Tag Archives: Justin Roberts

Good music available free and live music available free

arlington library

I went to the Arlington Heights Public Library today to drop off a few Poochamungas Cd’s they’ll be giving out for reading awards during the summer.  I always try to help out libraries as much as possible. For one they are a valuable resource in many places and secondly they always support the many kindie musicians plying their trade around the country.  The Poochamungas have definitely played more than a couple library gigs. So after dropping off CD’s I took a perusal of what kids music they had available.  Well right away you notice Disney and that kidz bob (cutesy no talent edited recycled garbage IHOP). What then struck me was the number of kindie artists available as well. Casper babypants, the Not-Its, Justin Roberts, Recess Monkey, Bari Koral, Ralph’s World and many others. They had a great selection of FREE kindie music for anyone interested in introducing their family to high quality family music. I also know the Des Plaines Public Library carries some great music as well.   If you live in either of these neighborhoods check out them out! You won’t be dissapointed.

electric dirt

As for the other free music my favorite cast of characters takes the stage at Simons tomorrow at 8:30pm as Electric Dirt.  They’ll be singing the songs that Levon Helm sang all to well and celebrating what would of been his recent 75th birhtday. This ones free as well but be sure to drop a few dollars in the hat. It’ll be worth it!

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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.

Dan Zanes is here THIS SATURDAY!!!

dan zanesIn a town (Chicago) filled with great kids music we are truly blessed with the variety and quality of the acts that play in the neighborhood.  Laura Doherty, Little Miss Ann, Istvan and his Imaginary Band, Human Tim+Robot Tim, Miss Jaime, Mister Singer, Jeanie B! and national acts  Ralph’s World and Justin Roberts (two time Grammy nominee).  So the fact that my family and I are excited to see Dan Zanes and friends this Saturday is a bit of a big deal.  He is  referred to as the founder of the modern Kindie (kids independent) movement and one of the first to play great all ages  shows.  He is also an artist that inspired me to get into the kindie movement when I heard my band mate (pre-Poochamungas) Pete play Wagon Wheel.  A song I profiled on the blog earlier this year in my Song and the Process  series (see article here).  I’ve seen Dan play solo and with Elizabeth Mitchell but never with the full band so this is a treat. We’ve probably listened to the Catch That Train CD a thousand times. Watched the Jump Up video just as much.  My daughter is a big fan and I’m sure my son is about to become one as well.  The thinCatch-That-Train-300x300g about Dan’s music is it’s all rooted in Americana. Whether rock, traditional, folk it’s always got terrific roots. Dan’s secret is simple. Play great music that everyone can enjoy.   So head to the Harris Theater this Saturday, November 15th at 2pm. It’s gonna be a whole lot of fun for the whole family. Now go out and support an Independent artist today!

The song I wish I had written. Kalamazoo Star by Gerald Dowd.

homenow

The best written song I have heard this year is the non-kindie type written by all things a drummer in a kindie band. A DRUMMER! Yes though I am not as shocked and amazed as you might think. The song is Kalamazoo Star and it’s written by one Gerald Dowd.  Most of the time you find him behind his kit backing one of the many fine bands he plays and sings with (Justin Roberts, Robbie Fulks, Frisbie, Kelly HoganElectric Dirt, etc) but, on this occasion he has released a CD of his own material.  Home Now is a great example of American Music and Kalamazoo Star is as good a song as one can ever hope to write. A superior CD with filled with great American music.  Props to Liam Davis stars-in-the-night-sky(producer), John Abbey (engineer) and the many wonderful musicians and singers (too many to list) behind the music. As good as the CD is this tune stands apart.  The magic of the song is its positive message in the face of and mournful and sad occasion. Add in the fact the band itself sounds like they could be playing on your front porch, barn, campfire etc. It’s a celebration of life in the face of death and it’s all done in a single take (They saved the best take for last!).  “There’s another star in the Kalamazoo Sky tonight. Same old sky but it feels brand new”. Someone special has passed on and even in death they are looking over family and friends. It’s poignant, sweet and smart. Anyone who ever penned a song wishes they could write songs like this. Thanks for this one Gerald. I’ll be looking for that star next time I’m in Michigan.  So where can you get this CD.  Head on over to www.geralddowd.com and he’s supposed to have it available by Friday.  You can also catch him in the street or a concert venue near you. I’m sure he’ll gladly sell you a copy or two. I intend to buy a bunch as Christmas gifts this year. Go and support an independent music artist today!

