Tag Archives: Molly Ledford

Best of 2015 kindie music

I haven’t been writing much here lately as life’s other obligations have gotten in the way. But I have listened to a whole lot of kindie music this year.  This years top ten is only a top 7 because these are the ones I remember without effort. It seems after 46 years the memory just went.  If I remember a CD later I’ll just amend this list These are ones that have spun in the car and in the house. The ones that my children still request and dance and sing along too.

7. We All Shine – Playdate. Good CD and they stole my publicist and photographer! I’m not bitter at all. You can read the review HERE

Photo by David Kindler

Photo by David Kindler

 

6. Hamster Pants –  Ratboy Jr.  This CD got a lot of play in the car this year as well. There silly pop philosophical  musings of hamsters in pants, barbarian librarians and skunk and robot relationships kept us entertained for hours on the road.  page-photo-26507

5. Hot Air – Recess Monkey.  Them boys have really hit their rocking stride in their last two CD’s with the John Vanderslice guy recording all analog and funky.RECESSMONKEY61.300

4. Trees – Billy Kelly and Molly Ledford.   If ya told me you were going to make a CD about Trees I would of laughed at you.  Well this is the second CD on that subject to prove me wrong (Underbirds was the first) and this one went and got a Grammy nomination. Strong songs by two fine song crafters. billy molly

3. Rocksteady – Josh and the Jamtones.  I gave Josh and Pat a bit of a hard time over the narration on there last CD  Bear Hunt but loved the music. My kids dug both.  Well we all agreed this year that this CD was rocking right beginning to end narration and all. No one rocks as hard as these guys and they include horns! Really a great CD. Josh Jamtones

2. How Great Can This Day Be – Lori Henriques.  On my post earlier this year I described this CD as pure joy.  Any other year it probably would of been #1 on my list. This also received a well earned grammy nomination and you should should check it out. lori henriques pic

1. Deep Woods Revival – Red Yarn.   On a  two week road trip with my kids to Colorado  this became our soundtrack and we as a family never tired of it. Along with Big Audio Dynamite, John Mayer and Bob Seger this one was constantly requested by the wife and kids.  It is also this years Rymer Award Winner for the CD that should of been nominated for a grammy but didn’t get there. It’s folk music, opera, story telling and a full audio experience. Andy Furgeson gets better with every CD he puts out and this one is my favorite this year.Red-Yarn-Bob-Rabbit-photo-by-Aaron-Hewitt-495x400

That’s all for now folks. See you in 2016!!!

 

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The Song and the Process. I Must Be a Genius by Dean Jones

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Dean Jones is busy these days recording other peoples music.  When I called he was in a session with Molly Ledford (Lunch Money) and Billy Kelly who are working on a project (they had stepped out for lunch). He also works or has worked with with Story Laurie, Recess Monkey and those two Grammy winning children’s music impostors (they’re really great folk musicians in disguise) The Okee Dokee Brothers and many others.  Dean’s really a go to guy when it comes to music production but he is also a most talented songwriter in his own right and likeable fellow as well.  There aren’t a lot of smartly written love songs in the kindie music world that I know of.  The two that come to mind are Pandas are Dangerous by The Boogers and I Must Be A Genuis by Dean Jones. While the Pandas song isdog on fleas bogof totally Punk Rock (still sentimental) this one is more charming and sweet reminiscent of the 40’s piano driven pop song.  I think Bing Crosby but I digress…  When asked where the song came from Dean said “Out of the blue. Some of the best songs are BOOM. The Phrase just came out.”  So he had the I must be a genius and the love me, love you too part so he needed music.  He went to his default chord structure.   A bunch of chords he was used to writing in (mine is E A D). Dean wasn’t always a kindie music guy.  He had a band like all those other bands out there and one day his  friend who owns a toy store told him “his songs where juvenile.  Why not write songs for kids?” So that’s what he did and Dog on Fleas was Born.  When not writing or producing music he also plays out professionally, accompanies  a puppet company plus Dad and dishwashing duties. Dean is married with two kids one of whom is already songwriting at 7 yrs old and in his (Dean) words “Writes good stuff.”  Me, I’m thinking Dean writes really cool offbeat tunes and with this song he is quite genius indeed with this shuffling drum, trombone highlighted, piano driven two minute masterpiece.  Go check out  this song on Buy One Get One Flea!  Go check out all of his work and go support an independent artist today!

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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Why I make music and Frances England gets it.

