Category Archives: Music

Bear Hunt with @thejamtones Review & Giveaway US Ends 10/3


Josh and the Jamtones have brought a super fun CD for the kids.  Themed around the title, they have some funny bits of comedy in between hilariously fun songs to keep us moving.  I reviewed the disc in my car on my way to run errands and Ihae to admit that they had me dancing a bit  LOL.  It’s all good though, Iwas having way too much fun to be worried about the staring passer-bys.  LOL.  Sometimes I worry about myself, given all the fun Ihave jammin’ out to the kids music.  LOL.  I’m having a hard time picking a favorite on this one, so you’ll have to check it out and pick one for yourself.  They do a great job getting us to move and with the happy upbeat voices it’s hard not to have fun with them.  I’m adding this one to the list of music to jam to with the little ones!  In case you are worried, it’s not the kind of bear hunt that harms anyone, it’s a loving bear hunt, but you’ll have to listen to understand why!  Put this one on your list and check it out!

Song List

  1. Swing Low Featuring Father Goose
  2. Bear Hunt
  3. Everybody Dance
  4. Pirate’s Life
  5. I Love U Featuring Father Goose
  6. Death Valley Cornfield of Doom
  7. Sunflower
  8. The Snow is Falling Down
  9. Snow Day
  10. Lightning Lake of 1,000 Sea Monsters
  11. Green and Spakkled Frogs
  12. Water is Wide
  13. The Evil Scary Bear From Bear Mountain
  14. Fill It Up

Josh and the Jamtones perform live in various places and most recently performed at the Boston Children’s Museum’s 100th anniversary event!  Plus, you can hear them on the Kid’s Place Live station!  They are available for booking at events even!  You could have them take you on a Bear Hunt at your own party!  Now that would be awesome!  If only I were a little kid…  LOL.  You can see a video of one of their birthday performances on YouTube!  It’s an adorable video!  The kids are obviously having a blast!

Pre-order Josh and the Jamtones Bear Hunt today!!!  You can also find Josh & The Jamtones at their website, twitter and on facebook!  😀

Originally posted 2013-09-05 07:39:46.

Birdie’s Playhouse: Move Like An Animal Album


Some of you may remember my previous review of Birdie’s Playhouse that I did last year.  If you don’t, check it out here.  I loved Birdie’s first album, it is such a fun set of music even for not-so-little kids.  Her music makes me want to move and I will admit to having cleaned the house to her first album, as it really is great for motivation!

Her new album is just as fun and catchy as the first one!  I am still loving the way she puts in the educational aspect!  Throughout all of the songs, she sings about various animals and you end up learning so much about so many species!  My favorite piece of trivia from this album is about the butterflys, but I won’t spoil it.  If you wanna know, you have to check out her Birdie’s Playhouse and figure out what it is!!!     A little warning: you’ll be addicted and unable to stop the album from playing!  Many times, reviewing music you get extremely tempted to skim through songs and have to force yourself to listen.  This is NOT the case with Birdie!  With the salsa feel of the songs, you’ll be dancing and moving to the rhythm from the first beat!

Check out the song ‘Big Feelings’.  It seeks to teach the little ones, and even the grownups, how to express themselves.  That song seriously made me giggle.  Another song that really made me laugh, and made Monkey smile and roll her eyes, is Furry Belly Dancer.  Between these two, my face hurts from laughing!  Love love love it!!!

From Birdie’s Press Release

In addition to being soulful, upbeat and fun, Move Like An Animal  teaches kids about animals and helps guide them through life. The song “Chimpanzees” shows us that all creatures are equal.  And “I’m a Toucan” and “Running Far” explain how to overcome obstacles and pursue your passions.   Find out why gerbils are doing the “Furry Belly Dance” and what the cottontail rabbit’s best defense is! And don’t miss stellar guest vocals from Mista Cookie Jar and Aaron Nigel Smith on the “Snail Cha Cha.”  Other featured musicians include: stunning guitarist Omar Torrez (Tom Waits 2008 tour), kindie keyboardist Mike Schmid (Miley Cyrus tour), master drummer Chris Wabich (Sheila E, Sting recordings), two-time HBO Def Poet Joe Hernández-Kolski and crooner Jonny Blu.

 Keep an eye out for the giveaway to come!

It will be part of our Little Ones Giveaway Event August 4th-31st!

Originally posted 2013-07-14 00:01:21.

CrindelStar Review: A Plantable Story!

CrindelStar is adorable!!!  It’s getting raves by so many people and after listening to it, I can see why!  It’s an adorable and inspirational story!  As a Mom with an imagination, it really makes me smile!