Day of THE DOWD… or how all drummer are now called in my house.

dowd

Tomorrow is Saturday, November 8, 2014 and it is also the Day of the Dowd at Fitzgerald’s Nightclub.  Many of you who read this blog or are friends of mine on Facebook are aware that my son is the creator of THE DOWD.  Not Day of the Dowd (that credit goes to his smart and talented wife) which I will be supporting tomorrow. While he is best known as a drummer extraordinaire and in our family the drummer for the Justin Roberts band to which we have attended a few shows.  Somewhere along the way of seeing him at shows and festivals we became friends. Our two sons get along thick as thieves being only a year apart and living in the same neighborhood. So a  while back I was having a morning jam with my jam cartson which we are known to do on more than one occasion.  He will gather all of his drums, keyboards,ukes, guitars (some real, some toys) and bring them all out to the front room and say… “Daddy let’s Jam!”  He does this on occasion with his mom too but mostly me as I am usually practicing my guitar or attempting to write a new tune. Well on that day my wife was home and since he was jamming on keys and guitar and I had a guitar he asked his mom to play the drums.  Only he asked her “you be THE DOWD.”  We asked for clarification and he matter of factly explained “you play the drums, you be THE DOWD.”  Now I have a great drummer in my band named Frank Izzo and never have we referred to the drummer as “THE IZZO” or as his Pooch jersey saysJoe mendota “JOES DAD” (the original drummer was Frank’s son Joe).  Not sure if it was Gerald’s son’s influence or the beard or that he plays for Justin Roberts.  Whatever the cause all drummers in my house are now referred to as THE DOWD.  I’m sure this inspired Gerald to go write an album immediately as 3 year olds have the power to inspire.  Or maybe his many years of hard work, gigging, recording, practicing, singing, hanging around great musicgdowdians and life may have a small reason to do with him releasing a brand new album.  You go ahead and think that. But around here we know the truth. Go forth tomorrow and by a ticket for Day of the Dowd at Fitzgerald’s Nightclub and enjoy some great music. Hope to see you there and be sure to by a copy of the new CD ‘Home Now.  I’ve heard a few of the tunes and it sounds good!

Some of our favorite Kindie Vids!

I was looking at youtube the other day and noticed some really great kindie videos aren’t getting the views they deserve cause they’re pretty darn good! Here are some of the family favorites

Justin Roberts Obsessed by Trucks.  Who doesn’t have that family member who drives them crazy with a particular obsession?

The HipwadersEducated Kid.  Really great animations with a bit of humor.  One of our favorite bands

The Boogers Pandas are Dangerous.  A great DIY shoot by The Boogers themselves and a punk rock love song disguised by Pandas!

Tim and the Space CadetsSuperhero.  Tim is a busy guy these days with playing bass on Americas Got Talent (houseband), Tambourine Guy with the brilliant Post Modern Jukebox and hanging out with Chica (Sunny Side Up Show).  But before all that he put out one of the all time best kindie videos ever!  You be the judge…

For your consideration

grammy entry 2

 

I did it.  I just addressed the CD to be sent to The Recording Academy so I can let my peers vote on my CD to be nominated for a Grammy.  What are my chances?  Not very good.  We have an excellent product and by we I mean all the folks who worked on it –  Alton Smith, Pete Cunningham, Don Zaloudek, Frank Izzo, Nancy Rose, Frank Rose and John Abbey.  We also had some super help in vocals with Anna Fermin and Emily Hurd. Is It Grammy worthy?  Well I like to think so but that really has no bearing on who wins.  Justin Roberts put out a power pop masterpiece last year and lost to a lesser album.  Not that theJR recess winner’s wasn’t really good.   Just not as good in my opinion.  Which others would perhaps disagree.  But I digress…  The great thing about recorded music is that eventually the truly great pieces transcend time.  Grammy or no Grammy.  Why do I enter mine if I’m pretty sure I’m not going to win?  I’m a dues paying member so why not?   No one ever won anything by staying home.  If you’re a voting member please make Poochamungas one of your 5 selections.  Thank you.