Monday, September 21, 2020
Thank You For Being You – Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Garden of Your Mind – Andrew & Polly
I Spy – Ants Ants Ants
Humans Are Still Evolving – Dean Jones
alligator – caspar babypants
Who, What, When, Where, Why – The Bazillions
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Grandmaderation – The Okee Dokee Brothers
pickle holiday – caspar babypants
Boy with a Hole in his Heart – Danny Weinkauf
All Star – Andrew & Polly
Buenos Dias – The Lucky Band
I'm an Optimist – Dog On Fleas
Monday, September 14, 2020
Thursday, September 10, 2020
On the East Coast, Father Goose has dropped two new projects. The first branches out his "brand" as a family musician and features his son, Irie Goose, on "STOP DA BULLYING." The EP sports a video of the same name (below). At the same time, Goose drops another EP of his own, somberly titled, "LIFE."
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Friday, September 04, 2020
If SaulPaul hadn't come along organically, you wonder who would have come along to fill the void. The Austin, Texas-based singer/songwriter and rapper spent a decade cultivating a personal style. But SaulPaul waited to enter the children's entertainment arena until 2017, delaying his entrance until he could sufficiently present his vision of music and education.
SaulPaul's third collection, BE THE CHANGE, attempts motivation through music, with a bevy of contemporary children's recording artists – the Alphabet Rockers, Lori Henriques, Red Yarn, Mo Phillips, Grammy winner Lucy Kalantari, and Latin Grammy winner 123 Andrés.
There are some selections that ring familiar, because they are reprises of "greatest hits" from the SaulPaul catalog – "Vamanos" with 123 Andrés is a fun tune, but it's like a carbon of "Home," the previous collaboration that appeared on the previous collection. From his signature songs, "Rise," is here with a violin remix featuring JC Stringz. And "Hands in the Sky" gets an acoustic treatment. I don't mean to nitpick, though. With children's music, there's a new audience literally cycling through every few years that may not have heard the earlier versions. Other uptempo songs include the 70's jazzy piano song, "I Am Enough," "Stardust," which answers the question, "Can you rap over ukuele?" and "The Quilt," with Red Yarn, under the supervising eyes of über producer Dean Jones.
SaulPaul recently published his memoir of the same name, "Be the Change." There's some serious stuff in the book and he doesn't dumb it down for kids on the CD, as "Once Upon A Time" is definitely not a fairy tale, referencing "Tammy who wants a family." his own life SaulPaul turned to children's music to use his voice, lessons learned from his journey, and his perspective on modern events. His belief is that children, the next generation, can overcome today's prejudices and injustices, and literally be the change that he sings about.
But wait, there's more! With the release of the album, SaulPaul has launching the "30 Day Be The Change Challenge." Homeschooling parents can do it with their kids and teachers and educators can try it with students. Choose 30 acts of kindness, one for each day, to do with the youths under your supervision. Visit WeDreamIn3D.com for more details.
Here is the video for SaulPaul's song, "Home," featuring 123 Andrés:
Wednesday, September 02, 2020
I've been reviewing children's music for 15 years. The Wiggles have been around for 29 years. In our collective space, I've only reviewed one CD by the Australian troupe – a solo effort by Greg Page in 2015. Not that they've waited for me; the Wiggles, currently in their second iteration, have released their staggering 55th studio album, entitled (wait for it) CHOO CHOO TRAINS, PROPELLER PLANES & TOOT TOOT CHUGGA CHUGGA BIG RED CAR! (and yes, the exclamation point is part of the title).
Emma, Lachy, Simon and original member Anthony have collected 23 tunes for preschoolers, including songs about all forms of travel – walking, wheelchairs, space travel, swimming, surfing, trains, planes and that aforementioned Big Red Car. "The Wheels on the Wheelchair Go 'Round and 'Round" is certainly an inclusive take on the old chestnut. "We Fly the Plane to the Outback" manages to work in wallabees, kookaburras, and other Australia wildlife during their flight. "Social Distancing" is about as topical as the group gets, addressing the necessity to stay home and be safe and using online technology to visit with friends and family.
I had two kids cycle through a fascination with the band and was stunned to read about their vilification Down Under after a contentious separation from Wiggle Sam. The re-invigorated quartet came back strong and Matthew was riveted the two occasions when he saw the group live on Long Island during their trips to the U.S. "Do The Propeller," an early song from those days, is given an acoustic recording. The nearly 30-year-old "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car" gets a shine and polish as well.
CHOO CHOO TRAINS slipped through during the frantic first wave of the pandemic, and was released in July. But the Wiggles have managed the feat of staying young (curse you, Anthony and Captain Feathersword) while engaging with new generations of preschoolers for nearly three decades. They've traveled near, they've traveled far, they're kept in motion and kept kids moving in the process.
Here is their video for "Here Come the Wiggles":