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’ slice 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.
I’ve been shuffling discs in my recently acquired Sony Mega Storage 200 CD player and a song made me stop shuffling and listen to the whole album. “Mommy and Daddy need a little more sleep” Mo Phillips is singing like he’s witnessed my own personal battles with a son who needs a bit of guidance in his nocturnal activities from time to time. What makes it more poetic is that the song is a duet. Occasional Yogurt ( also acquired at kindiecomm) is a brilliant piece of pop music. It’s musically layered, quirky, smart and honest. Big musical songs with simple messages that touch home. I highly recommend you go out and get this one. I was a big fan of his previous CD Monster Suit (Discovering the new…) and now a bigger fan of this one. Keep up the good work Mo we’ll be listening! Go and support and independent artist today!
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 beer 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 also 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.
Photo by Spark provided by Robert Drake
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Tagged 123 Andres, Bob McGrath, children, Dean Jones, Jim Cosgrove, Kathy O'Connel, kids, Kids Corner, kindie, Kindiecomm, Kurt Gallagher, music, National Constitution Center, philadelphia, Seanster and the Monsters, Sesame Street, World Cafe, wxpn
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.
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…
- Share a beer with the Legendary Kathy O’Connel(Kids Corner)
- Hang out with the Jim Cosgrove and family
- Watch Seanster and the Monsters perform (Great CD!)
- The Liberty Bell
- Visit old Pine Forest Camp friends
- 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…
- Rollin’ with the (OWTK) Bogle… PART DEUX!
- Hanging with Joanie Leeds Drummer (we never mention him by name)
- Hear great new music
- Book a gig or 2
- Laugh a lot
So if you’re at the conference be sure to stop by and say Hi!
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Tagged conference, Jim Cosgrove, Joanie Leeds, Joanie Leeds Drummer, Kathy O'Connell, Kenny Curtis, Kids Place Live, kindie, Kindiecomm, KPL, Mindy Thomas, Out with the Kids, OWTK, Seanster and the Monsters, stinky feet, The Okee Dokee Brothers, wxpn
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? These 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.
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Tagged all ages, children, Children's, conference, Dan Zanes, family, Jim Cosgrove, Justin Roberts, kindie, Kurt Gallagher, Laura Doherty, Laurie Berkner, lids, Mr. Kurt, music, The Okee Dokee Brothers
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 here
A couple of years ago a fellow blogger and friend James Zahn (The Rock Father) invited me to join a Dad Blogger group on Facebook. A man by the name of Oren Miller (A Blogger and a Father) welcomed me to the group he had started as a way for dads who blog to talk about their families, exchange ideas, argue a bit, offer support to fellow fathers and bloggers and most of all recognize the positive force dads are in society. The only rule in the group is “Don’t be a Dick.” Well this past week the man who had the brilliant idea to gather dad bloggers of all types died of stage four lung cancer. He leaves behind a wife and two children . I can only offer this. Thank you Oren. You inspired and touched the lives of so many people and so many that never even had the chance to meet you, myself included. You challenged people to be better by your words and actions. I leave you all with an Old Irish Blessing.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
You can donate to Oren’s Family by clicking HERE.
Five. That’s the number of people and bands I know up for a winning a Grammy today. Four of them happen to be in the same category and the fifth I just met the other day and posted about (What are the odds?). You won’t be seeing them during the prime telecast but the pre-show festivities are available to watch via the Grammy Webcast. Oh those artists I mentioned. Well around here we’ll be rooting for Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Pop Ups and The Okee Dokee Brothers. Not forgetting my recent adveture with Keb Mo who has a few nominations of his own. Good luck everyone and you’re all Grammy Worthy, even if you don’t win!
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Tagged Brady Rymer, Children's Grammy, Children's Music, Grammy, Grammy Webcast, keb mo, kids, kindie, music, Recording Academy, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Pop Ups
What do Keb Mo and I have in common? We both think Midwest Buy and Sell is one of the coolest guitar stores in the world. This postage stamp of a store is filled with guitars, amps and assorted other music equipment. If your’re driving by looking for it at 6019 W. Irving. A few doors west of Austin Avenue don’t blink, cause you’ll miss it! What was once a pawn store is now one of the coolest music places around. I have bought guitars, amps, monitors, etc. at great savings thanks to Wayne and his staff. It’s a no pressure place when purchasing an instrument and they never try to “sell” you. So you ask how I came by the fact that Keb Mo is a fan of Midwest Buy and Sell. Last Monday I happened to be in said store (buying guitar strings) when Wayne and a customer were talking about how Keb Mo hadn’t stopped by the store in awhile and how he used to always stop when he was in town. As I was working the upcoming Keb Mo show I informed them Keb Mo was going to be in town on Saturday. There was a bit more conversation and I thought nothing of it till I went with Missy (Keb Mo’s tour manager) to pick up Keb Mo at the mall. Upon picking up Keb I informed him how of the conversation I had earlier in the week. He mentioned he liked the store and asked how far it was. I said “20 minutes”. After a brief discussion with Missy he said “Let’s go!” with a big smile on his face. Which totally made my week. How often do you get to drive one of your favorite artists to your favorite guitar store? First time in my life that happened. Do yourself a favor. Go listen to Keb Mo ‘s new album cause it’s really good and then go buy it! Don’t forget to visit Midwest Buy and Sell either and tell them I sent ya!