Never before had my line jumped like it did on Thursday afternoon. Being one of the worst fisherman of this age there was surprise as my pole lurched in my hands as the lake tried to pull it from me into the murky depths. Not to be denied I reeled it in with the power of John Henry swinging his mighty hammer … So in other words I caught a decent sized fish. A 16″ walleye to be exact. We took a picture and then threw it back. We did a lot of that along with more fishing (crappie, bass, northern and more walleye), lots of laughing, great food (we do our own cooking) and the occasional beverage or two. THE FISHING TRIP started in 1983 on houseboats in Kentucky. That location became cost prohibitive so it moved around for a while. Cabins in Heyward, WI. Houseboats on the Illinois River and finally its current destination where it has resided for the last ten years… Chetek, WI or as the trip is now referred to… CHETEK! It’s a yearly gathering of folks that grew up together in the same neighborhood and spread out since then to reconnect. Numbers for the trip fluctuate each year as some new folks come, others stop, weddings, funerals, graduations, etc, get in the way. The core always remains. Most folks return after missing year and the laughing continues. The trip has a motto… FRIENDS, LAUGHING, FISHING. I plan on going for another 30 years and bringing my son when he’s old enough so he can continue the tradition. I’m already looking forward to next year and hopefully catching a couple of big fish. But it’s still a great trip if I don’t.
If you’re looking for a great place to stay, fish and have fun the Lazy Acres Resort in Chetek Wisconsin is a great place to go. Bill and Tara are really great people who run a great place! Tell them I sent ya!
Posted in family, Travel
Tagged cabins, chetek, crappie, fishing, heyward, houseboats, illinois river, Lazy Acres Resort, walleye, wisconsin
More shoveling ahead
Seems to be the theme of this winter. There was a Dad 2.0 conference this weekend in New Orleans this weekend. I was hoping to go and promote the kids music scene and connect with fellow dad bloggers I talk to on the web. Mostly I wish I had gone because it’s warm and lacks snow. But even though it’s 16 degrees (practically balmy) right now I don’t really mind so much as the sun has returned. To all my fellow folks out there who have had to shovel (crossfit for the home) the 40+ inches of accumulation this year I feel your pain. Reminds me of the winters we had growing up. Totally remember the winter of 79′ which from my perspective was pretty darn cool! We built miles of tunnels and supper cool snow forts and igloos! This brings me to my kids who have quite enjoyed digging snow forts and sledding themselves. Which is what makes snow so cool. Plus they don’t mind a snow day or two. So while us parents pine for warmer days ahead better layer up and head out to your local sledding hill. It’s all about the kids after all.
Where I’d rather be today. Santa Monica State Beach
Last year at this time I was headed to my first ever Grammy weekend. It was very, very cool. Or should I say very, very warm! As I sit here now after shoveling six inches of snow my mind remembers a place of green grass, sunshine, good times, burgers and blue water. You can read about my weekend of Rolling with the Bogle here. There will be no such weekend trip this year. While the Grammy weekend rapidly approaches I send out my best wishes to Chicagoan Justin Roberts and his band on their bid to win a Grammy. I will try to catch the pre-telecast on the web if it’s available and cheer for them loudly if they win though the only reason I can see them losing is because of the drummer (drummers are always the fall guy). I am back healthier and shoveling so back to the insights and reviews here on the page. Johnny Bregar and I shall be having a conversation about one of his songs today. I hope to share that with you by the end of the week. Stay tuned and have a great day
The word has gotten out that we here at A man, a band and a plan… are reviewing songs and CD’s. The good news is that someone is reading our blog. That’ I am successfully spreading the word of kindie which is part of the reason I write here. But now Publicists and bands are sending me material as well. The bad news is I now have more stuff to review and listen too. Up till now most of the kids music I listened to was acquired via CD swap. One of mine for one of theirs. Especially at the now defunct kindiefest. The Poochamungas have traded with the likes of Joanie Leeds, Little Miss Ann, Johnny Bregar, Kurt Gallagher, The Hipwaders, Joanie Leeds, The Boogers, Rollie Pollie Guacamole, Story Laurie, Recess Monkey, The Not-Its, and many others. This is a great way to build a childrens music library of high quality tunes. Plus no pressure to listen right away. We here at Poochamungas HQ like listening to lots of music and to buy all that music would be cost prohibitive. But now they are mailing CD’s with expectations! The pressure oh my goodness… THE PRESSURE!!! (a bit overdramatic) As Ross Perot used to say “Here’s the deal We promise to give everything a listen. If it’s exceptional we shall review it. Whether it’s a song, CD art or the entire package. Excellence should be its own reward but we’ll gonna try to help spread the word on this thing we call kindie. Plus I’ll try to spread the word on works you may not have heard of but are excellent and should be heard. That’s the deal. So to get started…
groovin in the garden
As I type this I’m listening to a CD by Laurie McIntosh aka… Story Laurie. I acquired it while hanging with a bunch of musicians, on a beautiful Brooklyn night, hotel rooftop, during kindiefest (cue sad music). The CD is solid with a mixture of traditional songs and originals (Dean Jones produced) but the song I really like is Grandma Said. Just a Uke, groovy bass line for attitude, drum shuffle and Lauries knowing vocals. This is a song that takes you to moments remembered with Grandma. A child asking thousands of questions and Grandma not knowing. Which is ok because someone is listening which is what kids really want. Someone to be interested. The close of the song is perfects as Laurie sings Grandma saying “But Those were the best questions she’d ever heard”. Nice affirmation and it’s a song I wish I had written. So go to the link below and by the song. Buy the CD. Support artists so they can continue to make music for us to enjoy!
