Tag Archives: Jim Cosgrove

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

KindieComm things to do…

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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…

  1.  Share a beer with the Legendary  Kathy O’Connel(Kids Corner)
  2. Hang out with the Jim Cosgrove and family
  3. Watch Seanster and the Monsters perform (Great CD!)
  4. The Liberty Bell
  5. Visit old Pine Forest Camp friends
  6. 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…
  7. Rollin’ with the (OWTK) Bogle…  PART DEUX!
  8. Hanging with Joanie Leeds Drummer (we never mention him by name)
  9. Hear great new music
  10. Book a gig or 2
  11. Laugh a lot

So if you’re at the conference be sure to stop by and say Hi!

How do they do it?

Yellow-shirt-kurt

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?  LauraDohertyThese 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.

Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.

Old school stereo appreciation month.

 

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We are in the digital age of music and it’s a mixed blessing. As a consumer you can get most any song at anytime at minimal effort.  MP3 players allow us to hold thousand of songs at our finger tips.  It is the age of music miracles for the listener.  For the artist who has trouble getting paid for their product it’s different story but this is not the focus of this article.  I sit now in my basement having recently rediscovered how good music sounds on my old stereo system.  My Kenwood receiver/amplifier, garage sale obtained 3D Acoustics speakers, CD playerPioneer 100 disc CD player and a LXI series cassette deck. I have recently purchased a Dual record player as the previous one must have been sold or given away (A minor tragedy rectified at a flea market).   Two months ago I was cleaning the basement where said speakers are and was amazed at the depth of sound those towering speakers provided.  In todays digital world we get more music but are getting less in terms of sound quality.  MP3 files tend to be small and lack the megabytes to give you the full sound.  (Sound Quality of Music Lacking in the MP3 Era).   My daughter just walked in and turned up the volume and the discs keep spinning. Chris Issac, The Boogers, Cheap Trick (Live at Bhudokan),budokan Creed (guilty pleasure), Jim Cosgrove, Johnny Clegg, James Hunter, John Hiatt and many artists I’ve forgotten.  The list continues with lots of full  bass, mid and treble. Once a week it seems I head to the basement whether I’m organizing or not,  just to listen to music in a proper format.   While typing I just discovered a Train song called Swaying (Train) crucial bluesfollowed by one of our kindie faves Doctor Noize (The Ballad of Phineas McBoof).  Go check out your old speakers and you’ll rediscover the SOUND.  Now excuse me my kids have just discovered a CD new to them and are  jamming to some harmonicaBalladofPhineasMcBoofCDandBookCover driven blues (Crucial Harmonica Blues). Junior Wells and Billy Branch are killing it in full sound and we’re having a dance party (Mom included)! Don’t forget to support an independent artist today!

Good stuff

This weekend has been pretty busy.  First on Saturday members of the Poochamungas worked on a Top Secret project for the upcoming Big Leap fundraiser for my children’s school.  More details to arrive later in the week.  Then my son and I went to The Old Town School of Folk Music for a concert with The Okee Dokee Brothers.  There were also birthday parties, holiday parties, carnivals, and what not!  Busy but fun. okee ots

If you are looking for a great place to start in the kindie music world Brickton Montessori (our school) is having their yearly fundraiser and among the items up for bid online are a Kindie Music CD Collection.    This is a tremendous oppurtunity to get a lot of great music and help a good cause at the same time! All CD’s were donated by the artists reflecting the many great music styles available. From punk to pop and jazz almost every genre is covered.  Included are Dog on Fleas, Joanie Leeds, Mr. G, Jim Cosgrove, Lunch Money, The Hipwaders, Alistair Moock (Grammy nominee), Grenadilla, Mister Singer, Little Miss Ann, Story Laurie, Lori Henriques, Recess Monkey, Mr. Kurt, Baze and His Silly Friends, The Boogers, Heidi Swedberg and Her Sukey Jump Band, and Bricktons very own Poochamungas!  Just added an autographed CD from our friends the Okee Dokee Brothers!!!  Bidding starts at $60 but I’m sure the price is going to go up.  Get to bidding on this fantastic-super-amaz-a-riffic deal today! While your there see if anything else catches your eye.  Only 4 days left!brickton big leap

I know that girl and music we’ve been listening too since kindiefest…

Cover of American Profile. Diane Guthrie photo.

