Video: "Tailfeather" - Josh and the Jamtones

Josh and the Jamtones Rocksteady cover

Josh and the Jamtones Rocksteady cover

Anyone who's seen Josh and the Jamtones' live show knows they are ten-ton bundle of energy.  The Boston-based ska-punk-pop band's latest album, Rocksteady, is formally released August 21, but I can say that the album very much captures that live energy in the studio setting.

One of the most revved up songs from that album gets the honor of lead single and a brand-new video to go with it.  It's for "Tailfeather," and I feel like there should be a seizure warning before it because MAN, is there a lot going on.

But the song's a bunch of fun, and the video, which basically animates a bunch of clips of the band performing in concert, pretty much nails their live energy.  I think it's great.

Josh and the Jamtones - "Tailfeather" [YouTube]

Listen To This: "Sunshine Family" - Mista Cookie Jar (feat. Aaron Nigel Smith)

"Sunshine Family" single cover

"Sunshine Family" single cover

It's another super kindie duet from SoCal's Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips.  This time, for "Sunshine Family," MCJ brings in Portland's Aaron Nigel Smith for a summery jam with reggae, dub, and a bit of hip-hop in the mix.

Co-written by Mista Cookie Jar (aka C.J. Pizarro) and Smith, you can think of it as a big (BIG) I-5 duet from the the West Coast artists.  (And no offense to the East Coast, but the West Coast OWNS summer.)

Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips (feat. Aaron Nigel Smith) - "Sunshine Family" [Bandcamp]

Intro to Kindie: Amberly Warnke (Ages 3 and Up!)


Yay, it's another entry in our Intro to Kindie series! It's America's favorite series for discussing how kindie folk would spend an hour or so introducing kids music to someone new to the concept.  Today, it's Amberly Warnke's turn.

For about ten years, Amberly has been playing music for families and kids on her show, Ages 3 and Up!.  (Note: as far as I know, listeners under 3 are totally welcome.)  The show airs 9 'til 10 AM on Saturday mornings on WRFL 88.1 FM in Lexington, Kentucky.

Without, then, any further ado, Amberly's 20 songs...

Lori Henriques - “How Great Can This Day Be” - How Great Can This Day Be 

Future Hits - “This Past Sunny Weekend” - Today is Forever 

Frances England - “Up A Tree” - Family Tree 

Gustafer Yellowgold - “Getting In A Treetop” - Mellow Fever

Dog on Fleas - “Beautiful World” - Beautiful World 

Caspar Babypants - “Tiger Through The Trees” - This Is Fun! 

Ages 3 and Up logo

Ages 3 and Up logo

Brian Vogan and His Good Buddies - “How To Fly” - Sing A Little Song

Todd McHatton - “Green Eleven” - Sundays At The Rocket Park

Charlie Hope - “One That I Love” - Songs, Stories and Friends:  Let’s Go Play!

Kira Willey - “Caterpillar Caterpillar” - Dance For The Sun:  Yoga Songs for Kids

Medeski Martin & Wood - “Pat A Cake” - Let’s Go Everywhere

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family - “Go Waggaloo” - Go Waggaloo

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - “Luck” - Easy

Me3 - “Come On” - The Thin King

The Pop Ups - “Big Wheel” - Outside Voices

Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke - “Going To The Moon” - Rise and Shine

Justin Roberts - “No Matter How Far” - Lullaby

The Harmonica Pocket - “Bumblebee Lullaby” - Ladybug One 

John Upchurch and Mark Greenberg - “Hum Drum Bumblebee” - John and Mark’s Children’s Record 

Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower - “I Wish You Well” - Blue Clouds



Video: "Groove" - Lori Henriques (World Premiere!)

Summertime... and sometimes all you want to do is relax with a cold beverage and a bit of shade from the sun.

Your kids, of course, often have an entirely different idea.

For the latest video from Lori Henriques' excellent How Great Can This Day Be album, Henriques melds the two concepts.  In the video for "Groove," a very jazzy dance song, her brother (and director here) Joel Henriques slows down the juvenile dancers and puts a filter on them so it seems all so... relaxed.  Very apropos for this world premiere video.

Lori Henriques - "Groove" [YouTube]

Review: All Kinds of You and Me - Alastair Moock

All Kinds of You and Me album cover

All Kinds of You and Me album cover

I think Alastair Moock is the rare artist for whom taking on Free To Be... You and Me, the classic 1972 album and book from Marlo Thomas, would be a safe choice.  That's because Moock's last album was Singing Our Way Through, the celebrated and Grammy-nominated album Moock recorded while he and his family helped his daughter Clio fight leukemia.  The album sang to kids and families going through tremendously difficult times with grace and even a little bit of humor.

But still, yeah, just about anything would seem lighter after that.  And with Clio's leukemia in remission, for this latest album, All Kinds of You and Me, Moock turned instead for inspiration to that 1972 classic which celebrated gender individuality, equality, and neutrality.  That album inspired him (he speaks to it most directly on "You and Me") and now he's trying to pay it forward.

My favorite songs on the album are the ones that wear that desire to honor the album and its impluses lightly.  "It Takes All Kinds," which leads off the album, is an infectious song about a boy who wears a dress, a girl who loves worms, and a cat who drinks wine. It's a song about acceptance, but the chorus -- "It's me, it's you, it's us, it's true / It's life, it's fine, it takes all kinds" -- doesn't hit the listener over the head with the message of you should accept others.  Generally, the idea of "should" is far away from the album's lyrics, which is to its credit.  "Kenya Imagine?," which could have become a very "should"-filled song about thinking of others around the world and how everyone has the same needs, reaches its apex when Moock and Jennifer Kimball sing "Love!" repeatedly (a dozen times, to be precise) -- it's a reminder, not a command.  And "Everything's Upside-Down But Me" is another strong track in which the title is not really a metaphor - it's a most Shel Silverstein-like song.

Moock gets strong assistance with his folk-with-a-hint-of-rock from 75% of Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, with producer Anand Nayak playing on many tracks (and duetting on the horn-aided "All in a Day"), Scott Kessel, and the always-welcome Rani Arbo providing vocals on a number of tracks.

The 45-minute album is most appropriate for kids ages 5 through 9.  You can stream the entire album here.  (And for those of you still buying your music in the physical format, always nice to see album art from Key Wilde.)

Unsurprisingly for an album born out of an acute medical crisis, Singing Our Way Through was an album intensely focused on the here and now.  With the medical crisis past, with All Kinds of You and Me Moock turns his attention to the world his daughters will grow up in.  At its best, the new album features the same grace of its predecessor with a level of high spirits that encourages others to envision the same world Moock sees for his daughters.  I think Marlo Thomas would be proud to hear it.  Definitely recommended.

Note: I was given a copy of the album for possible review.