Tag Archives: kids music

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.

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!

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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.

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.

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Originally posted 2014-05-27 10:55:47.

Recess Monkey: Wired

Recess Monkey: Wired Review and GiveawayI’m not gonna lie, even if I am past their targeted demographic, Recess Monkey always makes me smile with their lyrics.  They are fun and get ya moving!  Much better than those kids songs that systematically make us want to blow up our own televisions!  With each song I can picture a three year old’s version of what they are singing and can’t help grinning.  I especially love when at the end of ‘Wired’ they end with what inevitably happens anytime little ones are bouncing off the wall!  That actually made me giggle as I’ve seen that happen oh so many times!  Recess Monkey, as always, hits the nail on the head with this fun and exciting collection of children’s music seemingly based off of Rock and Roll style music.  If you grew up in an era listening to Rock and Roll, or even if you didn’t, Recess Monkey will be the artist in your kid’s music collection that doesn’t make you want to scream in frustration but instead will get you playing, jumping and just moving in general.  Simply listening while writing them takes discipline not to jump up and start moving!

Recess Monkeys

About Recess MonkeyRecess Monkey

  SEATTLE, WA — Inspired by the breathtaking creativity and inventiveness of today’s DIY kids, kindie music icon Recess Monkey celebrates “maker” culture with the band’s eleventh studio recording, Wired. (Recess Monkey, $14.99, for ages 3 – 9, run time 43 minutes.)

Wired, a collection of super-eclectic “gadget rock” songs about inventions, machines, and electricity, also highlights the richness of life beyond batteries:  Grandpa’s wisdom, board games, singing with others, storytelling, and the fine art of duct tape.

Wired was produced at John Vanderslice’s famed Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco, where everything was recorded on tape with analog equipment.  Recess Monkey found working with John Vanderslice to be like observing the machinations of a mythic alchemist practicing his craft.   Vanderslice and engineer Jamie Riotto created incredible effects “on the spot” during live takes, twisting knobs with one hand while altering the speed of the tape with another, bringing to Recess Monkey the realization that Vanderslice and Riotto weren’t simply producer and engineer, but truly members of the band.

Notes Jack Forman, “It cannot be overstated what huge fans we are of John Vanderslice, and the experience of gettting to make music with him at the helm was downright life-changing.  Removing computers from the recording equation forced us to rely on our ears, as in the days before digital.  This was the perfect approach for an album inspired by ‘outside the box’ creativity!”

Recess Monkey’s trademark over-the-top, loaded-with-humor lyrics are again delivered with the band’s amazing mastery of diverse musical styles.  Wired rolls out of the gate with “Take Your Kid To Work Day.” a track that combines a driving, 8 to the bar rhythm with a super-energized, lyrical bass guitar line and a Mick Jagger-like vocal intensity.  This explosion of energy continues unabated with the next track, “Wired,” an ode d’amour to a sugar high with the real treat at the end.  For really serious time travel, check out “Grandpa is a Time Machine” and soak up some old time, ukulele driven, up-tempo two-beat along with Grandpa’s iced tea and endless supply of stories. “Wishing Well” is a score for Beatlemaniacs, enhanced by a guitar solo that pays homage to the great George Harrison.  Other highlights include “Brick by Brick,” where Recess Monkey “puts together” an anthem to Legos, the original “maker” toy, and the hilarious ballad, “Duct Tape World,” in which one boy, one girl, and one million and two rolls of duct tape leads to a front yard business called “On A Roll With You!”

In addition to rocking out with Recess Monkey, Jack Forman is an on-air personality on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, where his daily call-in show, Live From the Monkey House, is a hysterical cornucopia of game show segments, kid callers, special musical guests, and the best kids’ and family music out there!

Recess Monkey released their debut CD, Welcome to Recess Monkey Town, in 2005, followed by another popular hit, Aminal House, in 2006.  The band made history with their 2007 release, Wonderstuff, the first double CD children’s album.  As with all their albums, including 2008’s Tabby Road, 2009’s Field Trip, 2010’s The Final Funktier, 2011’s In Tents, and 2013’s Deep Sea Diver and Desert Island Disc, Wired is grounded in real life children’s experiences.

Ten Recess Monkey songs have reached #1 on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live chart.  Kids Place Live Program Director Mindy Thomas declared, “In this never-ending nationwide talent show of kid and family music, they are most definitely at the top.”  Explained kids’ music authority Stefan Shepherd (Zooglobble.com), “Recess Monkey just keeps turning out album after album with pop nuggets, as if we’d just discovered The Beatles had recorded a ton of kids’ music 40+ years ago.”

Wired will be available at recessmonkey.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, theAVCafe.com, bigkids.com, iTunes, bandcamp.com, Silver Platters, Sonic Book Records, and Barnes & Noble.

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Originally posted 2014-04-24 06:53:42.

Block Party: Awesome Music For Kids

Poochamungas Block Party!

 

Poochamungas – Block Party! is a fantastic album for the kids.  Releasing October 8, 2013, Block Party is a collection of fun little songs that get ya moving to the rock beat.  The songs are cute and catchy and smiles tend to sneak up on you when you aren’t expecting them.  I’m warning ya though, you may find yourself being goofy too as you let the kids jam out to the music!  Listening to the songs you can see that they were once kids who loved rock and roll.  Not the head banging stuff, the genre of classic rock, the good stuff that I heard growing up.  

