Listen To This: Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew)

I like to think I've done a pretty good job of introducing a lot of great artists to a larger audience here at this website, but for whatever reason I've had particularly good luck with the Seattle area.  Recess Monkey, Central Services Board of Education, Johnny Bregar -- all of 'em you heard about here first.  That's not to mention all the other artists up there in Washington State -- Harmonica Pocket, Eric Herman, Eric Ode, the Not-Its -- all of which makes me wonder what's in the water (or coffee) up there.

Well, I've got another Seattle name for you today -- Caspar Babypants (Edit: link fixed).  Now, you might recognize the person behind Caspar Babypants -- Chris Ballew, lead vocalist for the Presidents of the United States of America (and, may as well get it out of the way, yes, the band that brought you "Lump").

But even if you don't, you owe it to yourself to hightail yourself over right now to the Babypants site, which features four seven sweet tracks for your listening and downloading pleasure -- "The Brown and Lonely Worm," "Small Black Ant," "The Island Hop," and "Monkey River."  Some are traditional, some are original from Ballew's efforts in kids music, and "Monkey River," well, Ballew once put out an album that featured twelve different versions of that tune, so that one's been around awhile.  All of them are so, so sweet -- soulful, laid-back music for fans of Elizabeth Mitchell, Dan Zanes, Dog on Fleas, or Session Americana.  You may find yourself listening to them as often as you did "Lump" back in the day.  (Edit: Chris has just added "Little Broken Truck," which features an awesome little "buh-beep-beep" fill, "Baby Bear," and a '60s-styled "Three Blind Mice.")

Anyway, the tracks are from Babypants' first album, Here I Am!, which will be out next month.  I chatted briefly with Ballew via e-mail, and he said that he's a huge Elizabeth Mitchell fan, calling her his "inspiration" for the disk.  He also says he's got three more albums in the works.

I, for one, cannot wait.  Album art and track listing after the jump.


01. small black ant

02. little broken truck

03. brown and lonely worm

04. free like a bird

05. baby bear

06. three blind mice

07. baby in a corn tree

08. heard a bird

09. babies little self

10. run away

11. the island hop

12. under a rock

13. bug in the cuff

14. shortnin bread

15. let the s go

16. billy pringle

17. poor dust bunnies

18. freres jacques

19. bright bug

20. monkey river

21. calling from clouds

22. sleeping baby