You know you've attained a level of familiarity with a musician when you've lost track of the number of times you've seen them perform. First and foremost, Billy Joel. I've even lost track of the NUMBER of times I've seen him at any venue, such as Madison Square Garden. For kindie artists, I can trace back to Dan Zanes at Symphony Space in December 2004 and move forward.
Speaking of moving forward, I've also lost track of our shows featuring Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could (Claudia Glaser-Mussen, Liz Queler, Seth Farber, Jeremy Chatzky, Larry Eagle, and Dan Myers). The first live show was part of Kindiefest in Brooklyn and they may be the one band we've never seen "standalone" from a music festival. Nonetheless, Ben informs me we have probably more home videos of Brady and company than any other group we've seen live.
If familiarity has bred anything with Brady Rymer and TLBTC, it's just that – familiarity. A kinship. An appreciation. This year, both kids (Ben and his brother, Matt) were excited about Kidstock in Port Washington. Yes, Matt was eager to spend time on the beach. But they share a love of music, and especially children's music. Plus it would be the first time to hear many of the songs on Brady's new CD, JUST SAY HI!, played live.
I have been remiss and somehow the CD slipped through the cracks when it came out. This happens on a rare occasion and I was kicking myself for the oversight, which I am correcting now. A decade of touring and recording have made the Rymer troupe one of the tightest bands out there. JUST SAY HI! is no exception. "Light of Love" and "Ice Cream Girl" have been staples at their shows for awhile and now they have a permanent place on CD.
"Tomorrow's People" (surprisingly dedicated to Ben as a shoutout at Kidstock) features a bevy of kindie folks (Elizabeth Mitchell, Drew Holloway and Jack Forman of Recess Monkey, Laurie Berkner, and more). If anything, JUST SAY HI skews a little younger than the band's previous releases, with spirited boogie shoes bopping on "Get This Party Started," "Dance 'Til I Drop," and the SiriusXM KidsPlace favorite, "Gettin' My Ya-Yas Out."
Brady's latest was a Kickstarter effort (which we supported). We've seen a number of kindie artists directly connect with their audiences to help generate new product. Crowdfunding may be key to the survival of kindie music, due to a constricting of funds for "fringe" genres by the major labels. We've seen a few cautionary failures as well, so it's a well that can't be overdrawn. Thankfully, JUST SAY HI exceeded expectations and is a delightful addition to our kindie music collection. And a belated hello is better than none, right?
JUST SAY HI! is available from Brady Rymer's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.
Here is a video of the band performing the title track: