Tag Archives: Dean Jones

Unexpected Sonic Joy in the Car. Hello My Baby by Vered

 

CoverHello

Getting in my car this morning after a long work shift my plan was to stop at the farmers market for some freshly made donuts and grab some vegetables. Opening the tailgate I placed my duffel bag in and noticed a box of my CD’s. What caught my eye was a couple other CD’s in the box one of which is Hello My Baby : Songs to Bond You and Your Baby by Vered.  Always willing to hear new artists and especially people I’ve met I pop in into the CD player.  The title is a bit wordy in my opinion but that would be the only flaw in an otherwise perfect sonic journey. The blend of harmonies, horns, strings and joy make it one of the best sounding CD’s I have heard this year.  I haven’t written here since pre-kindiecomm and that’s where I obtained this CD.  I saw and heard lots of great stuff at Kindiecomm. Lucy Kalantari, LARD Dog, The Sugar Free Allstars, The Boogers and may others to which I have been slacking about reporting here on the blog.  But  I gotta tell you that upon hearing this CD I felt obligated to write about it. To spread the word.  The shame of great albums like this is that many folks dismiss what’s been recorded as soon as they hear kids or children’s music. This isn’t a sing song sing along hope to forget it barney experience.  This is excellence in music regardless of genre. Do yourself a favor if your looking for something to listen with your baby, child or just in the mood for some great music. I should mention that once again that guy Dean Jones (Grammy award winner)produced this stellar album. Go buy this and support an independent artist today.

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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!

My top ten and rejected again

WIRED Cover Art_Recess Monkey_72 dpi Once again I sent my usual 10 page resume (not really) along with a request to be Okee-Dokee-Bros-Through-the-Woodsa judge for the Fids and Kamily Awards.  Once again I got a polite but firm denial to this exclusive club because they don’t allow kindie musicians to be part of the club…sniff, sniff.  Well even without my vote they are BY FAR the best award an artist could hope to win.  There are no fees involved and there are multiple industry, blogger and qualified people voting on the music which is not always the case with a lot of the awards out there like.  Many times only one or year_round_songstwo people are reviewing all the music AND they charge a nice bit of coin. So congrats to the Fids and Kamily winners.   Here is how I would have voted. Free of charge! My top ten CD’s of the year.  Cue the music… Top Ten Cd’s for this year

  1. Recess Monkey – WIRED  (The best CD I heard this year)
  2. The Okee Dokee Brothers – Through The Woods (Not as great as the last one but still amazing)
  3. Edie Carey & Sarah Sample – ‘Til the Morning: Lullabies and Songs of Comfort (Caught me by surprise.  Outstanding vocals and music)
  4. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – The Perfect Quirk (Great CD with smartest written song this year)
  5. Dog on Fleas -Buy one Get One Flea (Dean Jones showing his own Genius)
  6. The Hipwaders -Year Round Sounds (Just a great music with a California feel)
  7. Brady Rymer – Just say Hi (Still the most underrated kindie artist out there with another great CD)
  8. Laura Doherty – In a Heartbeat (Lyrics for tots. Music for everyone and from Chicago!))
  9. Jon Samson – A New Kids Album (Sonically amazing)
  10. Mills Trills – Everyone Together Now (Superiors vocals and a big sound)

dog on fleas bogofThese are the my pics for the best CD’s out this year.  For me the best CD by far this year is WIRED by Recess Monkey.  Not because the others aren’t great but because this one is so musically, lyrically and sonically awesome good! I should also mention its Grammy nomination voting time.  I still have some listening to do before I make my final Grammy Picks but rest assured WIRED has already made the grade. Everyone in the kindie world who is a voting NARAS member should have this as one of their nominations. I shall leave the other 4 to you.     Lots of great music BradyRymerJustSayHiout there this year. Bands super worthy but not in my top ten include Josh and the Jamtones –  Bear Hunt (I’m not big on narration but my kids laugh a lot), Baze and His Silly FriendsThe Best Day Ever (just feel good music and my wife liked it!), Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band –  Lishy Loo and Lucky Too (Thingamajig is an amazing song!), The Not-Its! Raise Your Hand (Power Pop awesomeness) and finally Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights –  Good Egg (Good songs and music on the whole disk).  Now I still have a few Albums to check out before I vote for the other 4 Grammy nominees but you should go and check out any of these CD’s. Go support an independent artist today!

The truth about Okee Dokee Brothers Music!

Okee-Dokee-Bros-Through-the-WoodsI’m usually not one for writing expose’ pieces but I can hold quiet no longer.  There are a few bands out there posing as “kiddie” bands of which I won’t mention but one band in particular MUST BE EXPOSED!  I’m talking about those happy go lucky folk singing Okee Dokee Brothers.   If you’re not familiar with them they like to go out on long trips and then write songs about the experience. Their first travel inspired album was about canoeing down the Mississippi (Can you Canoe? review) which won a Children’s Grammy. The most recent one is about hiking down the Appalachian Trail.  How are kids supposed to learn about counting when the sublime acoustic sounds and harmonies of the title track Through the Woods takes us out of the city and into the forest?  How can little Jenny, Billy or Isaac learn about colors if they insist singing about Smokey Mountain BBQ, mountain life, love and family in the song Ruby Jane?  How are kids gonna learn to touch their knees and toes if they insist life sounds better in the eclectic, Dean Jones piano driven Out of Tune?  These here are not “kiddie” songs and I’ll tell you what they are…  Americana inspired by the music of the Appalachian. Songs that resonate with folk of all ages.  Music that take the listener on a journey of wonder.   I could go on about how great the CD is but you should go out buy it, listen to it and enjoy two of the best songwriters I know working with one of the best producers (Dean Jones) I know. There’s nothing wrong with “kiddie music” done right.  But the biggest crime here is how many people will never listen to this CD because it’s labeled a Children’s CD when it is so much more.   Go support a Kindie artist today!

Songs you should Check Out!

Here at A man, A band and A plan… sort of We have been catching up on all of our listening and a few songs have really set themselves apart.  I share those tunes with you now.

The Sun is UpMaking silly faces by In the Nick of Time.  Very classic hard rocking fun evoking the sounds of BTO (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) is a raucous fun wake up song with a lot of cool classic guitar.  Power Chords, a cool guitar solo and one hyper energetic morning child make this song universally fun for the whole clan. Check it and the rest of the songs on Making Silly Faces.  See a TV performance of the song below!

Come on, Come onmr singer atsc, Come on! by Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies.  High energy rocking music is the theme of this blog post so far and Mr. Singer brings it!  What I really love about this song is the the lyrically bouncing rhythm on the aptly named Bouncing Ball of Energy. It also has a great grooving baritone sax powering the way.  This one will be on a bunch of our playlists! Make sure it’s on yours as well!

I Must Be a Genius dog on fleas bogofby Dog on Fleas.  While this song is a bit more relaxed then the previous two it’s brimming full of happiness. Lyrically smart and emotionally catchy with the trombone played with some sublime joy this is truly one of my favorite love songs ever written.  Dean Jones (mentioned in this blog a few times)  does so much great work for so many other artists it’s nice to see him and his bandmates put out such a great tune.   The song is available on Buy One Get One Flea.  Go buy this CD today and check out the video below.

What I was gonna write about the School Break Primates… a.k.a. Recess Monkey.

monkeyhandsI recently had a great talk with Drew Holloway of Recess Monkey  about their kindie career and how they got to where they are today sonically. How once upon a time they were just three school teachers recording in a school.  That he and Daron Henry would play guitar and drums and Jack Forman  would record them.  Then when they (Daron and Drew) got done recording the guitar and drums Jack would record his bass while the other two plotted out the next song.  No fancy studio for them as they recorded in the classrooms they taught in. It was a very sophisticated way of making a CD. Just three guys playing three instruments making good music.  A long way from the band that’s playing with the Seattle  Symphony on May 17th!    This is as far as I had gotten in this articlesubmonkeys about the growth of the Recess Monkey.  Especially in the world of music production.  I’d love to tell you about the many other cool things about Recess Monkey.   But it seems the notebook I recorded my notes in has disappeared.  In my house!   It may be under my son’s bed or being used as a diary by my daughter. Perhaps the wife’s been jotting down grocery lists.  I’m not sure.  If I had it I’d tell you about their awesome experience recording with Dean Jones (Most mentioned guy on this blog. Due for an interview.) on In Tents.  Perhaps we’d discuss the addition of Korum Bischoff after long time drummer Daron Henry left the band. (They have a drummer coming out party on the song Fish Sticks on last year’s Deep Sea Diver.  It is a truly amazing piece of drumming.)  Then I’d make mention of the fact that Deep Sea Diver and Desert Island Disc were originally one CD that grew into two because of the plethora of songs.  Talk about the heavy Brian Wilson vibe on Desert Island Disc.  That their upcoming disc was recorded with their musical hero John Vanderslice and that after Drew packed up all the Recess Monkey instruments into the minivan, drove them to the Tiny tiny telephone recordingTelephone Recording in San Francisco he ended up using just a mandolin. That John recorded the upcoming CD all on two inch tape.  TWO INCH TAPE!!!  On a Neve no less.   Why you ask is that so impressive?  Tape is a finite analog recording experience unlike digital.  Once you get the right take you erase the rest to use the tape again. So when you’re in the recording room you better be damn ready to record the song (Watch the documentary Sound City to get the scope of why recording on 2 inch tape and a Neve is so impressive.) Those are the things I would probably talk about.  Did I mention that Drew is still teaching,  Korum has around 3 jobs including Drum Teacher and Director of Events and oh yeah… Jack Forman.   The bass player, song writer, original engineer and now the late afternoon host on Kids Place Live (We’re big fans of Jack and the Monkey House listening most days in our car). These are things I would discuss if I could find my note book. Wherever it is.  What I did come away with from my conversation with Drew is the idea that a band becomes greater than its pieces.  That new recording experiences whether with Dean Jones, Johnny Bregar, Tor Hyams or John Vanderslice help fuel the way to more music and keep it interesting for the band.  In the beginning they recorded everything they wrote and then learned to write more and record just the cream of their writing.  They’re still having fun and still writing, playing and grooving out with audiences coast to coast.  Maybe I’ll find that notebook.  Would of been a heck of an article.  Now go support a kindie artist today! I leave you with my kids favorite Monkey video.  Self produced of course…

Congrats to Jack Forman and family on the arrival of the new Baby!  May she and mom be healthy and you all get lots of rest!