty cool song. Smart, thoughtful, quirky and fun. I had seen them perform at the last Kindiefest and they were quite good as well. So today we are going through some of the CD’s we acquired from KindieComm  (which was great! Review forthcoming) and Ratboy Jr. got the CD slot and both son and I are in agreement. It’s pretty darn good! Smart, thoughtful, quirky and fun describes the whole disk. Any CD that makes a reference to Chewbacca is a winner in our home. My son loves Pretends Your Hand’s a Puppet and Backyard Camping. It was also recorded at that fun factory in New York run by that Dean Jones guy called No Parking Studios.  I know the review is 3 years late but I just got my copy and better late than never! I look forward to their next disc.  Go find a copy of this CD and support an independent artist today!

Jim Steinkraus. Thanks for being a Poochamungas

 

 

 

Norwood Park Fall Festival 2014. L to R: John Joyce, Don Zaloudek, Anna Fermin, Jim Steinkraus, Frank Izzo, Rich Rankin. photo by Betty Boduch

Norwood Park Fall Festival 2014. L to R: John Joyce, Don Zaloudek, Anna Fermin, Jim Steinkraus, Frank Izzo, Rich Rankin. photo by Betty Boduch

Last summer because of music I had the opportunity to play at Lollapalooza with a bunch of great Chicago musicians on the Kidzapalooza stage.  One of the fine folks who played keyboards is a great guy by the name of Rich Rankin. He was backing all the Chicago Kindie Musicians at this event and is a regular member of Laura Doherty’s band and produces her CD’s. When we were at the rehearsal he says to me “You know Jim Steinkraus.”  Jim is the first alternate guitarist for the Poochamungas recommended to the band by bassist Don Zaloudek.  Pete is our regular guitarist but because of life he can’t make some gigs so I call Jim who is awesome. Always has a smile and a story to tell. A gracious man who is fun to be around and enjoys playing. Rich then told me he got into music because of Jim Steinkraus and what a great guy he is and how they are related.  So later that year, at another gig, my keyboard player Alton is unavailable due to life.  I make a call to Rich who agrees to fill in.  It also happens that Pete is also unavailable so the call goes out to Jim.  Wouldn’t you know it that at rehearsal we find out that this is the first time these two guys are playing on stage together! There was a lot of laughing and a good time had by all both at the rehearsal and the gig.   Music had brought us full circle once again. Which is why most of us play. The social interactive aspect of creating something good together for a moment and then it’s gone. Never to be duplicated.  Jim created many of those good moments in his life. He is a man never to be duplicated. Jim Steinkraus passed away yesterday to the shock of the many people who loved him. The evil that is cancer took another one of the good ones much too soon.  I remain grateful to the fact that in Jim’s lifetime I got to share the music.  Jim was an amazing person and he will be missed. Thanks for taking a moment to play with us Poochamungas. It will be cherished. God Bless.

KindieComm things to do…

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I am headed to KindieComm. A conference of my kindie peers and I am a bit excited to meet some new people and talk to old friends. Here are 11 Things I hope to accomplish while I am in the city of Brotherly Love…

  1.  Share a beer with the Legendary  Kathy O’Connel(Kids Corner)
  2. Hang out with the Jim Cosgrove and family
  3. Watch Seanster and the Monsters perform (Great CD!)
  4. The Liberty Bell
  5. Visit old Pine Forest Camp friends
  6. Go eat at a LA diner with KPL’s Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis, and The Okee Dokee Brothers. Wait I did that while Rolling with the Bogle ! So…
  7. Rollin’ with the (OWTK) Bogle…  PART DEUX!
  8. Hanging with Joanie Leeds Drummer (we never mention him by name)
  9. Hear great new music
  10. Book a gig or 2
  11. Laugh a lot

So if you’re at the conference be sure to stop by and say Hi!

How do they do it?

Yellow-shirt-kurt

For many of us that play in the kindie realm  we are all aware of the Justin Roberts, Laurie Berkners, Dan Zanes and The Okee Dokees of our genre. But how many are aware of the Kurt Gallaghers, Laura Dohertys and Jim Cosgroves?  LauraDohertyThese three fine individuals have been at this music thing for a very looooonnng time and making a living at it. If you’re going to KindieComm and a would be pursuer of music in this kindie/childrens/family/all ages realm and looking to make a living at it. I suggest you find one of these fine folks during the conference, buy them a beverage of their choice, sit down, ask some pertinent questions and hear what they have to say. That’s the best part of these festivals. The panels are informative but the conversations had with other artists and fellow kindieteers are PRICELESS.  Buy em a beverage and tell em John sent ya!

Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.

Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.

St. Patricks Day Weekend

Have a great weekend everybody! We’re going to the Chicago Northside Irish Parade which the kids are eagerly anticipating. I remember St Patrick’s day parties of the past which you can read about hereshamrock