Category Archives: Music Reviews

rock n roll

Rock n Roll With Your Kids and Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights!

Rock n Roll With Your Kids and Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights!

rock n roll

Joanie and her Nightlights ride the Subway, get a Library Book, and enjoy some good Pizza in their new eclectic collection, Brooklyn Baby! Each song takes you by surprise with its tempo, style, and lyrics. You never know what you’re gonna get and we love it! They bring the tempo down with the soft sounds and lovely lyrics in Brooklyn Baby and Love is Love. Their messages of love, acceptance, and world peace make this CD one of our all time favorites. Well done, Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights. We appreciate you.

Thank you to Waldmania PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review. Brooklyn Baby is available this Friday May 19th!

rock n roll

 

More from Waldmania PR:

“From her roots as a theater major and performer in the hip clubs of New York City, Joanie Leeds has proved herself as a major talent in the field of children’s music.”
— Parents’ Choice® Gold Award review of Joanie Leeds’ Good Egg

“THE BEST KIDS’ ALBUMS NOW!  Leeds and her band bring big fun on their new release.  Don’t attempt a family road trip without this minivan-friendly winner.”
— People magazine
 

NEW YORK — Six years ago, award-winning singer/songwriter Joanie Leeds packed her bags and moved from Manhattan’s Upper West Side to the vibrant, artistic neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Here she found not only a place to start a family, but also a magnificent melting pot metropolis that offered dazzling adventures on a daily basis.  Inspired by her love for all things Brooklyn, Joanie will release her eighth family album, Brooklyn Baby!, on May 19.

Produced by Jesse Lauter (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Elvis Perkins, Carl Broemel from My Morning Jacket), Brooklyn Baby! is a real genre-bender, containing elements of folk, Southern rock, hip hop, pop and punk presided over by a singer whose sheer command of vocal artistry is second to none.

Songs about the park system (“Ferry Nice”), public transportation (“Subway”) and Brooklyn’s most famous dish (“Pizza”) are a given, but the heart of the album embraces both a Brooklyn mentality and sentimentality with love (“Love is Love”), thirst for education (“Library Book”), healthy eating (“Apples in My Apples”), and Yiddish expressions (“Shayne Punim”). The album closes with Joanie’s take on Brooklyn-born Lou Reed’s gentle tune, “Sunday Morning.”

Gifted with a soulful, “rock solid” voice that ranges from low and bluesy to high, light, and breezy, Joanie Leeds is an exceptionally versatile artist who brings serious musicianship to the table right alongside a terrific sense of fun and fashion.  Says SiriusXM’s Kids Place Livehost Mindy Thomas, “Joanie Leeds is that cool babysitter who would let you try on her lip gloss once your mom left the house.  You idolized her, and your mom knew she could trust her.  That’s Joanie.  Only she’s also likely to completely ROCK THE ROOF OFF YOUR HOUSE!”

Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights have performed in dozens of cities nationwide at such prominent venues as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Smithsonian, the CMAs, the Hang Out Festival, Symphony Space, Wolf Trap, and LA’s Skirball Center.

Joanie Leeds’ original kids’ music won first place in the USA Songwriting Competition, as well as winning an Independent Music Award, Parents’ Choice® Gold Award, NAPPA Gold Award, and Family Choice Award, and Joanie was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the International Songwriting Competition.  Joanie’s music has been highly praised in People magazine, Parents Magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post.  Her tunes are played on many radio stations nationwide and have climbed the chart to #1 on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live and WXPN’s Kids Corner. Joanie is also a PJ Library musician!

Prior to Brooklyn Baby!, Joanie Leeds released seven critically acclaimed, full-length albums and two full-length DVDs, in addition to numerous videos on her Youtube channel.  She is currently at work on more music videos, while maintaining a busy teaching and performance schedule.

Brooklyn Baby! will be available online at www.joanieleeds.com, Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, TuneCore, and other related digital outlets.

# # #

CD Details:  Brooklyn Baby!
Release Date:  May 19, 2017
For ages 4 – 9
Label:  Limbostar
SRP:   $15.00 for CD.  $9.99 for digital download.
Running time:  43 minutes

jump and jam

Jump and Jam with Dana!

This Friday, April 14th, you and your little ones can jump and jam with Dana! Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes will be available from Music Playground, as well as a series of music videos and a concert in Bellingham, WA. This collection is perfect for the family living room dance parties, pre-school circle time, and just jammin’ in the car on summer vacation. Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

jump and jam

 

More from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Blaine, WA,  March 15, 2017 – Dana, a singer, songwriter and educator whose music has earned 17 national awards and acclaim from critics and families alike, leaps back into the scene with a brand-new collection of action songs for kids:Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes. The album will be available from Music Playground, Amazon  and iTunes on April 15. Dana will celebrate the release with a series of music videos and a “Movin’ Musical Party” at the historic Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, WA, also on Saturday, April 15.