Block Party Playlist

 Around the World

Til the Sun Goes Down

My Favorite Summer Day (Block Party)

Bah Humbug Halloween

Games We Played

Little King

Big Red Fire Engine/Truck

Places You Go

Valentine’s Day

Refrigerator Box

My Little Ballerina

End of the Day

Imagination Train

See ‘Em Live

Fall 2013

September 29 @Schubas in Chicago, IL

October 31 @ Trunk or Treat in Chicago, IL

November 16 @ World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, PA

About the Poochamungas

Taken From Their Website

 Born out of the Old Town School of Folk Music then fledging musician John Joyce went to take some harmonica classes and ended up taking a bunch of guitar lessons. After meeting a bunch of interested musicians(Don, Alton and Pete), mastering 3 chords, writing some lyrics that amused his daughter, a father/ son drummer exchange and finally forming a band! The Poochamungas went on to record Mud, Mommies and Mayhem in 2010 which won a NAPPA Award and played a bunch of gigs (block parties to festivals) the next few years. They have finished their follow up CD titled Block Party (to be released Septembert 2013). Musically diverse rockin’ angst free music is their goal at every show. The Poochamungas believe that good music should know no age and they rock out for audiences big and small. Singing, dancing and general silliness is the rule of the day when this band comes to play!

Learn More…

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Giveaway Ends 10/31

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Originally posted 2013-09-14 08:51:49.

Bear Hunt with @thejamtones Fun!

Ever thought of going on a Bear Hunt?  This fun album will take you and the kids on an adventure that will have you laughing and moving! It’s a blast!Go on a Bear Hunt Today with @thejamtones Fun!

Bear Hunt

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 I have to admit that they had me dancing a bit  LOL.  It’s all good though, I was having way too much fun to be worried about the staring passer-byes.  LOL.  Sometimes I worry about myself, given all the fun I have been 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 New Album 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.

15 Things we Can Learn From Disney: Brought to You By #JazzLovesDisney

This is a sponsored post from Disney Music and One2One Network. All opinions are always my own.  I truly enjoyed Jazz Loves Disney!Jazz Loves DisneyThere’s something about the music from Disney movies that just makes your heart happy.  It had never occurred to me before how much Disney music is Jazz, or influenced by it.  Sitting here listening to Jazz Loves Disney is so incredibly relaxing.  Such an awesome collection of songs redone into a jazz sound!  It definitely is a happy mellow I’ve got going on!  It’s awesome that the kids love it too, since it makes them think of their favorite Disney movies!  There is so much talent compiled on this one disc!  I honestly could not say it better than the quote on the Amazon album description:

Jazz Loves Disney was recorded between Paris, London and Los Angeles by a dream cast. It is incredibly coherent, as if all participants had agreed to pay a rightful tribute to the most beautiful and symbolic tunes of Walt Disney’s magic world, as if nothing was too good for the stars when they revisited the classics and the sweet childhood memories connected to them.

Available November 18, 2016, Disney Loves Jazz is a must have for your music collection.  Inspiration, relaxation and a great new way to introduce the little ones to Jazz!  I love that you can even order it on Vinyl!  Just trust me, this one is one you will want to listen to over and over again!

I love the French version of  Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo performed by Stacy Kent.  Her voice is amazingly smooth and the words in French seem so beautiful to me!  French is the language of love for a reason, but I think the beauty in it is the most ‘love’ one can find!  The Bare Necessities is so much fun too!  It already had it’s own jazz feeling and these artists put it over the top!  They had me moving as I listen to Jazz Loves Disney!

Jazz Loves Disney Playlist

  1. Dreams can come true and even if the dreams don’t turn out the way we wanted them, they can be just as good or even better!  (Big Hero 6)
  2.  Being a Princess doesn’t mean that everything is always handed to you. (Thanks to my favorite Disney movie! The Princess & The Frog)
  3.  Friends are always important, even if they don’t do the right thing. (Toy Story)
  4. We have to learn from the past, not dwell on it.  (The Lion King)
  5.  True value comes in ‘who’ not ‘what’.  (Aladdin)
  6.  Being an ungrateful, petulant child is annoying. (okay, so this is one you are reminded of if your toddler insists on watching Beauty and the Beast over and OVER and over again!)  I had never quite grasped what an ungrateful child Belle was.  Don’t believe me, just watch it over and over. You’ll get it!  Stinks too because that is one of my very favorites!
  7.  It is better to be yourself, people will love you for who you really are. (The Little Mermaid)
  8.  Keep going, no matter what! (Thanks Dory, Finding Nemo & Finding Dory)
  9.  Listen to your inner voice.  It’s probably right.  (Pinocchio)
  10.  Tough times teach us and make us better, even inspire us..  (Mulan and Mulan 2)
  11.  There are tons of things to learn from people who aren’t like us. (Pocahontas)
  12.  Life is ever changing but each part a new beginning! (Up!)
  13.  Ohana.  Family.  The most important of anything. (Lilo & Stitch)
  14.  It’s okay to be different!  Accept who we are!  (Wreck It Ralph)
  15.  Always dream big for the future! (Meet the Robinsons’)