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!

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.

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.

Amazing music.

Amazing music.

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.

Family, KC and back in the studio

At present I have two sick children running fevers in the house after a fun-filled weekend trip with our neighbors.  While they have finally been slowed down, this weekend they totally rocked out.  Literally!  We packed up the vehicles and headed out on Thursday for the KC Jiggle Jam Festival.  We stopped halfway in Des Moines, IA for a water park visit and then proceeded the rest of the way to KC.  If you’re not aware, and many are not, this is the largest independent family music festival in the country and it celebrated its 5th birthday this year.  We of course helped blow out the candles.

Two of my favorite musicians and my daughter

Our friend Jeni Cosgrove and one of the people who has a lot to do with Jiggle Jam and it’s success.

 

Funky Mama rocks the crowd!

It’s only 10 bucks to get in, in advance or 15 at the gate and the bands they had are great!  Trout Fishing in America, Sugar Free Allstars, The Verve Pipe (family favorites), The Okee Dokee Brothers (great new CD), Funky Mama, our friend Jim Cosgrove (got to throw down some harp with him) and the list goes on.  There are 3 stages of music, 2 arts and crafts tents (both free) and 10$ for a jumpee pass and there were 10 of those.  Plus the hotel we stayed at was across the street with a pool and the mall is right there as well.  Oh yeah, there’s a shooting fountain to cool off right in the middle of everything (it was needed as it was 95!).  This is the most family friendly event you could ever go to and my kids had a great time.  I suggest you pay a visit next year,  Did I mention there is a Legoland and an Aquarium on the grounds as well?  Start planning now!

So this Sunday, June 3rd we are FINALLY headed back to the Kingsize studio.  I am really excited to finish up a few songs.  We have lots of vocal work to do and a few more songs to add.  Nice to be moving forward again!

I started a music series because I didn’t have enough to do and back in the studio.

So in my effort to spread the music of “kindie” I started a series called Boppin’ and Burgers.  The Boppin and Burgers Family Music Series takes place every 3rd weekend during the school year.  It was born out of opportunity.  One afternoon after visiting my friend Donna in Mt. Prospect I stopped into a new restaurant venue called the Blues Bar out of curiosity with my daughter.  I wanted to see the place and try their food which I heard was good.  Well their BBQ is excellent to this day as is the rest of the menu.  The smoke all their own meat.  If you go to the back of the restaurant you can smell the wonderful aroma.  But I digress…  During lunch (awesome pulled pork sandwich) I asked waiter/bartender/manager Matt if they would be interested in having a kids band, mine, perform on a weekend afternoon.  After deliberating for about a second he said absolutely.  So later in September 2010  Poochamungas played the first kids show there ever.  After a successful show and really good draw I asked if he would be interested in a monthly series with different bands. He said yes and the series was born.  We could collect donations for the band, the venue provided sound (Joe and his crew do a great job) and they would run food specials.  We are now in our second full season.  We have had national acts Joanie Leeds and Jim Cosgrove venture out on our stage plus all the great local talent (Laura Doherty, Mindy Hester, Jeanie B!, The Boogers) which is why we started the whole thing.  So if you’re not busy today come support Little Miss Ann and her band today at noon at the Blues Bar in Mt Prospect, Il.  Spread the word as the $5 donation at the door  goes to the directly to the artist.  Send an email to poochamungas (at) yahoo.com if your an artist interested in playing or if you’re a fan interested in bringing in an artist.  Stop on by and join the Boppin and Burgers Facebook page for upcoming bands!

So we were back Kingsize Sound Labs Chicago studio last Sunday and got significant work done on three more songs.  Whenever we are in the studio we get stuff done.  It’s coordinating everyone schedule to actually get into the studio that’s the difficult part.  So while things aren’t happening as fast as I hope things are progressing and the work is sounding really good.  Between Alton’s producing and John Abbeys Mixing I am really pleased with the sound we are getting.  Stay tuned and we shall have a sneak peek for our regular readers and Facebook fans next month!

