Tag Archives: Brady Rymer

The Song and the Process. Picky Eater by Brady Rymer

brady rymerIt should come as no surprise I’d find my way round’ to interviewing Brady Rymer.  I have championed his Love Me For Who I Am CD on this blog a few times and even named an award after him for the Best Kids CD not nominated for a Grammy (First annual “Rymer” this year awarded to Frances England.)  But I digress…  Upon listening this seems a pretty direct song.  Picky Eater is really a universal song about those who choose not to eat many of life’s great foods and how when on a plate they “should not mingle”.  It’s got a bit of a funky reggae rhythm and it’s quite infectious in its joy of not eating certain delectable dishes. Unless it comes to dessert which has no sort of restrictions.  Just like my own children. They might not like dinner but they always have room for ice cream.  The great thing about this song is that it’s origin lay a bit deeper than expected. Seems Brady has been playing regular gigs at Celebrate celebrate schoolthe Children School in New Jersey which is a school for kids with autism, aspergers and other related disorders. He thought he should write songs for that audience, that they could own.  But also the idea those songs also be universal. So with the help of the school (they sent a list of song titles) he came up with songs to be on the CD, Picky Eater being one of them. By intertwining his experience with his own kids (one a picky eater) , his childhood and the song title he had been sent Picky Eater was born.  This isn’t his usual way of writing songs, not that he has a set songwriting style. Sometimes it starts with a hook and sometimes strumming a guitar sorting out big ideas while humming.  He had never before started with a title and worked from there. When these titles arrived he grabbed his guitar and excitedly got to working. It was a nice change of pace and with Picky Eater he developed an over abundance of material.  Once he gets to writing he usually gets on a roll.  In this case he ends up having to shorten the song.  Now that he has these songs he heads over to Budd Lake, New Jersey where his friend, musician and teacher at Celebrate the Children School, Dan Myers, has his dirt floor studiosstudio (Dirt Floor Studios).  Dan also helped compile the list of song titles along with school founder Monica Osgood (they both got writing credits).  The two of them (Brady and Dan) get to recording the majority of the songs with just the two of them playing all the instruments (you should be impressed).  Only adding other musicians when necessary.  Brady recorded his vocal track live while he played an electric guitar.  He felt recording his vocals while playing helps give the songs a “live” feeling. They used a drum sampler called EZ Drummer to give them a grove and added the live percussion with Dan Sadownick later.  Brady worked on a couple songs at a time for this recording, traveling from his home in Long Island, NY to Budd Lake,New Jersey.  I’d say the travel was well worth it as the song turned out quite infectious. The brilliance of the song is it’s universal appeal but knowing the origin is anything but universal.   Anyone who ever had a child say no at a dinner table will empathize with this song.  I should mention that Brady has a brand new CD coming out this year called Just Say Hi! and can also be found playing bass with the Laurie Berkner band not to mention he has gotten back together with the love me for...band From Good Homes who play a few shows a year.  Do yourself a favor and check out the Love Me for Who I Am website, listen to the songs (Picky Eater is second) and go buy the CD.  It’s an amazing piece of work celebrating those who don’t always fit “the norm” but deserve to be heard and celebrated!

 

https://bradyrymerandthelittlebandthatcould.bandcamp.com/track/picky-eater

2013 Remem-blurred!

The backyard view.

The backyard view.

New Zealand started out the year as my friend Nick invited us (the wife and I) to his wedding in January (amazing). Seems it’s been full-speed-ahead-try-to-catch-up-break-neck-pace-all-year-long. The year I went to the Grammys.  Many thanks to Jeff Bogle for making it an epic adventure there as well. What a great time thanks to the McHattons (TESLA!)

It's Electric!!!

It’s Electric!!!

