Video: "Pay Me My Money Down" (Instructional Video) - Dan Zanes

Another entry in Dan Zanes' ongoing series of instructional videos. I like the bluesy take Zanes takes to "Pay Me My Money Down," even though it's way behind my skill level. In fact, next summer, when Zanes (hopefully) does more of these, I'd like to see him spread the instrumental love. What about those of us who own a DZ Flea? Or a mandolin? We (unreasonably) demand even more free instrumental lessons from Dan Zanes! Dan Zanes - "Pay Me My Money Down" (instructional video) [YouTube] After the jump, a family band takes Zanes' advice seriously...

Share: "Car Seat" - Keller Williams

"Car Seat" is one of the few tracks off Keller Williams' upcoming family album Kids that isn't getting radio airplay this weekend. But that's OK, Williams has got you covered -- grab the track for the price of an e-mail using the handy Topspin widget below... (For those of you convinced already, Williams has a pre-order contest going on with some more unusual prizes...)

Video: "Jump So High" - Jeremy Plays Guitar

I'm not sure that if you have kids whose antsiness mimics that of the protagonists in "Jump So High," the first video from Jeremy Plays Guitar's album Use Your Words (out this week) they'll actually be able to watch, so perhaps you should wait 'til they're ready. (Perhaps you can even enter Jeremy Zmuda's contest and have Zmuda write a catchy tune about that very problem.) Jeremy Plays Guitar - "Jump So High" [YouTube]

Listen To This: "Trick or Treat" - Justin Roberts

I yield to nobody in my admiration of "Trick or Treat," Justin Roberts' ode to Halloween trick or treating. Seriously -- I've got a long history praising the song. So if Roberts decides to post the song for streaming for this Halloween season, who am I not to let you know? Go here or just stream it below... Trick or Treat SINGLE by JustinRoberts

Let's Play! Third West Coast Kids Music Artist Collaborative Sets Up Shop

Let's Play - Bay Area Family Music Collective.jpgFeeling a little bit pwned, East Coast? First Kindiependent in Seattle, then AMFM in Los Angeles. And now Let's Play!, a San Francisco Bay Area collective of family musicians, has set up shop. It's a group that features (in alphabetical order) family musicians Alphabet Rockers, Charity and the JAMband, Frances England, Gunnar Madsen, The Hipwaders, Octopretzel, The Sippy Cups, and Rudy Trubitt. (And a little help from the local GRAMMY chapter.) The group doesn't seem ready to bust out a "Vagabond Worms"-style supergroup jam just yet, preferring at this point to just discuss items like "GRAMMY Awards membership and voting, favorite venues, PR and booking agent recommendations, tour tips, music licensing opportunities," and more. But still. Good news, even if you're just thinking about visiting (or touring) San Francisco...

Share: Elizabeth Mitchell "Sunny Day" Mask (and more!)

SunnyDay.jpgOh, that Smithsonian Folkways label. Folk music from around the world, but they've totally gone 21st century. Yep, that's right, they have a Tumblr account, which today features the first of five days of posts related to Sunny Day, Elizabeth Mitchell's latest album for the label. Today's post gives you the chance to listen to one of the tracks from the album, "Green Green Rocky Road," which features a relaxed duet between Mitchell and Dan Zanes. And Mitchell's daughter Storey. So perhaps it's a trio. But we're about the free stuff here with "Share," and so, here it is, the Sunny Day mask. That's right, you can make yourself a mask much like that on the album cover. You can even enter the design-your-mask contest (rules at that link up there). Photos will be posted on, yes, Folkways' Flickr page for the contest. They're so web-savvy... PS: teachers of older preschoolers and early elementary school students may also enjoy the lesson plan for "John the Rabbit".