It’s with a bit of irony that the man who I named the award for best Children’s Album that should of been nominated for a Grammy but wasn’t is himself nominated for a Grammy this year. Brady Rymer. He latest effort Just Say HI! is pretty darn good. Almost as brilliant as the one I started this award about (Love Me For Who I Am) and another excellent effort. A big congrats too getting the Grammy Nomination this year as he is an artist well deserving of it. So are his fellow nominees Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Pop Ups and previous winners The Okee Dokee Brothers. The fifth spot is filled not by a musical artist but by the book reading of the inspiring story and Nobel Peace prize winning – I Am Malala. I have already spoken on how I think this has been placed in the wrong category in a previous post (Comparing Apples to Steak…). No the guys whom I thought put out the Best of the Best musically this year for “Children” this year did it all analog. I am referring to those guys from Seattle – The School Break Primates. Better known to the public at large as Recess Monkey! The put out one smoking hot CD called WIRED which filled my number one spot this year on my top ten (and my amended top ten). In fact all the nominees except for the book reading were in my top ten! So please go check out WIRED as it is a superior product as well as the rest of the nominees as they are well worth the listen. Go support an independent artist today.
Posted in CD reviews, family, Kindie, Music, song reviews
Tagged Brady Rymer, Children's, Grammy, kindie, malala, music, nobel peace prize, nomination, Okee Dokee Brothers, Recess Monkey, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, The Pop Ups
I’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!
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Appalachian, bbq, Can you canoe?, Children's, Dean Jones, Grammy, hiking, kiddie, kindie, music, Okee Dokee Brothers, Smokey Mountains, through the woods, trail
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.
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!
Posted in family, gigs, live music
Tagged Alistair Moock (Grammy nominee), Baze and His Silly Friends, Brickton, Dog on Fleas, Grenadilla, Heidi Swedberg and Her Sukey Jump Band, Jim Cosgrove, Joanie Leeds, Justin Roberts, Little Miss Ann, Lori Henriques, Lunch Money, Mister Singer, Montessori, Mr G, Mr. Kurt, Okee Dokee Brothers, Poochamungas, Recess Monkey, secret, Story Laurie, The Boogers, the hipwaders, top
Electric Dirt killed it last night to a small but enthusiastic crowd. The -5 degree weather may have been a significant factor in the attendance. They’ll be back at Simons on February 26th. Go! You’ll be glad I sent you. Also don’t miss the Okee Dokee Brothers this Sunday at 11am at the Old Town School of Folk Music. That is all.
A couple of years ago a couple of kindie artists I know went and put out one of the finest folk Albums I have heard in a long time. Fooled everyone in to thinking it was a “Children’s” album and then went on to win a Grammy for Best Children’s Album in 2012. On an album full of great songs (Thousand Star Hotel being my personal favorite) Along for the Ride truly stands out on the CD Can You Canoe? It totally embodies our philosophy that good music knows no age and is one of the finest songs I know of lyrically and musically. Back in 2011 Joe and Justin went on a trip down the Mississippi to write songs for an album and shoot a DVD. What I and many people don’t know is that they had most of the songs written before they even left. Seems the Okee Dokee Brothers are big fans of preparation. In fact when they are getting ready to record an album they like to have 30-40 songs ready before they even start recording. Both Justin and Joe each commit to writing 3 pages a day in their song journals when preparing to record an album. That’s a lot of writing! In doing this they try to “eliminate the cliché and look for the original.” This also takes off the pressure of them having to come up with ideas while on the trip and instead allowed them solidify the songs they already had and then come up with a new song or two. Joe said the trip down the river “really solidified the imagery” in their songs. Especially the case in Along for the Ride when you’re talking about Huck (Finn), Tom (Sawyer) and Becky (Thatcher). The song itself started out in the Spring of 2010 in Minnesota and didn’t get finished till Winter 2011 in New York. The journey of the songwriting sort of parallels the journey of the song. Originally it started it with a completely different music but it didn’t work. Joe (this songs primary songwriter) liked the imagery of Odysseus and Peter Pan and some of the lyrics and the idea of traveling. He was also on a personal journey at the time reflected by the words in the song. The theme of the first version started out much more one sided and apologetic. But the idea of relationships is about being an “active participant” as Joe said. The idea you gotta meet each other half way and not just “Come along for the ride.” So the dynamic of the song changed as did the music. He then bounces this stuff off of Justin as they always do. Working verses, rewriting, finding the heart of the song though collaboration. Once in a while they’ll bring in a finished song but usually it’s through the partnership the song finds a home. Joe talked about writing 100 songs to find the two worthy of recording. To work in