, Okee Dokee Brothers, Mindy Thomas, David Tobocman, Debbie Block, Bill Harley and everyone else I got to hang with including new kindie blogger Rebecca Yorn Allison (Kids Can Grove)  Then there was a the last kindiefest ever! Didn’t know it at the time but many thanks to Bill, Stephanie, Mona and Tor for making it happen.  What a great time and I really did learn a thing or two from the panels but so much more from the people!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Story Laurie, Dean Jones (thanks for the beer), MCJ (always brings it funky), The McHatton clan (Such a great family), Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis. Rod Martin , Chris Wiser, Paul Butler, Dave Loftin, Paul Stark, Steve Songs, Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes, Ralph, Jeff Bogle (again), Stefan Shepard, Rebecca Yorn Allison, Brady Rymer, Bridgette Rymer, Melissa Levis, Jacob Stein, Charlie Hope, Little Miss Ann, Mr Singer and the Sharp Cookies (good luck on the new school), Jack Forman, Drew Holloway, Korum Bischoff (Great addition to the School Break Primates) David Wax Museum (one of my favorite CD’s I heard this year!), Molly Ledford (I promise to be quiet next time), Morgan Taylor, Jason Rabinowitz, Joanie Leeds, Mr Kurt Gallagher (Peace and Quiet is a great song!), Lucky Diaz, Alisha Gaddis, Johnny Bregar (Polly’s Rain Dance is Awesome), Sean Hogan (Welcome to Fatherhood brother!), Kathy O’Connel (the Grand Dame of kindie), Danny Adamson, Tom Baisden (union brothers unite!), Tim Kubart (Congrats Chica Dude!), Beth Blenz-Clucas, Tito Uquillas and whoever I’m forgetting.  Just send me a note and I’ll add you to the list. Then we had a few gigs, finished our second CD, got some national exposure (thanks Elizabeth), played some more, kids kept growing, my daughter soloed in ice skating, my son jammed with me daily, listened to a lot of great music and wrote about a bunch of it. Went to CHITAG (thanks Rock Father). Frances england blink of an eyeWe also had family bouts of pnemonia, respitory ailments, colds and flus  and car crashes (no one injured).  My daughter just turned nine and my son will in a few months turn 4.  I joined a group of Dad Bloggers on Facebook (some seriously funny stuff).  Reconnected with some Pine Forest Camp folks from my youth.  Lost some weight and managed to keep it off.  On the right track closing out the year.  It was a interesting year to be sure and the growth has been good.  Thanks to all who have read the pages here and to those who inspire me to write and get better at it.  Hope everyone learned from 2013 and I wish them and theirs a Happy 2014.

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Ageless kindie songs pt.2

The second edition of music made that knows no age.  Songs that could played anywhere with no one the wiser that they’re on a “kids music” album.  As we Poochamungas like to say… “Good Music Knows No Age.”  So without further ado…

The Not-Its Busy.  The Not-Its are a pure power pop 90’s rocking goodness.  This song about a family tying to get out of the house with a great horn section, power guitar riffs and Sarah’s vocals would fit on any radio playlist.kidquake

Brady Rymer Who Wants to Wear Shoes? Much of Brady’s music is ageless but this one especially.  From the opening guitar riff you know your in for a rocking ride.  This song deserves to be played loud and often (it has around here).  An autistic perspective on the wearing of clothing is poignant, funny, totally rockin and ageless.love me for...

Johnn Bregar Polly’s Rain Dance.  A little rockin blues shuffle about a girl in the desert of Australia who makes it rain.  Johnny makes great music and this is a song that shouldn’t be pigeon holed as just for kids.  Especially with the amazing harmonica being played in this youtube video here.

Rocking CD with flavors of blues, country and all cool.

Rocking CD with flavors of blues, country and all cool.

That’s three more tunes adding to the many kindie tunes that are truly ageless great music.

Grammy nominees and “The Rymer!”

