Tag Archives: Laura Doherty

Botanical Pooches!

Poochamungas-The Poochamungas have been quiet since winter but they have exited hibernation and headed to a show  July 15th at the Chicago Botanic Garden! It’ll be one of the few chances to catch one of Chicago’s most dynamic kindie rock bands this year. If you  are or aren’t a member of the Garden ( I suggest membership as they are a great organization) all the shows are free. Not only do mister gthey have the Dancing Sprouts series on Wednesdays they have music nightly Monday – Thursday! Getting live music at a place as cool as the Botanic Gardens  is like getting pie with Ice Cream, bacon with a grilled cheese, a free train ride and getting to drive the train! It’s that awesome. A few bands that I know Laura Dohertywho will be playing include Miss Jamie, ScribbleMonster, Mister G, Future Hits (just jammed at their CD release party!),Laura Doherty, Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies and Zak Morgan.  There is a variety of music styles here to entertain the whole family. Do yourself a favor and head over to the Chicago Botanic Garden on a Wednesday night it’s gonna be a great time! All shows start at 5:30pm. See you there!Mr singer

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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!

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!

Lollapalooza Recap of Awesome

lolla pooch kidza

WOW!  What a weekend and I have only just recovered.  I actually got to play at Lollapalooza! What an amazing time I had.  Playing on stage with such talented people as Ralph Covert, Little Miss Ann, Mr. Singer, Jeanie B! and of course  Laura Doherty (who put the whole thing together) was such a great experience! Thanks to Laura’s band (Rich, Andy, Mike, Rob and Cat) for making me sound so good.   Many thanks to Tor Hyams for having us perform it was really fantastic!  I also got to jam on harp with Brady Rymer.  Truly a privilege as he is one of the finest entertainers around. Plus his wife Bridgett gave me their extra artist wristband and I was able to attend Saturday and Sunday with my daughter. Win Win!!!  Oh yeah!  There were all sorts of other bands performing and I wish I had been able to see more but the whole weekend felt like you could never catch it all so just enjoy the moment. There were some great moments.

Glen Hansard banana song

Portugal the Man, Ryan Beatty and Glen Hansard on the Kidzapalooza stage.  Short sets of really great music with the artists a mere 10 feet away.  Glen did a acoustic set with Adventure Sandwich coming on for Banana Man which was amazing.  Portugal the Man absolutely killed it and Ryan Beatty truly can sing and his two man band (electric guitar, drums) brought it.  Best stage to see an artist.  If you’re at Lolla next year visiting this stage and The The Grove are a must!

kidza

Kidzapalooza village has so much to do for the kids if you bring them.  Temporary tattoos, Drum circles, art projects, etc!  The list goes on. One of the best areas of the festival.

Free Ice Cream in the Artist Lounge from Jeni’s on 3404 N Southport Ave.  Unbelievably good!

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When the daughter and I were walking  in the Artist Village Saturday there was a young platinum blonde woman wearing a spandex leopard outfit.  When we went to see Grouplove later the same woman was rocking on stage with this amazing band! We are totally fans.  My daughter insists I buy some of their CD’s very soon!

hozier lolla

The many folks I met riding on Golf carts (which is the official way to travel around for artists due to the size of the event) including a man named Rory. We had a nice conversation about where he’s from in Ireland (I have family there in County Mayo),  the guy he’s playing with named Hozier (he’s the drummer) and the fact he was flying out right after the show back to Ireland.  We caught the last 30 minutes. They were great!

Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids is a big fan of the Avett Brothers and now I know why. Brilliant set.

 

Cage dancing girls

Cage the Elephant rocked the schnizzle out of their set with a group of girls dancing in the mud.

Eric Schnabel recommended Benjamin Booker and that man can play guitar.  He should be careful as to where he throws guitar parts after the smashing part… Ouch!

John Wicks of Fitz and the Tantrums and his family couldn’t have been nicer. In fact so many artists, fans and staff were just plain nice.  Whether letting my daughter move up for a better view or taking a photo for us it was refreshing to see courtesy and politeness as the norm.

