What 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.
I 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!
This 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!
Posted in gigs, Kindie, live music, Music
Tagged Alton Smith, chamber, city winery, family, Jeanie B!, Jeff Fest, jefferson park, kids, kidzapalooza, kindie, Kingsize Sound Labs, Laura Doherty, Little Miss Ann, lollapalooza, Mr Singer, music, Poochamungas, Ralphs World, slab fork
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 the 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.
Posted in CD reviews, family, Kindie, marketing, Music, Recording
Tagged Children's Music, Grammy, Justin Roberts, kindie, music, Poochamungas, Recording Academy
Tonight is the benefit for Brickton Montessori School called The Big Leap. A bit of wordplay there because the schools mascot is a frog. A Fierce Frog to be exact. Fighting Frogs don’t quite fit the school and I for one like the uniqueness of the Fierce Frog. Well I decided the frog needed a theme song and in one of those motivated/inspirational/get’r done moments I wrote a song for the aforementioned Fierce Frogs. Having the song wasn’t enough because once written it NEEDED to be recorded (if only in my head). My kids really liked the song and my wife did as well so… after calling a couple studios on short notice with no luck I called a friend (Kevin Carney) who does remote recordings and with the help Cheryl Lacost (Head of the School) arranged for the song to be recorded at our school. The I got fellow parent Dave Degand to sing on it and Brickton Teacher John Huber to play on it (banjo was his idea) as well plus Frank and Don of the Poochamungas. A rough track was sent to everyone involved so they could practice at home and John and I got a rehearsal in on Friday and Saturday last week we laid it down. This as in last Saturday! The recording went well. John Huber’s banjo playing ended up driving the song as well as Dave’s expressive vocals. It was still missing something (again my artistic vision). Just needed to add some piano because in my head the piano is needed and managed to get Alton Smith (Poochamungas) to play and add harmonies and John Abbey to record on a Wednesday afternoon and then delivered those tracks to Kevin that night which he mixed and had to me by the next morning. You would think that’s enough but if your gonna have a theme song you should have a video to go with it. Wednesday I also spent the morning shooting clips in the school for the song which we had just recorded. Many thanks to Chris Wyer for coming out with his awesome HD camera and helping capture a Brickton School Day. So Kevin finished the song Wednesday night. Phew… But that’s not all. Fellow Brickton parent Joe Somers is edited all the video to go along with the song for the fundraiser tonight! TONIGHT! Saturday, February 15th at 6:30pm. TONIGHT!!! Which he has just dropped off and it looks AWESOME!!! All I can say is thank you to eveyone who helped it was a lot of work but a lot of fun. If yor interested in seeing the video it’s World Premiere will be at the benefit tonight and tickets are still available on the Brickton website.
Here is a shameless plug and link to all the artists that sent me CD’s for the benefit. Many thanks!!! Go support one of these kindie artists today!!!
Posted in family, Kindie, Recording, songwriting
Tagged Brickton, Frogs, kindie, Kingsize Sound Labs, Montessori, music, Poochamungas, School, theme
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
As the family sits in the house on a -18 degree day here in Chicago we have The Okee Dokee Brothers playing and my wife comments that it’s one of her favorite CD’s. Can You Canoe? is really good and while I may feel a twinge of jealousy it is a great CD. So good tunes and family times are the order of the day.
In other news it seems the Poochamungas new CD is availble for sale in a few places I would of never guessed. I shan’t mention who is selling as I will not promote the business of those who sell what I worked so hard to produce for so little. Is it a free one I gave to a family or maybe an unscrupulous reviewer as mentioned by Justin Roberts. One of them is using a photo of the cover that was a finalist but didn’t actually get used so how cheesy is that. Prices range from 13.71 to 1.99. All are selling new in the cellophane CD’s. If online pirated music wasn’t the major problem for most artists this might actually be a bigger problem rather than the annoyance it is. Since I list on CD Baby all sorts of sites sell my music including Best Buy and Sears. Who knew? Those I’ll get paid from if they make a sale. So go buy a CD and support your local 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
Art by Joe Somers
While I went ahead and named my ten best kindie album picks if I were to name my #1 it would be … Block Party! The one I sank my heart and soul and wallet into. I hope that you go buy a few as stocking stuffers for your kids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, childrens classmates, local libraries, mothers cousins nephews step child, etc. If you read the blog I hope you’ve had a chance to listen to the CD. We are really proud of the effort and results. http://cdbaby.com/poochamungas5 This is the end of my shameless Christmas plug.
We have yet to make a video for the Block Party! CD. I have some ideas but would like to ask you, the fan, what song would you like us to make into a video. Post in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter page. All help is appreciated!