 

Through her five critically lauded albums and national tours, Dana has built a reputation for inviting youngsters to get off their screens and up dancing, jumping, playing and singing. Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes is her sixth highly interactive album release featuring 12 songs designed to get kids ages 1 to 7 up and moving, grooving and laughing. Wordplay, catchy melodies, and top-notch musicianship make this an engaging album for the whole family to enjoy together.

 

Produced at Beaird Music Group Studios in Nashville with top session players,Dana’s Best Jump & Jam Tunes offers a “musical party” of sound, featuring various genres, from rock to bluegrass, jazz, country and pop. Inspired by her 20-plus years of working with children and her own experiences as a mom, Dana Cohenour wrote these songs with preschoolers in mind while respecting adult ears in production and musical styles.

 

The album includes counting songs ( “Legs” and a bluegrass spin of “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”), a Latin music inspired freeze dance (“Jumping Beans”), a rock & roll “Wiggle Workout,” an egg shake (“Shakin’ Things Up”), and a jazzy jumping jive dance (“Jump & Jive”). Humor is the hallmark of Dana’s story songs (“Barnyard Hoedown” and “Fish Tale”), and she asks listeners to help make the planet smile with her inspirational “Do My Part.” Listeners are invited to clang on pots and pans with “Grandma’s Kitchen Band,” and to move like the animals in “Follow the Leader.” The album wind downs with the gentle musical hug that is “I Love Mommy.” 

 

After taking a break from recording to raise her son, Jack, Dana is pleased to be creating music for children once again. Dana tested these songs at her Music Playground classes at the Opus Performing Arts School in Bellingham, WA. From square-dancing barnyard animals to Mexican jumping beans, Dana’s tunes instantly activate her young students toward movement and imaginative play.”

zoo

Minnesota Zoo Counts on the Okee Dokee Brothers

The Minnesota Zoo made a great choice when they partnered with the Okee Dokee Brothers on a song to bring awareness to wildlife conservation. “Countin’ on Me” comes out tomorrow and highlights three of earth’s beautiful creatures: bison, butterflies, and trumpeter swans. The song sends a gentle, yet important message of environmental friendliness and conservation. It tells us repeatedly to “build this home again” and share the responsibility of respecting these animals just as we respect human life. Share this song with your little ones, as they can learn to accept this responsibility at a young age.

Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our sneak preview of this beautiful tune and thank you to the Okee Dokee Brothers and the Minnesota Zoo for your important collaboration.

zoo

zoo
Trumpeter swan, North America’s largest waterfowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

zoo

Here’s more from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Minneapolis, March 10, 2017 – The Minnesota Zoo and the Okee Dokee Brothers are proud to announce the release of a new single celebrating the Minnesota Zoo’s mission to save wildlife. The Minnesota Zoo commissioned “Countin’ on Me” from the Grammy Award-winning duo to serve as its conservation theme song. The lyrics poetically communicate our shared responsibility to help save wildlife, and reference three species native to Minnesota that the Minnesota Zoo has restored or is working to restore in the wild – bison, butterflies and trumpeter swans.

The commission developed from a collaboration between the Minnesota Zoo and the Okee Dokee Brothers, who share a passion for nature and a mission to encourage kids and families to explore the natural world. These common values are at the heart of their collaboration, which began in July 2015 with the opening of a nature play area and continued with several special appearances at the Minnesota Zoo by bandleaders Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander.

The single, “Countin’ on Me,” will be available for purchase on iTunes beginning March 16. All proceeds from the purchase of the single will support the Minnesota Zoo and its wildlife conservation efforts.

Justin and Joe will debut the single live at the Zoo during a special animal encounter on Saturday, March 18. Their appearance is free with Zoo admission, but due to space limitations, RSVPs are required. Learn more at www.mnzoo.org/okeedokeebrothers.

The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). 

As kids in Colorado, Justin and Joe grew up together exploring nearby creeks, trails, woods and rivers. Twenty years later as the Okee Dokee Brothers, they are still roaming the outdoors together, but with a mission and a couple of guitars in their packs. Now based in Minneapolis, the Grammy Award-winning folk singer-songwriters are advocates for adventure.”

The song debuts on March 16. Here are the pre-order links:

Purchase link

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1212327648?ls=1&app=itunes

Stream Link

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1212327648

The Minnesota Zoo made a great choice when they partnered with the Okee Dokee Brothers on a song to bring awareness to wildlife conservation.

deep woods

Deep Woods Music from Red Yarn

deep woodsWhat could be sweeter than a daddy singing ‘Little Baby Born Today’ about his own child? Portland’s Andy Furgeson does this in his new collection, Born in the Deep Woods. He describes how the ‘birds all hushed’ and the ‘mama jay spread the word through the woods today’.
Then the tempo picks up in Mockingbird when big brother joins in on a few of the lyrics with his sweet, yet excited voice. The young tyke expertly repeats his daddy’s lyrics like, “Baby, howdy-do!”
This is a family affair designed to invite all other young families to join in song, dance, and lots of fun!
Born in the Deep Woods is available now and you can win it by entering my giveaway!
Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copies in exchange for this review and giveaway. We love sharing music with our friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 deep woods
Here’s more from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Portland, February 28, 2017 ~ Red Yarn, Portland’s acclaimed family folksinger and puppeteer, releases a new album called Born in the Deep Woods on March 10. The album completes his Deep Woods trilogy, an epic song cycle exploring the roots and branches of American folk music. With his full band and puppet troupe, Red Yarn will celebrate the release with shows around the Pacific Northwest this spring, at SXSW in March, and on an east coast tour this summer.

