In olden days, musicians would literally sing for their supper. Nowadays, children's musicians are more likely to sing about their supper. In the case of Rolie Polie Guacamole, you're clued in from their name. Now up to their fifth release, CHIPS AND SALSA, the Brooklyn-born ensemble recruited uber-producer Dean Jones to amp up their sound.
Frank Gallo (former child actor turned versatile musician) and Soviet emigre Andrew Tuzhilin. After meeting in high school in New Jersey, the duo turned their mutual interest into kindie's good fortune in 2008. Their output since then has been prolific and rhythmic.
CHIPS AND SALSA breaks little new ground if you're already familiar with the group. You get your food songs like "Açai," "Apples," and "Bird Bellyful" (a favorite of my older song). Then there are the prerequisite instructional tunes such as "Always Brush Your Teeth" and "Red Light Green Light." In the middleground are activity and locational numbers, represented by "Musuem of Natural History" and "Central Park."
Rolie Polie Guacamole employ steel drums, twanging guitars, and oodles of harmonies. Guest artists include the Chapin Sisters, Jen Chapin, Primus' Mike Dillon, and Mil's Trills' Amelia Robinson. Singer/songwriter Katie Mullins turns up on "Açai" to sing about delightful purple berries. Don't expect music that sets out to change the world and you'll find yourself satisfied with this latest collection. With its mix of easy listening beats and singable lyrics, CHIPS AND SALSA can fill your youngster's afternoon as well as subliminally quench their appetite for music.
CHIPS AND SALSA is available September 25 from Rolie Polie Guacamole's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.
Here is the video for the band's cover of "This Land Is Your Land":
Change is an integral part of life, moreso for children than anyone else. Simply growing older and (hopefully) growing up means new classrooms, new settings, new challenges, and new people. Sometimes it even means saying goodbye to your most cherished people and places. Mista Cookie Jar returns with this month's song selection, "BFF Goodbye," to chronicle that experience:
My best friend is leaving today.
And hangin’ ‘round this town
won’t ever be the same.
We say that we’ll be friends forever
so why’s it sad to say
next time we meet it’ll be like
nothing ever changed?
‘Cuz life it changes.
The most frustrating question a child can ask is "Why," especially when the only answer you can give is "because." CJ attempts to defuse this sensitive real-life situation and I personally root for him to succeed. I'm handling these matters with as much grace as possible these days. The more you can protect your children from the realities of the world until they're old enough and grown tough enough defense systems, the better for everyone in your family.
Pay a buck and download the tune here from Mista Cookie Jar.