Rianna coming out to sing with M&M.  The audience was electrified!

The always gracious Rymer family.  Seriously go buy a Brady Rymer CD. They’re pure joy.

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Hanging for two days with my daughter at the premiere music festival in Chicago.

Many thanks to my wife who let me go for three days to listen and play music.  It was very much appreciated. Go listen and support an artist today!

A Bit of Catch Up… Jeff Fest, Slab Fork and Lollapalooza!

WebBanner_960x338What a great time we had at Jeff Fest again!  The band sounded good and the sound folks did an excellent job.  Not to mention Rob and Sharon made us feel like a million bucks and quickly took care of any problems at hand.  It is really one of the best festivals in the City and many thanks to the Jefferson Park  Chamber for making it happen.  If you have kids this is a must festival.  For a mere $5 entry you get the bounce houses, arts and crafts, a fantastic family stage with many interactive acts not to mention the great music coming from the mainstage!  With plenty of great food and beverages available I highly recommend you to put this one on next years calendar.

slab forkI would be highly remiss here if I failed to mention the show my friend and fellow Poochamungas bandmate put together back on July 16th.  Alton Smith gathered some of the best musicians in the city (some of my favorite people too!) and once again paid tribute to the music of Bill Withers. For a mere $10 at the City Winery one got to behold the power and majesty of a tour de’ force musical experience.  When and if they perform again I shall let you know and you should make haste to wherever they are playing.  Thank you Bill, Wally, John, John, Gerald, Mike, Steve, Manny and Alton for doing what you do so well!

Kidzapalooza-6-photo-imageThis Friday I get to play on the Kidzapalooza stage at Lollapalooza with some of my favorite Chicago Kindie Folk!  Many thanks to Laura Doherty for setting it up and for Tor Hyams for having us perform.  If you’re at Lolla stop on by Friday at 1:30pm. I will be performing along with some super talented Chicago folks including Little Miss Ann, Mr. Singer, Jeanie B!, and Ralph of Ralph’s World not to mention Laura herself!  Make a visit it’ll be a lot of fun!

Kindiefest no more…

Kindie so long old friendThe long road I mentioned yesterday (link here) just got a little longer and harder.  I flipped on the laptop this morning to find that kindiefest was over. It has disbanded for reasons unknown and I for one am a bit saddened by this.  It was my hope that eventually we could have a similar event in the Midwest, preferably Chicago though anywhere  in the Midwest would be fine (hello Jiggle Jam!)  Everyone in the kids music world knows the Justin Roberts, Laurie Berkners and Dan Zanes. You also get to meet the Jim Cosgrove’s, Kurt Gallagher’s and Laura Doherty’s.  Regional musicians who were plugging away, making a living but all looking for new ideas and sharing their own experiences and you got to meet the ones struggling just like you were.   That was the best part for me.  Showcase was always a lot of fun, (for the record I did buy the Pizza in 2011 not wanting to have to leave showcase)  there were some really worthwhile panels (find your own Mississippi-thanks Molly Ledford!) and the  Friday Keynote/meet and greet was always a highlight.  I got to meet so many unpretentious great musicians and industry folk like Kurt Gallagher, Sean Hogan, Kathy O’Connel, Jeff Bogle, Dean Jones, Dave Loftin, Paul Butler, Danny Adamson, Joanie Leeds and her future drummer husband (his name is Dan), Jim Cosgrove, Mindy Thomas, Kenny Curtis, Jack Forman, Justin Roberts, Beth Blenz-Clucas, Bridget Rymer, Story Laurie, Stefan Shepard, Bill Childs, Tor, Stephanie Mayers,  Mona Kayan, Mista Cookie Jar,  Justin Lansing, Joe Mailander, Johnny Bregar, Key Wilde, Chris Wiser, Rod Martin, The Pop-Ups, Laura Doherty, Little Miss Ann, Tim Kubart  and the others I have forgotten.  I say thank you all for your insight, kindness, advice and laughs.  Especially the laughs!   I don’t know about you folks but I’m not ready for this party to end.  Kindie Chicago 2014? It might happen…