The story has so many hidden little lessons that we all know and want our kids to know within the tale of a little girl named Maria who is struggling with belief, peer pressure, and self confidence.  One of the many things I love about it is that rather than making it a ‘battle’ with friends, Maria learns her great lesson in a dream and upon awakening, runs to tell her Grandmother!  I remember the days when telling our family was more important than telling our friends.  Seems like kids don’t do that anymore!

Something that is unique to CrindelStar is the packaging.  It’s a download and they send you a mini album cover made of hand made paper embedded with wildflower seeds.  What I really love is the ‘magic’ of the story that can come to life through the growth of the wildflower seeds.

As a Christian, I’ve seen and dealt with people who feel that God isn’t real.  If they can’t see His physical presence, they choose not to believe.  I feel like this story can be used as a great lesson for the kids in believing. We can use it to talk to them about believing in Him.  The hand made paper can be used as a metaphor for God inside us, planting can symbolize Him being in our hearts, while waiting for the wildflowers to grow we can talk to them about how even though we can’t see that the seeds are there, we know that we have planted them just like we know that God is in our hearts.  When the wildflowers begin to grow, we can use the phases of growth to teach them about how God grows in our hearts to for us into something beautiful!  Okay, don’t know where that came from, but I have to go call our children’s pastor now.

Go and check them out here and buy their album for your little ones!  Use it to teach!  BTW, there is also a song that comes with the story.  😀

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. (

Originally posted 2012-02-17 16:59:00.

Mo Phillips Kids CD: Monster Suit

Hey Everyone!!!  Hope this day is finding you blessed and well!!!  Thanks to the great folks over at Mom Blog Society, I have a great kids CD by Mo Phillips to tell ya about!

Monster Suit 
By Mo Phillips

From a musical perspective, they play very well!  I have a very musical family so I pay attention to how the music is played!  Some of the songs have the typical kids song music going on and others go around a good bit of the musical spectrum, at least enough so you aren’t going nuts.  No ‘I Love You’ type songs!    I will say, it’s the kind of music that you’ll feel silly singing when you get caught around your grown up friends!  It’s catchy!

All of the songs are upbeat and fun, but they do have a, shall we say, caucasian feel to them even though they are said to be a mix of 50’s Rock and Roll, folk, country, and ‘African American’ influence.  I could hear the first three in the songs…

My favorite song, you wonder?  “To the Zoo”  LOL. That one was too perfect of a title!  LOL.  The songs are adorable and some of them admittedly have made me giggle!  Even my teenager was entertained!  *don’t tell anyone I told you! LOL*  The little ones bob their heads and I admit I was tapping my foot to some of them!

Anyway, needless to say I did enjoy it!  Love jammin’ to the kiddie songs!!!  😀  You can follow him on facebook and twitter.  Mo Phillips has a very interesting story!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Mom Blog Society. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Originally posted 2012-02-15 00:34:00.

Birdie’s Playhouse

Hey Everyone!  I found a CD perfect for the Zoo!  😀  Of course, I HAD to review it for you!  Then again, a review anyone can do…  The Zoo is teaming up with Birdie’s Playhouse to get you (or your little one) a copy too!

The Music….
Birdie’s Playhouse is a kid’s CD performed by Birdie Mendoza (who use to sing with Ray Charles!!! Would love to hear those stories!!!)  She has a smooth and beautiful voice.  The music has a congo feel and gets you moving and grooving despite yourself!  The lyrics are adorable and sneak in some learning opportunities about the various animals the songs are talking about!  It may be the silliness in me, but I had fun listening to it!  I think this may become my cleaning music!  LOL.  I have to say, one of my favorites is ‘Oh when the ants…’ which is an animal version of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’.  As someone who firmly believes animals go to heaven, too, makes me wanna line up to watch this march!
Check her out on facebook where you’ll find all kinds of info, be sure and let her know you came from the Zoo!  Of course, you can also go here and preview the music.  I’m warning ya though, this is so not naptime music!  This is playtime music!  (Or Mommy cleaning time)

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Originally posted 2012-01-17 14:51:00.

Classic Kids Songs #LaurieBerkner

FavoriteKidsSongsAt the risk of sounding old fashioned, I miss the simple songs of my youth.  The ones sang with joy and happiness and no known sinister message or lesson.  It seems like these days the songs teach our children the wrong lessons, or at least the songs we sing with them from the radio and such.  I have greatly enjoyed hearing these kids songs, most from a much simpler time.  I think they’ll make you feel the same as you sing along with them.  Take the time to listen to this adorable collection and you’ll be singing and dancing along with your little ones without ever having to worry about any negative side effects (aside of course from constantly hearing the same song over and over, as children tend to do).  Check out the Laurie Berkner Band and you’ll find a new love for these old classic songs of our youth.


