Tag Archives: giveaway

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.

LaurieBerkner

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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Originally posted 2015-11-16 00:01:49.

Children’s Book of Adventure

What a fun andChickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy Willow Trees and Two-and-A-Half: A Children's Book of Adventure exciting book!  I enjoyed going through the book and enjoying the adventure!  It was wonderful to share with the little one!  So many opportunities to teach her about traveling, friendship and adventure of course!  While the time hasn’t come where I can take her physically on adventures, I love that I can take her with words and pictures.  Through these pages we got to go to see many things, both real and pretend.  While this fun little book is targeted toward ages 4-9, I feel like it is never too early to expose my little Cub to any appropriate book.  I want her to have the best chance I can give and a huge part of that includes books.

Children love to explore; it’s intuitive. And they tend to struggle when asked to confine their activities and behaviors to our adult-imposed rules and paths. Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half is a vibrantly and exceptionally well-illustrated adventure book meant to inspire children to follow their urges to explore and to appreciate diversity. The book starts off when “One day a little brown monkey with dazzling olive green eyes, a friendly smile, and a long curly tail asked his father if there was more to the life than just hanging around with other monkeys and eating bananas.” Before long he meets a lovely grey cat and a majestic blue pelican each on their own quests. Together, they explore a foreign island and when their journey takes them into a private swath of land, they befriend a local dog who takes them further than they ever imagined.

Chickadees, Bumbelbeez, Pussy-Willow Trees and Two-And-A-Half emphasizes several significant values, which help us subsist and ultimately thrive: learning through independent exploration, the need for friendship, the importance of respect and tolerance for other cultures, languages, and lifestyle diversity, along with a healthy understanding of the powers of mother nature.
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Originally posted 2015-11-15 00:01:09.

Sunshine Collective

Sunshine Collective

Sunshine Collective is a fun collection of happy music that simply makes you want to enjoy it.  Sunshine is definitely a good name, as it really does feel like you are listening to a little sunshine!  I’d definitely suggest this for Moms and daughters as it just seems to me music perfect for girl time on a beautiful day!  The various songs bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart as it lifts you up one song at a time.  To quote the song Up to Something Good, ” the world needs a smile and it’s here”.     That definitely sums up this album.  Check it out today.  It will be your next go to happy music!

Sunshine Collective creates an intricate and sophisticated vocal/instrumental tapestry that defines each track as a true musical composition.  Arbuckle and Richards don’t pander to low expectations of children’s listening abilities by simply laying “kiddie lyrics” on top of a basic 3-chord musical structure. Recognizing that children are responsive to music that has sonic complexity and lyric depth, the team purposefully delivers a break from typical kids’ fare, keeping it fresh, cool, and “adult ear” friendly.

Up To Something Good has a roll-down-the-windows, flyin’ free feel, but its summertime sweetness isn’t sticky or syrupy; it’s refreshing as cold fruit at a hot picnic.  The album’s powerful instrumental ensemble flexes its muscles while never intruding on Stephanie Richards‘ vocal tone and style or her crystal clear delivery of the lyrics.  Her eminently ear-friendly voice serves up mod pop and jazz-tinged tunes just as deftly as pop-country, four-on-the-floor, head-for-the-sun numbers.

The title track is pure pop heaven:  bold, brassy, and pulsating with life as Richards’ powerhouse soprano soars over a complex orchestration in a manner reminiscent of ’60s stars like Martha Reeves or Diana Ross.  The album’s non-hackneyed lyric landscape is best exemplified by the poetic poignancy of “Waiting To Say Hello Again,” a gently country waltz that explores how childhood often copes with parting.

Before launching Sunshine Collective, Brian Arbuckle and Stephanie Richards had an R&R pop chart hit with Stephanie’s debut single, “Get Use To It.”  Arbuckle’s orchestral compositions can be heard on trailers for Benchwarmers, Catwoman, and Spider, among others, as well as network promos for shows like Cold Case, Big Bang Theory, and 60 Minutes. He has mixed music for Sprout, Disney, Disney XD, and Nickelodeon, and he is currently in music production for a new Simpsons promo campaign.

CD Details:  Up To Something Good
Release date:  September 18, 2015
For all ages.
Label:  Mystefire Records
SRP:   $14.95
Running time:  38 minutes

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Originally posted 2015-11-06 06:02:00.

