Tag Archives: Stefan Shepard

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.

Bad opinions, counting my blessings and thanks!

So if you follow the kids music scene here on the internet recently a debate on the value of kids music was held on WHYY’s Radio Times regarding the value of kids music. Music Critic Tom Moon (1000 recordings to hear before you die) “hates, hates” kids music by his own definition and Jeff Bogle of Out with the Kids is a kindie music, toy and movie reviewer.  Tom feels if you aim your music toward a certain group it somehow limits the listener and that “adult” music is fine.  I could go onto great length why Tom is wrong but Jeff and also Stefan on Zooglooble have gone to great length to explain this. Just because you write for a certain genre (blues, rock, pop, country, soul, funk, punk, children) doesn’t lessen the value of said song and truly great songs will separate themselves from said genre.  I write songs with a kids slant but I write music for ALL to hear.

2011 was a really tough year for a lot of people.   A bad economy with no jobs.   Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and the destruction Mother Nature causes frightening in its reality.  The things man does in the name of god, religion, greed and power even more frightening.  I hope all of those who experienced loss and tragedy are able to find peace and love this year.  We experienced loss in our family this year close to home and  in spite of my own losses this year I am thankful for the family and friends I have who love and support me no matter what.  Thankful for wife and kids, the house we live in and the life we are able to live.  Thankful for the opportunity to play the music I write and find people who are willing to help see those songs come to life.

So thanks to my wife who supports me in these adventures.  Thanks to my parents who raised me right with love, support and the occasional kick in the rear and my other family and friends who have done the same. Thanks to my kids who show me everyday how to love and be loved selflessly.  Thanks to the band who make the Poochamungas possible and take the fledgling songs I write and make them real.  And of course thanks to you the reader for taking the time to read this.  Thank you all and god bless everyone.  May 2012 be a really good year.

Quiet for December and Grammy Schmammy.

Right now the Poochamungas are on a bit of a hiatus.  The holidays arrived and we have no gigs till next year.  We have however been busy in the studio making the new magic happen and the work has been going steadily.  Getting the right players in the same room at the same time is always the trouble.  Jobs, kids, work and assorted other stuff are the hurdles that face a lot of bands BEFORE they even play a note.  Note to self… If ever re-incarnated be sure to start a band in you late teens early 20’s.  Fewer distractions and responsibility!  But I digress…

So the Grammy award nominees came out for the children’s music category and the kindie world is a bit upset.  Seems that a lot of bands I never heard of (and I  heard a lot) were nominated.  There are a bunch of websites that dealt with the injustice.  Zooglobble and Out with the Kids, are two that really nail it.  So other than my disappointment in the nominees you should go read those and watch Jeff Bogles video Blog.  Oh and go buy Brady Rymers Love Me for who I Am(He really deserved a nod this year.  That and The Not-Its were the two most popular in this family.)  Do yourself a favor and read the Fids and Kamily top ten.   It’ll give you a really good list of great CD’s put out this year and I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the CD’s you should play to keep your sanity and the kids interested.  Of course don’t forget to get our CD first!