Laurie explains, “I made my first recording, Whaddaya Think Of That? because I wanted families to have a way to listen at home to the songs I was singing with their kids in the classroom, especially the ones I had written, which they wouldn’t have know otherwise.  I included traditional songs, too, because I wanted some of the music to be very familiar.  With each consecutive album, my own originals became more and more of what the kids wanted to sing, so I got away from recording the traditional songs I grew up with.  Now, with Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs, I’m doing the opposite and exploring many of the songs that were so formative for me and helpful in my early days as a music teacher.”

A former preschool teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Laurie Berkner started marketing her music more than fifteen years ago from her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records.  She is now widely recognized as a pioneer in the “kindie” music genre and was crowned “the undisputed queen of kindie rock” by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, “Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups.”

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The Bazillions: On the Bright Side Giveaway US/CAN Ends 10/5



“The Bazillions make some of the catchiest kindie, with an emphasis on the indie, rock on this or that side of the Mississippi.”
— Jeff Bogle, Out With The Kids

“Exactly what a children’s music album should be.  If you’d rather share with your kids well-written, beautifully recorded songs about prepositions, careers, and imagination than the traditional fare of animals, ABCs, and ‘The Wheels on the Bus,’ then The Bazillions are just the band for you.”
— Ken Denmead, a.k.a. “GEEKDAD,”

MINNEAPOLIS — With tremendous excitement, the award-winning, Minneapolis-based kindie band The Bazillions looks ahead to the July 17th release of their third album of upbeat, jangly pop tunes infused with brainy lyrics, clear learning goals, and catchy energy, On The Bright Side.

Very much inspired by Schoolhouse Rock, The Bazillions have fun musically while helping kids pick up bits of interesting information along the way.  The band successfully walks the fine line that combines first-rate educational aims with outstanding entertainment and musicianship.  Enthused Jeff Bogle of Out With The Kids, “The kindie music world has a fair amount of power alt/rock bands, but the one on the scene that carries forth the sonic crunchiness, killer pop hooks, and vocal clarity of Matthew Sweet is The Bazillions.”

On The Bright Side defines the word “bright” on multiple levels, ranging from wacky and hopeful songs describing the life of an elementary school age child to songs that explore the intricacies of grammar.  Moving adroitly from topics like what superheroes do in their spare time to the “best friend” letters Q and U, The Bazillions show influences from The Beatles, The Hollies, Big Star, Fleetwood Mac, and other masters of the world of pop music.  Their songs are essentially story-based.  Even the “educational” songs succeed in presenting narratives and painting pictures for listeners to visualize as they hum along.

My Thoughts

I had a good time listening to the Bazillions.  They give off a rock kind of feel which was a nice change from some of the others that I hear.  Family Tree was one of my favorites and was full of love and excitement.  So much fun to be had dancing and singing along.  Alien was another exceptionally fun song and made me want to send it to all of my friends who teach, seriously they need to hear this and you do too!

The Bazillions also paint pictures via their ongoing collaboration with the animation firm EG Design, whose amazing body of work (11 animated Bazillions videos so far, scoring more than 2.2 million YouTube hits) has brought a whole new level of engagement to The Bazillions experience.

The Bazillions began in 2010 when parents/educators/singer-songwriters Adam and Kristin Marshall were teaching at Kenny Elementary School in Minneapolis.  From their first days in the classroom, the couple found themselves writing songs for and with their students.  Before long, the kids knew every word to every song, and parents had started asking for a CD.  So, along with the other members of their indie pop band The Humbugs, the Marshalls recorded and released Rock-n-Roll Recess under a new alter-ego band name, The Bazillions.

The Bazillions thought they were making a one-time, “just for fun” CD.  “I doubt we will even do any shows,” Adam Marshall told his band mates.  To his surprise, five years down the road finds The Bazillions an award-winning, 2.2+ million hit viral media machine, with hundreds of live performances under their belts.

Previous albums by The Bazillions include Heads or Tales (2012, Parents’ Choice Silver Award) and Rock-n-Roll Recess (2010).  Their 2014 DVD The Bazillions’ Rockin’ Video Collection was recently honored with an Academics’ Choice Award.

On The Bright Side will be available at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby,, and at all The Bazillions’ shows.