Congrats to all the nominees who got the invite to the Grammy table this year.  Justin Roberts, Alistair Moock, Elizabeth Mitchell, Beth Neilsen Chapman and Jennifer Gasoi.  I have not had the privilege of listening to Beth or Jenny’s work but know that the other 3 are all excellent. But as it happens in life sometimes excellence gets overlooked. So I’m  starting an unofficial award  on my blog this year called “The Rymer“.  This is in honor of Brady Rymer and the year his CD Love Me for Who I Am didn’t even make the Grammy nominee list.  It was and still is one of the best Children’s CD’s ever released. Period.  Well this years winner and first winner ever of “The Rymer” is Blink of an Eye by Frances England.  As it was a really good year for music in the Kindie music realm works like Frances England’s sometimes slip through the cracks.  Don’t let that happen and go buy a copy today! In my humble opinion it was the best CD of the year.

Frances england blink of an eye

For other great music that came out this year check out my kindie top ten.  Pay no attention to the order as they are all Grammy worthy!

Dreams of a Gold Gramophone… more of the process of making and selling a CD

Grammy dreamsNow that the new CD is done, packaged and on it’s way it is time to enter it into various programs to be judged.  This is one of the many ways to get exposure so more people become aware of the music.  We have entered into the National Parenting Publication Awards and one other, but the one I’m really want to enter is the GRAMMY AWARDS now that I am a voting member and allowed an entry.  Because my CD is brilliant! It is sure win over the voters and Poochamungas shall walk upon that stage just like the Okee Dokee Brothers did last year…  So goes the scenario in my and many other artists head. The truth of the matter is while the band has had a small amount of success. Not a lot of people know who and what are the Poochamungas.  When I mentioned entering the CD for the Grammy to my publicist Elizabeth Waldman Frazier (Waldmania!) in a email she politely replied that our time and investment (this becomes a marketing thing unto itself) is placed better elsewhere at this point in our career.  That is a painfully honest thing to say.  I won’t say it didn’t hurt a little bit to read in the email, but she is absolutely correct.  Which is one of the reasons I hired her.  Because I have to look no further to fellow artist Brady Rymer and the BRILLIANT (so good it deserves caps!) Love Me For Who I Am.  The fact that it didn’t win is OK, even understandable. The fact it failed to be a nominee was a travesty.  It truly was one of the best written, musically performed CD’s I heard that whole year (2011).  Then you include the fact he wrote it about autism with help and ideas from people with autism, it’s astounding.  On top of that Brady is one of the best live performers  you’ve ever seen in any kind of musical forum and has played all across the country. That leaves little room for Poochamungas getting a nod.  Not that the CD isn’t good enough because I definitely believe so.  It’s just not the only criteria it’s being judged upon.  Maybe the next one we take a shot at the ol’ gold gramophone.   Till then you just keep grinding away at it.

The long (uphill bothways) road ahead

Do you only play kiddie music.  That’s what a friend of mine asked recently when inquiring about my band. “Kiddie Music”. She wasn’t trying to demean what I do.  But that is the perception we as KINDIE musicians fight against every day.  You mention kids music and everyone pictures Barney and The Wiggles.   But that’s not what we do. My band sounds nothing like either one. I think a lot of this has to do with the age of media and especially video.  Nobody turns on the radio.  Everything is now on a flat screen with surround sound.  Even in cars more and more people play videos for their kids.  Everyone is lumped into the same bowl.  But it’s a disservice to the music available.  Right now the KINDIE genre is a rich and diverse musical landscape.  To compare Brady Rymer to the Wiggles is like comparing Beyonce to U2.  It’s just not the same type of music.  Sure Beyonce and U2 both play music but you would never mistake one for the other.  Same thing in KINDIE Music.  We in the Poochamungas have adopted this slogan.  GOOD MUSIC KNOWS NO AGE.  But because we play for kids and families we get stereotyped with Barney, Wiggles and Sesame Street.  But we sound nothing like any of them.  The Poochamungas sound nothing like The Not It’s, Justin Roberts, The Boogers or Grenadilla either.  The only thing each of these bands have in common is they make really great music.  So parents, critics and anyone reading this. Do all of us KINDIE folk a favor and listen…  and then judge.  That’s all we ask. If you do that I’m sure some of this “kiddie” music is sure to surprise you.   If you want more info on this please check out my friend Stefan Sheperds Kindie Manifesto on ZooGlobble.  He goes further in depth on the subject and a read I highly recommend.

Pre-Kindiefest – Day 1- 2013

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Flying in on a beautiful NYC morning

My feet are finally feeling better.  Another whirlwind weekend in Brooklyn, NY will do that to them.  Walking to and from the hotel to venue (.6 miles) and talking to people while standing and more standing and talking and listening and standing and eating and standing.  Long day on the feet will do that to you.  But while you’re having fun you tend not to notice.  And fun I had!

Early morning transportation

Early morning transportation

Day one had nothing to do with the Kindiefest event except for checking in.  It started with me waking up at 4am to catch my 6:45am flight.  I grabbed a cab and off to O’Hare Airport.  After a quick, no frills, flight where we waited an extra ten minutes on the runway because of the sequester we headed off to NYC.  We then arrived ten minutes earlier than scheduled.  Moving fast were we.  I must say that air travel wise it was the easiest I have ever flown and I checked a bag both ways. (La Guardia Sunday night was 10 minutes from curb to gate, checked bag included!)  Upon arriving I called my friend and fellow Northeastern Illinois Alum Jennifer Tuttle (amazing actress and now college professor) who picked me up then off her place in Astoria.  I then met her husband Kip and we discussed making a Poochamungas video as he is a professional film director, editor, etc.  Very cool guy.  I am looking to working with him sometime this summer (as long as the planets align and our schedules allow).

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Great guys in great hats who make great music and me!

Recording at KPL

Recording at KPL

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Steve Songs, Kenny Curtis and Dean Jones.

We then had a great lunch at a Queens diner and then she dropped me at my hotel.  I had enough time to clean up, change my shoes, hook up with Jeff Bogle (Out With The Kids) and Dave (Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl) Loftin and take a subway to Manhattan  and Sirius/XM headquarters.  We were invited to the live taping of a future show involving many of my favorite kindie bands doing songs of other Kindie Bands.  (Mindy Thomas had an inspired idea for  show and talks about it here ).   I also handed out the first copies of the Poochamungas new CD Block Party!    In the building was a who’s who of kindie artists.  Recess Monkey, Lunch Money, Tim and the Space Cadets, Mista Cookie Jar, Charlie Hope, Sugar Free All Stars, The Pop-UpsDog on Fleas, Steve Songs, Okee Dokee Brothers, The Not-Its and Brady Rymer.  I had a great time and even got to sing backup on the big number at the end (Thanks Mindy!)  I’ll  be sure to report here when the show airs on Kids Place Live.

NFL Draft day as well!

NFL Draft day as well!

After the show I joined Jeff and Dave for a dinner in Manhattan. I had no idea I was within a block of the NFL Draft headquarters as we walked by Radio City Music Hall on our way to meet the McHatton Clan along with Morgan Taylor.  The plan as outlined by the adventurous and technologically advanced Jeff Bogle was to have our paths intersect as we walked toward each other in NYC and the find a suitable eating place as well.  Well part A of the plan worked really well as Jeff and the McHattons did a great job of locating each other (technology is awesome).  Plan B took a bit longer but we finally did find a suitable place to eat for party of 10 as Mista Cookie Jar and the lovely Jenna joined us as well.  While the meal was OK it was great to talk with everyone at the table.  Lots of laughs and good conversation. Morgan explained to me the origin of Gustafer Yellowgold which was very cool ( My sons first concert other than Poochamungas was Gustafer. He’s a fan! You should check out The Underbirds as well.) Then it was back to the Subway and then bed somewhere around 1am after a very long but informational and enjoyable day.  Day two was only 9 hours away!