Hotel Transylvania 2 Printable

Hotel Transylvania 2 #Giveaway Ends 10/5
Hotel Transylvania 2 #Giveaway Ends 10/5

If you haven’t seen the first one, go buy it!  It’s fabulous and stocked full of potential lessons we can be reminded of and teach our children!  I absolutely love it and it cracks me up!  If you’d like to have the printable family guide you can use along with this movie the link will open up from this site, it won’t take you elsewhere.  😀  Enjoy!

Faith Guide_HT2

Hotel Transylvania 2 #Giveaway Ends 10/5

About the Movie: 

Drac’s pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2! Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania… Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny – and in for a major cultural shock of her own – “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad is about to pay a family visit to the hotel. And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood – and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania – things are going to get batty!

Hotel Transylvania 2 #Giveaway Ends 10/5

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 has been rated PG by the MPAA for the following reasons: SOME SCARY IMAGES, ACTION AND RUDE HUMOR.
Staring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade
Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky

Now for the Giveaway!

Hotel Transylvania 2 #Giveaway Ends 10/5

1 Winner will receive (feel free to customize image to fit your blog):
 – 1 Cape, 1 Stationary Set, 1 Vampire Fangs, 1 Blobby Putty and 1 Activity Book

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Originally posted 2015-09-18 23:16:26.

Dev & Ollie

Devon
Dev has just unwrapped his favourite birthday present…a cool new kite! But there’s a
problem. He doesn’t know how to fly it! Grandpa claims to be an expert and promises
to teach Dev tomorrow but Dev is too impatient.
Ollie, Dev’s magical bedtime owl, comes to the rescue. Together they set off on an
action packed journey to one of the largest kite festivals in the world in Gujarat,
India.
The pleasure of kite flying doesn’t come easy though. Along the way, he encounters a
couple of mishaps and a few bumps on the head. To his surprise, Dev has to work hard
to get his hands on a kite and learn the skill of kite flying.

Finally, fighting through all the hurdles, Dev emerges victorious. When he returns
back home in the morning, he beats Grandpa at his own game!

Dev and Ollie books can be enjoyed by children aged 4+ from any background. They are a truly unique combination of festival experiences, hilarious adventures, and ‘virtual’ sightseeing in India. What’s more, all this is beautifully wrapped around the magical relationship of a child and his bedtime cuddly toy.

My Thoughts

Full of color, wonder and adventure even my 8 month old enjoyed the pictures as I read the story to her!  I greatly enjoyed the imagination in the story as well as the little tidbits of kite knowledge dropped throughout the book.

The book is full of brightly colored, well drawn pictures giving the eyes plenty to keep them busy!  Even my 6

month old was fascinated with the pictures!

I will be giving away 1 copies to 2 lucky winners!!!

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About the Author

author

I created Dev and Ollie following a ‘light bulb’ moment at
a festival in Watford, England.
Indian by origin and having grown up in Japan, I now live
in England with my family. My upbringing has been that
of a global citizen. And after having children, I am keen
for my children to be global citizens while also to be
proud of their own culture and heritage.
As a mother of two young children and a British Indian,
I’m forever exploring ways to impart cultural knowledge
to them. Also, my children are avid readers and adding
variety to their bookshelf is something I actively work on.
My mission is for children not just to be reading well, but
to be well read. Realising that this can be easily
achieved if children can relate to the characters in a
book, Dev and Ollie were created – Dev, a cheeky,
curious and sometimes clumsy boy and Ollie his magical
bedtime cuddly owl.
What sparked their conception was an Indian cultural festival experience in England. Festivals
evoke the best of any culture! Colour, noise, excitement, family, laughter – all are perfect
ingredients for children’s stories with a universal appeal.
During my time in India from 1995 to 1999 for my undergraduate degree in computer science, I
traveled extensively within India. That’s when I experienced an array of amazing festivals.
Kite Crazy is about one such experience. One of my most cherished memories is the annual
kite festival in Gujarat, India…flying kites on the rooftop with cousins from dawn till dusk. Food,
drinks, piles of kites, everything would be planned for. We’d fight to have a go (because we had
fewer kites remaining than the number of cousins!). Then seconds later, we’d be ganging up
and competing against others on neighbouring roof terraces.
I’m working on many more Dev and Ollie books to be released soon, not just about festivals in
India, but unique festivals around the world that haven’t been discovered on an international
level…festivals that children will love to read about! In fact, I’ve had tremendous fun researching
such festivals, so much so that my bucket list now includes some of them (Tomatina Festival in
Spain and Snow & Ice Festival in China)!