CD Details:  On The Bright Side
Release date:  July 17, 2015
For ages 3 – 10
Label:  Oddvious Records
SRP:   $11.99 CD; $9.99 download
Running time:  37 minutes

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Odds & Ends


“It’s SO GOOD! … and so weird!”
— Mindy Thomas, SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live

“Almost too adorable for its own good … evokes the airy sweetness of Frances England and will turn any frown upside down.”
— Jeff Bogle, Cooper & Kid

LOS ANGELES — Kids and families nationwide know and love the music of L.A.-based composer/performers Andrew & Polly from hearing the duo’s songs on Nickelodeon’s Wallykazam!, as well as the score to the Nick digital series Welcome To The Wayne.  Soon they will get to hear more with the September 25th release of Andrew & Polly’s second album of playful pop tunes for kids, appropriately titled Odds & Ends.

Andrew Barkan and Polly Hall are in demand for their sparkling music for films, TV, and commercials, but their true love is creating and performing music for children.  The married couple makes no bones about where their priorities lie.  According to Andrew, “The commercial accolades are nice, but much more meaningful to us was winning the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award for the song ‘When You’re A Dog’ from our debut children’s album, Up and At ‘Em!

My Thoughts

Children’s music as a whole is meant to be fun and somewhat silly, with little lessons here and there.  It is difficult for one to shine over another, more likely they simply annoy parents a little less than their counterparts.  While I can’t speak for every parent, as some of us can tolerate anything, I’m not that Mom.  I have a limited tolerance.  It’s a short trip from hearing something a few times to wanting desperately to throw it out the window as I fly down the highway laughing maniacally!  That picture painted, I’ll move on and let you know what I think.

First, let me make note of the song Forever Young.  I don’t remember the name of the show, but the first time I heard this song was when it was featured as the entry song to a television show.  I loved it and searched forever for it, not knowing the name of the song or who sang it.  Now that I know, I’m a happy camper.  This song just screams happiness and I love it.

As for the rest of the songs, they are cutesy and fun and make you want to do a little jig that will keep a smile on your face.  I’ve actually been keeping the disc in my car for rough days, it’s that good.  LOL.  Andrew and Polly leave you no choice but to sing, smile and move.  Check them out and enjoy, you’ll be glad you did!

Polly Hall agrees, “We make genuine connections with children and families through our songs, shows, and podcast.  Rather than aspiring to be rock stars, we prefer sitting on the carpet in the corner of our favorite independent bookstore and singing on Saturday mornings.  In that way, we can see kids light up when a song really works.  We sing directly to them and with them, on their developmental level, stretching their imaginations and their experience of music.”

Adds Andrew Barkan, “It’s been five years since our first album, and it’s about time for a second one!  We’ve been writing songs and playing shows for kids all the while but haven’t been able to take time away from our TV and film scoring work to put a whole record together until now.  Odds & Ends is a little bit like our lives after having our first kid — haphazard, hair-brained, and absolutely full of love.”

Odds & Ends is, indeed, quirky and eclectic, just like Andrew & Polly!  The album kicks off with “Little Bitta You,” a soft, sweet tune that gets big and happy, and, like childhood, is a bit nonsensical at times.  The song also provides a great showcase for trombonist Gabe Feenberg (Terraplane Sun).  “Ghostbusters,” the song that deftly set the silly/scary ambience of the eponymous 1984 film, completely lives up to its reputation in Andrew & Polly’s version, which features theramin, marimba, accordion, kazoos, whistles, synthesizers, and the voices of a collection of their youthful fans bellowing, “Who you gonna call?” into the iPhones of their amazed parents.

What’s next for this dynamic duo?  Andrew & Polly are busy developing EAR SNACKS, a new kind of podcast — for kids, featuring kids — and they can’t wait for fans to hear it!


Odds & Ends will be available at CDbaby, iTunes, and at Andrew & Polly's shows.

 CD Details:  Odds & Ends  Release date:  September 25, 2015 For ages 2 - 7 Label:  Records Palindrome Records SRP:   $9.99 Running time:  28 minutes

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Get Jammin with #Hallabaloo

Shy Kid Blues Giveaway US Ends 6/30There is something about that boogie little ones get when they hear music that they enjoy. It always makes me smile and of course ensures that I boogie on with them. The laughter and joy that babies find in music is such a pure happiness. I’m not convinced any normal human being could resist that! Recently I had the pleasure of enjoying my cousin’s little one and decided she would be the best reviewer of anyone! So, I put in the Shy Kid Blues by Hullabaloo and cranked it up. Wasn’t long past the intro that those little knees started bending to their own rhythm and those adorable arms followed! At almost a year and a half, this girl loves her a good beat. Dancing and singing and moving to her own drum with that beautiful smile and big blue eyes. I didn’t get a shot of her dancing, I was busy dancing with her, but if you’ve ever seen a toddler dance then you know what I mean!