Seven years ago, Texas-born artist and educator Andy Furgeson began a deep exploration of American folk music, adapting dozens of songs and posting rough recordings under the name Red Yarn. He dreamed up a forest called the Deep Woods to contain the strange animal tales he found. He created a cast of “critter” puppets to bring the characters to life. His homespun aesthetic caught on in Portland, where he built a successful career performing these songs and stories for thousands of families. Three award-winning albums and many music videos later, Red Yarn culminates his Deep Woods project with Born in the Deep Woods, his boldest musical statement yet.

Recorded at Portland’s Type Foundry Studio with celebrated producer Adam Selzer, Born in the Deep Woods explores the genres that grew out of American folk music. From bluegrass to heartland rock, the album traces the evolution of our national musical vernacular.

At the heart of the album are Furgeson’s harmonies with his wife Jessie Eller-Isaacs. Recorded while she was expecting their second child, many songs channel the joys and fears of bringing new life into the world.”

Learn more about Born in the Deep Woods and Red Yarn at www.redyarnproductions.com, and at this link.

See Red Yarn, Ms. Jessie, their full band and critter pals LIVE:

SXSW Week: March 14 – 18 – various performances (with LiveMom, Do512, Children’s Cancer Association, and Spare the Rock Radio) in Austin, TX 

Saturday,  April 22 – The Fambly Ramble returns with special guest two-time Grammy Award nominee Justin Roberts, at Mission Theater and Pub, Portland, OR

sweet

Sweet Sounds with Little Miss Ann

Sweet as sweet can be! This collection called Keep On, by Little Miss Ann, is just downright adorable! We feel like we’re sitting right there with Ann and Amy D. in a circle with instruments and snapping fingers, just like in music class! Their voices are friendly, loving, and happy, creating a beautiful experience for children and their families. We especially love Where is Thumbkin? and it’s unique arrangement of verses and bridges. But the one that caught my heart for sure is L.O.V.E., a catchy, harmonious tune that reminds us of all the wonderful ways we can love each other! Certainly an excellent reminder, no matter who you are.

And you know what else? They’re from Chicago so they’ve got to be good people!

sweet

Keep On is available TODAY on Amazon and iTunes. Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary copy in exchange for this review.

sweet

More from Sugar Mountain PR:

“Chicago, February 1 ~ Little Miss Ann has enjoyed national acclaim and a fervent following for her upbeat, down-to-earth and interactive folksy music. Her fifth album of hopeful and happy songs, Keep On, is the result of a collaboration with children’s music newcomer Amy D. Keep On will be available from various music retailers and from littlemissann.com on February 17.

Recorded in the Hudson Valley of New York with Grammy-winning producer Dean Jones, Keep On ranges in musical styles. Grownups will appreciate the 50’s doo-wop sounding song, “L.O.V.E.,” the Andrew Bird-meets-Liz Phair ode to Chicago “The 606,” as well as re-imagined traditional favorites like the Johnny Cash-esque “Where Is Thumbkin?” and a spirited Calypso song that originated in Jamaica called “Hill and Gully Rider.” There’s even a springy-swingy rendition of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” blending sweet harmonies, mandolin, and a toy piano. As Jones says, “These two complement each other perfectly. If it sounds like we were having fun it’s because we were. These songs come straight from the heart!”

Guest artists include Latin Grammy winner 123 Andrés and Tim Sutton from Ratboy Jr.

New to the independent family music scene and originally hailing from Nashville, Amy D sings and plays violin, mandolin, melodica, and piano. After meeting at a kids’ music class in Chicago, Ann and Amy discovered that they had many things in common, musically and culturally.  Amy D joined Little Miss Ann’s band in 2015, and the musical connection led to the process of writing and recording the songs of Keep On. Ann and Amy provide a fresh take on the tradition of sing-along, call-and-response style of trailblazers like Chicago-based Ella Jenkins, Raffi, Elizabeth Mitchell, and other enduring artists of the genre. 

Indeed, the songs grew out of both artists’ experiences in working with families: Ann in education (including Chicago’s historic Old Town School of Folk Music) and Amy in social work. Their common Filipino backgrounds inspired two of their original songs: “Ube,” about a cherished Filipino staple, the purple yam, and “The Senses Song,” which mentions halo-halo and lychee, sweet treats from Filipino cuisine. Other songs on the album, like “The 606,” are firmly rooted in Chicago’s vibrant scene.

See the Little Miss Ann Band, featuring Amy D,
in concert on February 26 at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago!

Little Miss Ann will also perform a show with Suzi Shelton at Jalopy in Brooklyn, NY, on March 26.”