Kiddie vs. Kindie – NOT THE SAME.

Today I read two articles (thanks Zooglobble) about kids music or  referred to as “kiddie” music and let me tell you at first I got really angry!  One was by an artist who made a “kids”  CD but is not a kid artist and the other was a music reviewer on Deadspin.  

Laura Veirs is a respected artist who makes good music and I got to say I really like what I have heard.  She delves into an old folk music children’s CD (Tumble Bee) and does it well.  But in her own words she says she made a “kids album” and is not a kids artist.  She is playing kids show at Old Town School of Folk Music in support of the new CD, a detour as she calls it… But I digress.  She said the “bar is kind of low ” in children’s music and…  I would have to AGREE.   IF  you had only listened to what the mainstream offers (Wiggles, Dora, Barney, and Kidz Bop, etc). The offerings are really pretty lame. Which is what the article in Deadspin by Dadspin writer Drew Magary states quite graphically (he minces no words so be warned).  This is why the whole “kindie” movement was born!  But how many people subscribe and listen to Kids Place Live on Sirius/XM (home of the kindie movement) or follow shows like Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl,  Imagination Parade,  Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child and others which usually play once weekly.  Kindie radio is only a tiny segment of the entire broadcast world.  Most kids music people hear these days is on the TV and most of it is pretty lame.  Now they (Laura and Drew) might of meant all kids music but I find that hard to believe (I may be wrong).  Because the bar set by bands like Recess Monkey, Justin Roberts, Grenadilla, Brady Rymer, They Might be Giants, The Not-Its, The Boogers and Trout Fishing in America, etc, is pretty darn high. Because the quality of their music is really, really good.   I know cause I am trying to reach the bar right now as I make another CD.    So while I fervently disagree with a blanket statement over kids music being “lame” or “the bar is kinda low” that’s the perception we as “kindie” artists  try to change every day.  Whenever we play a show,  a DJ spins one of our tunes on the radio or someone listens on iTunes. That excellence in music is excellence in music whether your playing for kids, punks or folkies.  Or as my friend Jim Cosgrove put it… ” I love the Beatles and when my daughter plays I Saw Her Standing There over and over, it gets annoying. But, so what. If it touches her soul and keeps her dancing and singing, who cares what I think. It’s not about me. The Barney theme song may drive you or me to shove pencils into our ears, but if it brings joy to a child, that makes it worthwhile music.”  Which I agree with except for Barney.   Really Cosgrove?  You had to go with Barney? 

A bounty of Family Music

If you follow the kindie world as I do and your not in a band, a parental music blog/critic or a talent agent/booker I would worry about you a little.  But being in Chicago we are really blessed with an active kids music scene. Justin Roberts and Ralph Covert are from here and play regularly.  We have Mr. Singer, ScribbleMonster, Little Miss Ann, Human Tim/Robot Tim, Laura Doherty, Jeanie B and many others including my own Poochamungas.  Any weekend of the year there is quaility family music playing at a festival,  club or library somwhere near you.  But in the next couple months we not only have the local scene we will have Dan Zanes, Bill Harley, Jim Cosgrove and Trout Fishing in America.  I reccomend you see as many of these performers as possible because they really do represent the finest in family entertainment. From Jim’s high energy positive message “free range family rock” as he calls it to Bills truly amazing story telling (Walk Around the Block is a family fav),  Trout Fishings great musicianship (I still can’t believe two guys can make that much music) and Dan Zanes who’s just plays the music he loves for the people who enjoy it.   Each one of their shows are interactive fun and they have been doing it a long time. They are all masters of the craft and make it look so easy (it’s not) and have so much fun.  Each act has their special way of performing  and have performed all over the country.   Most of all they don’t visit the Chicago area very often.  So go see these performers as they stop for a show.  See dates and places and times below and click on them to link to where they are playing.

Dan Zanes at the Old Town School of Folk Music Oct 15 (Chicago)

Jim Cosgrove at the Blues Bar Oct 22 (Mt. Prospect)

Bill Harley at the Stage Left Cafe at the Woodstock Opera House Nov 12 (Woodstock)

Trout Fishing in America at the Od Town School December 4 (Chicago)