Hullabaloo has received some great shout outs, including a raving compliment from Parents Magazine hailing them “As good as it gets when it comes to children’s music.”  One can’t resist that one, curiosity requires ya to check it out!  LOL.  Though I couldn’t find any songs from this album on YouTube, you can listen to them at their site.


Secret Agent 23 Skidoo The Perfect Quirk

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo The Perfect Quirk Review & Giveaway US Ends 6/16
I love the messages in the songs on this disc!  You can feel the love written within the lyrics!
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo The Perfect Quirk has a great feel to it that will get you bobbing your head and have your spirits lifted!  With an island feel and a feel good message, I foresee this playing quite a bit this summer!  Combining Hip Hop with classic R&B along with a Carribian feel, I am loving this music!  I know, I sound redundant, humor me!  Listen to a few and you’ll get it!  With songs talking about everything from games, to imaginary friends, life going by and even nightlights Every parent will be able to relate to these songs and any kid with an imagination who likes to dance around and be silly will love them as well!  

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

The Perfect Quirk, a raucous celebration of originality and the quirkiness of being a kid in this crazy awesome world, is the ideal soundtrack for living room dance parties or a summer vacation on the road less traveled. The tunes are classic hip hop spiced with Motown, reggae, club thump, blues, and the occasional pirate shanty, each one aimed at the quirky soul of the funky family.

As the proud dad of an amazing daughter who gets down to the beat of her own drum, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo knows the parent’s perspective.  As a kid who grew up feeling different and strange before realizing that nobody’s normal, he eventually discovered the need to accept your funky self.  And as a music lover who found gateways to his own understanding on CDs and cassettes, he understands his Secret Mission …

Skidoo explains, “The word ‘weird’ derives from the Old English ‘wyrd,’ which translates as ‘destiny’ or ‘fate.’  I hope this album will help kids realize that their quirks are their own funky destinies, meant to be lived to their potential.  Oh yeah, and I hope it makes ’em dance like they’re crazy!” Secret Agent 23 Skidoo The Perfect Quirk Review & Giveaway US Ends 6/16

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo’s approach to music has always been eccentric and eclectic, and The Perfect Quirk is no exception.  From the combination of Miami bass sounds with Afropop and steel drums on “You’re It” to a rave-sounding dance track about pillow fights to a song written from the song’s own perspective, Skidoo thoroughly embraces the Weird.

Highlights on this party rocker include the Motown flavored “Unwind,” the klezmer/gypsy swing/pirate shanty/polka hop “Imaginary Friend” (like a soundtrack to another world), and the straight up hip hop “3 Pointed Back,” featuring the world’s quirkiest guest rappers, Skidoo’s daughter MC Fireworks and Adam StrangeRecess Monkey’s Jack Forman contributes a picture perfect boxing announcer voiceover to “Pillowfight Pillowfort,” and The Verve Pipe’s Craig Griffith deftly weaves his blues harmonica throughout “PJs All Day.” MC Fireworks delivers one of the most eye-misting verses to ever grace a funky beat on “Time Machine,” a Moog-heavy reggae song that pulls more heartstrings than punches.  The sparkling horn cascades and sweet strings of “Nightlight” bring the album to a happy close.

With five #1 hits on Sirius/XM global radio, a track on the 2012 GRAMMY winning children’s recording, and gigs from basketball courts in the Bronx to stages at the Smithsonian, Lollapalooza, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is a standout star on the indie family music scene.  The Washington Post praised his “compelling rhythms and stories, the messages are all positive.  23 leaves parents skeptical of the genre powerless to resist.”  Enthused, “Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has married the compex beats of hip hop with the magical world of kids.”

Skidoo’s newest venture is his very first children’s book.  Weirdo Calhoun and the Odd Men Out will be available in a deluxe hardback edition through Eifrig Publishing, with an official publication date of September 23 and pre-release opportunities available beginning June 24.  Weirdo Calhoun is the story of the weirdest kid ever, who follows his own crazy creative path and, in the process, brings life and color to the town of Squaresville.  In the spirit of Weirdo Calhoun, the book comes with three vastly different musical versions to read along to:  party rocking hip hop, down home bluegrass, and a bedtime story with a beautifully sleepy string section.  There are even Karaoke versions so families can practice their chops!

Previous Secret Agent 23 Skidoo recordings include Make Believers (2012, NAPPA Gold Award, USA TODAY Best of the Year List, Fids & Kamily winner), Underground Playground (2010, USA TODAY Best of the Year List, Fids & Kamily winner), and Easy (2008, Fids & Kamily winner).

The Perfect Quirk will be available at, iTunes,, and at independent retail outlets throughout the country.