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Originally posted 2015-09-16 00:01:27.

#BiggestStory

TheBiggestStory

About the book:TheBiggestStory2
Hardcover: 132 pages
Publisher: Crossway (August 31, 2015)
In The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung – a best-selling author and father of six – leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heave and new earth.  With powerful illustrations by award-winning artist Don Clark, this imaginative retelling of the Bible’s core message-how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden-will draw children into the biblical story, teaching them that God’s promises are even bigger and better than we think.

KevinDeYoung

About Kevin DeYoung:
Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan.  He blogs at the Gospel Coalition and has authored or coauthored numerous well-known books, including Just Do SomethingThe Hole in Our HolinessCrazy Busy, and Taking God At His Word.  He lives with his wife and their 6 children in Central Michigan.

DonClark

About Don Clark:
Don Clark is an artist and the cofounder of Invisible Creature, a widely respected and award-winning design studio in Seattle that has worked with clients such as Target, Nike, LEGO, and WIRED magazine.  He lives with his wife and their 3 children, 4 goats, 12 chickens, and 1 crazy dog on a farm just outside the city limits.

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Originally posted 2015-09-15 00:00:05.

#HopeLives

90MinutesInHeaven

About the movie presented by Giving Films:
Releases in theaters everywhere September 11, 2015
Rating: PG-13 (for intense accident and injury images) 
Starring Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Kate Bosworth (Remember The Titans, Blue Crush) Michael W. Smith, Fred Thompson, Dwight Yoakam, and Jason Kennedy, 90 Minutes In Heaven is based on the inspiring New York Times best-selling book that has sold 7 million copies.  

About Giving Films:
Giving Films is passionate about sharing hope-filled movies and donating ALL of their profits to charities and ministries who serve those in need.  Beginning with their first film, 90 Minutes In Heaven, Giving Films is allowing all of us to be a part of making a difference.  Anytime you go to a Giving Films movie in theaters, visit http://www.givingfilms.com and select which charities you want to receive the profits from your ticket.  Their charitable organizations are Christian Alliance for Orphans, Faith Bridge Foster Care, Hire Heroes USA, Hope International, LifeWater, Street Grace, and World Vision. 

About the book:
Paperback; 245 pages
Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car.  Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes.  Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before.  Don was in Heaven.  
When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle!  Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened.  Heaven‘s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil.  With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life.  The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life – and death – will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it. 

Originally posted 2015-09-08 09:44:15.

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

album3_on_white

THE BAZILLIONS

“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,” Wired.com

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, thebazillions.com, 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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Originally posted 2015-08-31 00:23:59.

Odds & Ends

oddsnendsSWEET & QUIRKY, IMAGINATIVE & FUN MUSIC FOR CHILDREN

“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!

PromoImage.jpg
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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Originally posted 2015-08-28 00:03:26.

Josh & The Jamtones Review

joshandthejamtones

Josh & the Jamtones have been making music and lots of laughs for kids and families since early 2012, when singer/songwriter Josh Shriber started buying fancy lattes from producer/drummer Pat Hanlin at a café near his house.  Since then, the titanic twosome and their intrepid band have crisscrossed the country, playing hundreds of shows and sharing the stage with massive bands like The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba, and The Fresh Beat Band.  The Jamtones have performed at loads of major festivals with mega-acts like the Dave Matthews Band, Hall & Oates, and The Roots.

More than 60,000 Jamtones records have been sold through Josh and Pat’s home-grown label, Jamhouse Records, scoring multiple hit singles on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live channel and other kids’/family radio programs throughout the country.  Jamhouse also functions as a full-fledged video production house and audio recording studio.

My Thoughts

I can’t even begin to say how much fun I had listening to the CD!  It was a blast and I can’t wait to enjoy it with the little ones!  I assure you that you’ll be laughing, singing and dancing along with these fun and creative songs!  There are even a few things I’m certain were thrown in for Mom and Dad.  While it’s hard to pick a favorite, I admit that after I finished initial playing of the CD for the review, I continued cruising to it or the remaining two hours of my road trip.  LOL.  So, at least you can know that it is something that when it becomes their favorite, you’ll at least enjoy the repeat plays!

Visit the Josh & the Jamtones website HERE.

Josh & the Jamtones on Facebook.

Josh & the Jamtones on Twitter.

Josh & the Jamtones on YouTube.

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Originally posted 2015-08-10 00:01:45.