Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Randy and Dave's Excellent Kindie Adventure

Professionalism and children's music do not go hand-in-mitten on every occasion.

Some of the best kid's music I've heard was clearly composed and recorded in somebody's home studio. Some of the most infuriating songs were obviously pristinely produced and hermetically sealed.

Randy (Sharp) and Dave (Kinnion) have decades of professional musicianship between them. Dave is an impressive list of 20 awards – NAPPA, Parents' Choice Gold, Mom's Choice, etc. Randy is a Grammy-winning country music songwriter dipping his toe in the kindie pond for the first time.

Together, they have produced CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS, a countrified romp around the world and back again. The collection includes an ode to the difficulties of living with family ("Woke Up Cranky" and "Hum"), tantrums ("Acting Like a Baby"), and playing well with others ("Never Ever").

Of course, there's also a few head-scratchers, but that's to be expected in any first-time collaboration. Do we need a variation of the "up with kids" anthem? Here's "I'm Special." But the gents have some sly touches up their sleeves, such as the semi-subversive lines in "Acting Like a Baby":

I wear a diaper just because I'm busy.
My grandpa wears a diaper,
and he's not a baby, is he?
I'm not acting like a baby.

Speaking of professionalism, these guys are such pros that they want you, the listener, to be able to replicate their songs. The enclosed booklet of lyrics (if you feel so inclined to purchase an actual, real, physical CD) comes with the chords to all tunes. Pretty nifty touch.

As a regional curio, Randy & Dave may drum up some interest, perhaps some festival appearances as well. They have acquitted themselves well, even if they didn't blow my socks off. Rarely does lightning strike right off the bat on a kindie collaboration. But kudos to Randy & Dave for taking the challenge. As their own song title attests, it's a "Puzzle" for anyone.

CALLING ALL THE ELEPHANTS is available April 7 from Amazon, iTunes, and nationwide retailers.

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