Posted in CD reviews, family, song reviews, Travel
Tagged Children's, Dean Jones, grandma, Hipwaders, Joanie Leeds, Johnny Bregar, kindie, Kindiefest, Kurt Gallagher, Little Miss Ann, music, Poochamungas, Rollie Pollie Guacamolie, Story Laurie, The Boogers
The long road I mentioned yesterday (link here) just got a little longer and harder. I flipped on the laptop this morning to find that kindiefest was over. It has disbanded for reasons unknown and I for one am a bit saddened by this. It was my hope that eventually we could have a similar event in the Midwest, preferably Chicago though anywhere in the Midwest would be fine (hello Jiggle Jam!) Everyone in the kids music world knows the Justin Roberts, Laurie Berkners and Dan Zanes. You also get to meet the Jim Cosgrove’s, Kurt Gallagher’s and Laura Doherty’s. Regional musicians who were plugging away, making a living but all looking for new ideas and sharing their own experiences and you got to meet the ones struggling just like you were. That was the best part for me. Showcase was always a lot of fun, (for the record I did buy the Pizza in 2011 not wanting to have to leave showcase) there were some really worthwhile panels (find your own Mississippi-thanks Molly Ledford!) and the Friday Keynote/meet and greet was always a highlight. I got to meet so many unpretentious great musicians and industry folk like Kurt Gallagher, Sean Hogan, Kathy O’Connel, Jeff Bogle, Dean Jones, Dave Loftin, Paul Butler, Danny Adamson, Joanie Leeds and her future drummer husband (his name is Dan), Jim Cosgrove, Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis, Jack Forman, Justin Roberts, Beth Blenz-Clucas, Bridget Rymer, Story Laurie, Stefan Shepard, Bill Childs, Tor, Stephanie Mayers, Mona Kayan, Mista Cookie Jar, Justin Lansing, Joe Mailander, Johnny Bregar, Key Wilde, Chris Wiser, Rod Martin, The Pop-Ups, Laura Doherty, Little Miss Ann, Tim Kubart and the others I have forgotten. I say thank you all for your insight, kindness, advice and laughs. Especially the laughs! I don’t know about you folks but I’m not ready for this party to end. Kindie Chicago 2014? It might happen…
Posted in family, Travel
Tagged Bill Childs, Dan Zanes, Dave Loftin, Dean Jones, Jeff Bogle, Joanie Leeds, Justin Roberts, Kindiefest, Kurt Gallagher, Laura Doherty, Laurie Berkner, Little Miss Ann, Mona Kayhan, Paul Butler, Sean Hogan, Stephanie Mayers, Tor
Horseback riding at Chain-o-Lakes State park.
What a great weekend. Saturday morning the Hilltown Family Variety Show aired at 8am hosted by Poochamungas John and Pete (thanks Sienna!) to start the day (all about firefighter life). It followed Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child with Bill Childs on WXOJ 103.3fm, Northampton (both excellent kindie music based shows available weekly on the internet or podcast later). Then the t-shirts from our firehouse wager came in Lands End box which confused the wife for a bit. “What did you order from Lands End” she asked to which I replied “Nothing.” Instead I opened it to find a dozen Boston FD T-shirts courtesy of Engine 56, Truck 21.
Thank you Boston FD and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Our spoils from a friendly firehouse bet with the brothers in Boston (E112 and TL21 Thank you). I must thank the Blackhawks as well as they really did all the hard work. (If you watched the series it was amazing hockey.) Then I also received a padded envelope with couple CD’s. One Justin Roberts and one Alastair Moock. Both are excellent ( we’ll review them at a later date.) We listend to JR and Alistair, splashed in the backyard, napped and then went to the local festival/carnival and finally to bed. It was a great Saturday. Then after a full nights sleep we awoke early Sunday and headed off to horseback riding up at the Chain-O-Lakes State park with some friends. Last year we went it was a great time. Today was no different. Me and the boy remained behind as he’s to young to ride the trail. So while they went on an hour ride he got a pony ride instead. Reluctant at first by the end he was smiling a lot. Then as we had to wait we went and got some ICE CREAM! No complaints there. When the big kids and parents came back we headed over to the Cedar Café in Round Lake Beach and had a great lunch. They were kind enough to serve us and the food was great. If your in the area stop on by at 1106 N. Cedar Lake Road, Round Lake Beach, IL. Diner food with a Mexican slant and all of it was very tasty. So that was my weekend as I sit here typing my daughter wants to go for a bike ride. Then we’ll BBQ some chicken and steaks. No art or recording or gigs. Just me and the family for a great weekend. How about you?
Posted in CD reviews, family, Travel
Tagged Alastair Moock, Boston FD, Cedar Cafe, Chain-o-Lakes State Park, Hilltown Family Variety Hour, horseback riding, Justin Roberts, round lake beach, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child
A Block Party Day with Chillin and Grillin!
So the Poochamungas rocked the weekend away. First we headed out to Frankfort on Saturday for “Chillin and Grillin for a Cure“. The event is to raise money in efforts to defeat cystic fibrosis. This is our second time playing the event and we brought a full band this time around (last year a three piece). Well we had a good time, worked a new song into the set, played Train Rolls on twice at my daughters request and folks seemed to really dig the music. In events like this not a lot of folks are dancing up by the band. Kids are in the jumpy, riding scooters, bikes and big wheels, getting face painted and visiting the firetruck (they got a Tower Ladder this year). But kids kept visiting the driveway we we’re playing and lot’s of heads boppin in the crowd is a good sign. We took care of all public service announcements and even got to introduce the contestants in the rib competition (Alton rocked the organ intro!) The folks that organize this do an amazing job. Erin and Jim Burns along with their family, friends and neighbors really make this a great event. I hope we raised lots of money and I hope they invite us again next year!
Poochamungas at Wonder Works in Oak Park, IL
Next we headed over to Oak Park on Sunday as part of the Parties for Pillars series. We are one of many fundraising events that they are hosting this month. Wonder Works Children’s Museum in Oak Park hosted our concert and what a fun space they have. Lots of interactive exhibits for your kids to have fun and learn at the same time (double win!) Well we had a really fun and interactive set. The energy of the crowd was great and everyone had a good time. After the show people attendees got to use the museums facilities for another hour. Way cool. We also sold 4 CD’s and split the profit with Pillars. Some might laugh but 4 CD sales at a show is pretty good. 10 is amazing but 4 is good indeed! Many thanks to Michelle Halm for inviting us to play and to the Pillars organization and Wonder Works Children’s Museum. We had a great time! Thanks for having us!
Today we not only have a rehearsal we also have to take photos for the upcoming CD release. Not my favorite thing to do but necessary to promote the materials. I have hired a professional photographer instead of the usual DIY photos we usually use. So today he’s gonna take pics during rehearsal and then after as well. I hope to get some good stuff given he’s taking photos of me… But I digress. The big day is only 3 months away and lots to do before the “Official Release.” No worries.
We have six great shows this summer. Make sure you come on out and enjoy one of our live gigs. We venture out of state a couple of times as well. Like us on Facebook and keep up with our travels and gigs.
Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.
Anyone who reads this blog know of my trials and successes as a kindie musician. To promote my next CD I have taken the next step of hiring the services of Publicist Elizabeth Waldman Frasier of Waldmania (very excited.) So imagine my surprise when I see my daughter has garnered the photo in American Profile (a national publication) in an article titled Jiggle Jam by Carol Crupper. Sure it’s an article about Jim Cosgrove, Dan Zanes, Frances England and the Okee Dokee Brothers but there on the front page is my daughter singing along with Jim! (she’s the tall redhead) Now Jim is a great guy, friend and Jiggle Jam is a festival worth making the trip to if you get the chance. Really the best family festival I have ever been to… Twice! But I’m thinking maybe I hire my daughter to do the PR? After all she just made the cover of a national publication…
It’s been three weeks since I attended Kindiefest and we have been working our way thru all the music we received while in attendance (By we I mean my two kids and I.) A few CD’s have been really separating themselves from the rest. First is The Hipwaders – Golden State.
One of our new Fav’s!
The hit on Kids Place Live (KPL) was a groovy cool sounding Hey Josie. But The Ramble (been stuck in my head for a week in a good way) is my favorite. If you like California surf guitar licks with a driving backbeat this CD is for you. Next is Johnny Bregar – My Neighborhood. I define this as American Music. Rock, Blues, Country and all cool. We
Rocking CD with flavors of blues, country and all cool.
were big fans of Polly’s Rain Dance (played on KPL) and the whole CD is just a continuation of great sounding music. To call this kiddie music or label these CD’s as just for children is a disservice. As we in Poochamungas land like to say. Good Music Knows No Age. The third CD which is not a “kids” CD (the band closed kindiefest.) is David Wax Museum – Knock Knock Get up. It’s defined as Mexo-Americana but WOW! To try to categorize the music limits what this album really is. While you can hear the Mexican and Americana influences the music is it’s own definition and it totally blew me away.
The title song is amazing as is the rest of this wonderful music. There is a very deep musical pool on this CD and I suggest you jump on in. I shall be voting for them come Grammy Time (The other two artists CD’s released in 11′ and 12′ so no voting for them.) I still have a few more CD’s to listen and will report as I do. But these will all be in rotation for weeks to come.
Posted in CD reviews, family, Recording, Travel
Tagged American Profile, Dan Zanes, David Wax Museum, Frances England, Hipwaders, Jiggle Jam, Jim Cosgrove, Johnny Bregar, Kindiefest, Mexo-Americana, Okee Dokee Brothers, Waldmania