Tag Archives: Billy Kelly

Best of 2015 kindie music

I haven’t been writing much here lately as life’s other obligations have gotten in the way. But I have listened to a whole lot of kindie music this year.  This years top ten is only a top 7 because these are the ones I remember without effort. It seems after 46 years the memory just went.  If I remember a CD later I’ll just amend this list These are ones that have spun in the car and in the house. The ones that my children still request and dance and sing along too.

7. We All Shine – Playdate. Good CD and they stole my publicist and photographer! I’m not bitter at all. You can read the review HERE

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David Kindler


6. Hamster Pants –  Ratboy Jr.  This CD got a lot of play in the car this year as well. There silly pop philosophical  musings of hamsters in pants, barbarian librarians and skunk and robot relationships kept us entertained for hours on the road.  page-photo-26507

5. Hot Air – Recess Monkey.  Them boys have really hit their rocking stride in their last two CD’s with the John Vanderslice guy recording all analog and funky.RECESSMONKEY61.300

4. Trees – Billy Kelly and Molly Ledford.   If ya told me you were going to make a CD about Trees I would of laughed at you.  Well this is the second CD on that subject to prove me wrong (Underbirds was the first) and this one went and got a Grammy nomination. Strong songs by two fine song crafters. billy molly

3. Rocksteady – Josh and the Jamtones.  I gave Josh and Pat a bit of a hard time over the narration on there last CD  Bear Hunt but loved the music. My kids dug both.  Well we all agreed this year that this CD was rocking right beginning to end narration and all. No one rocks as hard as these guys and they include horns! Really a great CD. Josh Jamtones

2. How Great Can This Day Be – Lori Henriques.  On my post earlier this year I described this CD as pure joy.  Any other year it probably would of been #1 on my list. This also received a well earned grammy nomination and you should should check it out. lori henriques pic

1. Deep Woods Revival – Red Yarn.   On a  two week road trip with my kids to Colorado  this became our soundtrack and we as a family never tired of it. Along with Big Audio Dynamite, John Mayer and Bob Seger this one was constantly requested by the wife and kids.  It is also this years Rymer Award Winner for the CD that should of been nominated for a grammy but didn’t get there. It’s folk music, opera, story telling and a full audio experience. Andy Furgeson gets better with every CD he puts out and this one is my favorite this year.Red-Yarn-Bob-Rabbit-photo-by-Aaron-Hewitt-495x400

That’s all for now folks. See you in 2016!!!


The Song and the Process. I Must Be a Genius by Dean Jones


Dean Jones is busy these days recording other peoples music.  When I called he was in a session with Molly Ledford (Lunch Money) and Billy Kelly who are working on a project (they had stepped out for lunch). He also works or has worked with with Story Laurie, Recess Monkey and those two Grammy winning children’s music impostors (they’re really great folk musicians in disguise) The Okee Dokee Brothers and many others.  Dean’s really a go to guy when it comes to music production but he is also a most talented songwriter in his own right and likeable fellow as well.  There aren’t a lot of smartly written love songs in the kindie music world that I know of.  The two that come to mind are Pandas are Dangerous by The Boogers and I Must Be A Genuis by Dean Jones. While the Pandas song isdog on fleas bogof totally Punk Rock (still sentimental) this one is more charming and sweet reminiscent of the 40’s piano driven pop song.  I think Bing Crosby but I digress…  When asked where the song came from Dean said “Out of the blue. Some of the best songs are BOOM. The Phrase just came out.”  So he had the I must be a genius and the love me, love you too part so he needed music.  He went to his default chord structure.   A bunch of chords he was used to writing in (mine is E A D). Dean wasn’t always a kindie music guy.  He had a band like all those other bands out there and one day his  friend who owns a toy store told him “his songs where juvenile.  Why not write songs for kids?” So that’s what he did and Dog on Fleas was Born.  When not writing or producing music he also plays out professionally, accompanies  a puppet company plus Dad and dishwashing duties. Dean is married with two kids one of whom is already songwriting at 7 yrs old and in his (Dean) words “Writes good stuff.”  Me, I’m thinking Dean writes really cool offbeat tunes and with this song he is quite genius indeed with this shuffling drum, trombone highlighted, piano driven two minute masterpiece.  Go check out  this song on Buy One Get One Flea!  Go check out all of his work and go support an independent artist today!

The Song and the Process. Translator by Molly Ledford of Lunch Money

carportFor the longest time I had been playing with a rhythm on the guitar using harmonics (see Wikipedia for explanation)and a clock like tempo.  I really loved the sound but had yet to develop a song or put words to it.  Imagine my surprise when I first heard Lunch Money’s song Translator and and it had the same rhythmic sound I had been working on (not anymore).  The rhythm perfectly matched with its lyrics conveying a bittersweet message about a small child whom no one understand but the parent who translates for the child.  Bittersweet because the child will one day grow up and not need their translator/parent.  It conveys the frustration of the child and the love of the parent at the same time.  The fact the first line of the song –You ask “where is the bathroom” and they hand you a balloon– Was taken from a supermarket incident with Molly’s lunch money wagonown child  makes it even more special.  So many parents can relate.  Molly says most songs come to her in bits and pieces.  She sings them into her phone (gotta love 21’st century tech) or they are lost forever.  Kind of like when you wake up from a dream and try to remember as the memory starts to fade.  Then she takes the recorded pieces and works on them later.  In this case when she awoke one morning at 8am the whole song pretty much wrote itself.  Inspiration had struck and had given her a nearly completed song. Usually there’s a lot more work involved.  Going back to the recording and working through the many ideas she has put  in their various completed states looking for a home.  She then develops the words and melodies into songs. But this time she got it all.  So she has the words and melody but has to now translate it (bit of irony) for the studio to record. Originally it’s a jolly happy song.  With the growth of the tune comes a bit of sadness.  She’s thinking of using  moog_prodigy_lgcello player Heidi Brown Carey as she has already played on the song Awake but doesn’t want the same sound. Heidi introduces plucking the cello notes in rhythmic/clock time and it’s the perfect vehicle for the lyrics.  Then her husband/engineer (they record at home) Jay lays down some atmospheric  Moog (played by Stevie Wonder and may others) in the background and they’re done. Finished.  They will later take their songs to Old House Studio in Charlotte, NC to have them mixed by Cliff Garges.  I’d say he did a fine job as the whole Spicy Kid album sounds great.  Molly has a few more projects lined up in her near future.  She’s teaming up with Billy Kelly for songs about trees. molly BillyThe just announced this on Facebook the other day.  She is also involved in an all girl band (non-kindie) and has been collaborating with a puppet show to write the soundtrack not to mention another CD about animals at the local shelter. Wow!  She is not one to stand still for long. Do yourself a favor and check out Lunch Money’s last release Spicy Kid and especially Translator. Written from a parents perspective it’s a high quality CD with really superior lyrics that you should give a listen too today!