your craft with the idea of finding excellence in a song. When they finished the trip and validated the imagery on the songs they brought it to record at No Parking Studio with who else but…Dean Jones (I’m thinking there’s a future interview there). Dean offers them two directions. Go real simple, stripped down acoustic and bare bones. Looking for a buttery sound, minimal but full of sentiment or… Go with the full rock production (different than rock sound) meaning drums, piano, organ, etc. make it BIG which is the direction they chose. They also do a cool trick of playing the verses at one speed and then slow up the chorus parts. This causes the ear to focus even if the listener is not aware making the chorus feel more laid back. Knowing they wanted a female voice on the chorus they ask their friend Rachel Loshak who’s a terrific singer (Joe has a great story about recording with her) and she really helps bring out chorus as well. They get Jeremy Mage on Piano and he does a terrific job of laying the foundation for the song. I really love how the song starts acoustically small and the sound grows bigger as the song grows, finishing with the full band after starting with a simple acoustic guitar. Dean (Jones) said the key was to be fill the song without it becoming cheesy. That it be simple but full. To have great music behind the lyrics and not over shine them. I’d say they succeeded. It’s really a timeless classic of a song which reaches out to listeners of any age. They have the emails to prove it. From Grandparents to 6 and 7 year olds singing along at it’s a magical song that really reaches into the heart of the listener. Don’t take my word for it. Go have a listen for yourself and let your ears go Along for the Ride. Be sure to catch them live at the Old town School of Folk Music this Sunday, February 9th at 11am. They promise to play the song as well! They also have a new CD and DVD set to be released later this year. What more could you ask for! Go support a kindie artist today!
Listen to Along for the Ride here on Spotify and then go buy the CD on their website or the single on iTunes so they can keep on making great records!
Posted in family, Kindie, song reviews, songwriting
Tagged becky thatcher, Can you canoe?, Dean Jones, folk, Grammy, huck finn, kindie, Mississippi, music, No Parking, Okee Dokee Brothers, Old Town School of Folk Music, River, tom sawyer
So inspired am I by the songwriter interviews I have once again put pen to paper and returned to songwriting after taking a hiatus after the last CD. I worked at it for an hour today which is pretty good considering the kids were home and my son kept telling me to play more as I was working out some lyrics and a bridge I’m having difficulty with. This leads me to tell you about the article coming up about the Okee Dokee Brothers this Wednesday not to mention they’ll be playing at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Sunday, February 10th at 11am. So look forward to the article and go get tickets to the show (you can click on the pic below!). Go support a kindie artist today!
Christmas is less than a week away and some folks will still be looking for gifts. I highly recommend the gift of music for your kids from the kindie world. While I am always biased for the Poochamungas if your reading this your probably already a fan. Fortunately there is a lot of great kindie rock music for kids these days. Here is a link to my top ten for this year. Also recent post about Istvan and his Imaginary Band, Human Tim/Robot Tim, Songs I wish I had written and the many other artists talked about on here during the year. If you have just started reading here awhile back I posted about some CD’s to get you started on a path of excellent kindie music. Here they are with some updates
Grenadilla – Grenadilla This is a fantastic vocal journey that amazes me to this day. The whole album is full of happiness and joy. This is the hidden gem of the bunch. One of the best CD’s I have ever heard. The are re-releasing it with new CD art!
The Boogers- Let’s Go. If Punk Rock is your thing you and your kids will be rocking for hours with this one. The best at what they do…. This year they released Extractum Victoris which has my all time favorite Booger song’s Pandas are Dangerous.
Justin Roberts – Pop Fly. There’s a reason why he was Grammy nominated for Recess this year. Still Pop Fly is our fav and filled with great, tight pop songs.
The Verve Pipe – A Family Album. This is the best kindie CD ever made. Just great songs and a great band. Great stuff! Haven’t had a chance to listen to their newest CD but the few songs I have off of Are We There Yet? have been excellent,
Okee Dokee Brothers – Take it Outside. Who knew bluegrass made for such great family music? The Okee Dokee Brothers did and this CD is pure energy!… They followed this up with the Grammy winning Can You Canoe? One of the best kids CD’s ever
The Hipwaders – The Golden State. Nothing new this year but this is one the best CD’s ever released with a great California pop sound and lyrically sharp. It’s for the whole family.
So that concludes a few of the CD’s I think great music gifts for the holidays. Go support your local kindie artist and buy some today!
Posted in CD reviews, family, Kindie, song reviews
Tagged Children's, Christmas, Grammy, Grenadilla, Istvan and his Imaginary Band, Justin Roberts, kindie, music, Okee Dokee Brothers, Poochamungas, The Boogers, the hipwaders, The Verve Pipe