In all the work with PR, booking shows, rehearsing, entering contests and mailing CD’s, etc.,  because of the CD release.  You tend to forget why you started the whole thing to begin with.  The music.  I’m late to the game having started playing guitar at 30.  My fingers don’t work as they should after a lifetime of athletic abuse  but the fact I can strum 3 chords and make sounds that make sense brings me joy.  The fact that the band takes that music and lyrics and brings life to it for others amazes me and makes me grateful. To share that fun with others is why Poochamungas play shows and make recordings.   Tonight I’m listening to the  Frances England recording Blink of an Eye and she gets it.  The sharing of fun, hope and joy.  I am forced to listen on my headphones instead of the stereo as my wife watches TV in the same room.  What a great sonic experience. This is an album that deserves the headphone treatment.  With life running by you forget how good it is just to sit and listen to someone else’s expression of joy. Things like the happy bass line, snapping fingers and whurlitzer on Move Like Saturday Night.( The fact she talks about the love of music in the song says it all.)  Her dive into poppy electronica on Bicycle Built for Two (with Molly Ledford) is a whole lot of friendship fun.  Frances england blink of an eye But my favorite is the driving rythmic beat of guitars and simple percussion on Little Wings. The visual I associate in my head with the unnatural speed of my own young children running around. “Take it from me she runs like a cheetah…” Frances sings.  Truer words could not be spoken.   Of course she had this produced over at the happiness factory run by Dean Jones (seriously dude take a break! You earned it!)  This is really a great album.   Not because it gonna win, or won any awards but because she made some great music to share with the world.   Please go buy it so she can earn enough to make the next CD of great music.  Thank you Frances for the reminder that the music is the thing. The link to buy the CD is below.

http://francesengland.com/shop.php

This CD was sent to this reviewer and the opinions expressed are his own.

Kindiefest! Days 2-4

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Johnny Bregar and Danny Adamson

Bill Childs got his swag bag.

Bill Childs got his swag bag.

After a full night the day before I awoke at 7am looking at the ceiling.  No kids, no place to be till 10am and I awake at 7am!!!  I was not happy.  So I headed down to the lobby for breakfast that is offered by the hotel.   One of the better continental breakfasts I have ever seen. Not just scrambled eggs and sausage but make your own waffles and fresh Brooklyn bagels!!! So after a low carb breakfast of eggs, sausage, a couple of potatoes and water. I headed over to the treadmill to continue working on #alittlelessfat.  While the competition is over the battle is not yet won (I have a ways to go.)   So after 25 minutes on the hamster wheel, a trip to the new man machine I was off to kindiefest.  Arriving at BAM I realized what I had left in Chicago.  My kindiefest badge.  So after registering and getting a replacement my 3rd kindiefest was officially started!  I could go into the different panels I saw and didn’t see.  Or how I missed the Lion and the Bear during showcase because I forgot my wallet back at the hotel (a very big moment of panic).  The was also the feet so sore syndrome affecting many after hours of standing, talking, walking and laughing.  But mostly I came away with two things.  One was “find your own Mississippi River.”  Molly Ledford said this in a panel referring to the Okee Dokee Brothers Grammy winning album Can you Canoe? (we loved it too!)  Stefan Shepard talks about this in his blog better than I can.  Go read it here.   IMG_20130427_145032The other thing that I got was MAKE GREAT MUSIC.  This was repeated during a few panels and ties in with “find your own Mississippi River.”   The music has to inspire you before it inspires others.  Which is what I imagine most of us artists try to do.  I use my kids and my childhood to write my music.  This was mentioned on a few panels.  My motto for the band has become Good Music Knows No Age.  I don’t try to write age or kids specific songs.  I try to write good songs and hope kids like them.  Since I have two kids I tend to write about things they are interested or things from my childhood they can relate to.  So I could ramble on about all the great people I got to talk too, drinks shared, empanadas eaten and weary, weary feet.  I will not.  I will thank Melissa Levis and Bridget Rymer for sharing their piece of wall with me Friday night as I sat and rested weary feet.  A very enlightened conversation.

David Wax Museum were amazing!

David Wax Museum were amazing!

The David Wax Museum for playing music that made me say wow during Sundays festival and the kindie community at large.  I know it goes without saying but the biggest fans of the kindie music are the artists themselves!  It is the generosity of others , their input and help and  makes it possible for me to do what I do.  So thanks to Bill. Tor, Mona and Stephanie for holding another festival.  The next post I will review some of the CD’s I garnered at the festival!

Stefan, Jack and Ralph at the Empanadas truck for lunch.

Stefan, a hidden Johnny,Jack and Ralph at the Empanadas truck for lunch.