Fresh Press: 58th Grammy Awards Annual Children’s Concert 

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It’s that time of year again! A time filled with anticipation and excitement for the recording arts industry. As the 58th Annual Grammy® Awards get closer, so does the annual children’s Grammy nominees benefit concert. This event is always exciting as it brings a rare opportunity to see award-winning artists from around the U.S. perform under one roof. And it’s open to the public! For families looking for a special Valentine’s Day gift this is a sweet treat to indulge in for the little music lovers in your life (and for yourself, really).

This year’s list of Grammy® nominees for Best Children’s Album is unique because all five are independent artists representing a nice variety of styles including jazz, indie-pop, folk, and even bilingual Latin American. See below for more info on the artists, as well as a special Grammy playlist! Continue reading

Hootenanny: Back to Basics 2 – A Kindie production by Bill Childs and Stephanie Mayers

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The Kindie genre is thriving, and one of its strongest aspects is the community. There have been industry conferences, such as the now retired Kindiefest, the newborn (relatively, it’s more like a toddler now) Kindiecomm, and some artist meet-ups and showcases. There is no shortage of people working passionately to support and move this genre forward. Two of those people are Bill Childs (Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child) and Stephanie Mayers (Mayers Consulting).

Bill and Stephanie are producing Hootenanny: Back to Basics 2 (“Hootenanny 2”), a one night event featuring nuthin’ but music from a solid set of collaborations covering a broad range of styles. So solid.

While Hootenanny 2 is primarily geared toward industry folks (kids’ musicians and (kids) music biz folks), it will be open to the public.

The event will be held on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at Jalopy in Brooklyn. Tickets are available here.

Lineup:

Rachel Loshak and Morgan Taylor (Gustafer Yellowgold)
Joanie Leeds and Dan Elliott (Pointed Man Band)
Vered Ronen and Walter Martin
Michael & the Rockness Monsters and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Jazzy Ash and KB Whirly
Ashley Albert and Tim Kubart
Danny Weinkauf and AudraRox
Sonia de los Santos and Brady Rymer
Shine (Shine and the Moonbeams) & Dan Zanes
The Deedle Deedle Dees and Moona Luna
Elena Moon Park and The Pop Ups

Continue reading

Singled Out: “Bright Leaf” – Underbirds

artworks-000041738599-ujs6vd-t200x200The Underbirds just released another single from their self-titled album.  “Bright Leaf,” expresses gratitude for the special gifts that come into our lives, whether it be that one bright leaf in a dark tree, a white star in foggy dream or a loved one.  There also happens to be a killer guitar solo in the middle of this song.

This track is available for download via the Soundcloud link below:

View This: World Premiere – “Here Comes My Friend” – Underbirds

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I am pleased to present the world premiere of the first Underbirds video for the song “Here Comes My Friend” from their self-titled debut.

Like a modern day Simon and Garfunkel, Todd McHatton’s and Morgan Taylor’s intuitive harmonies give the endearing “Here Comes my Friend,” a breezy feeling as they sing about the fulfillment of a “scientifically, very naturally paired” friendship.

The video was filmed in beautiful Ojai, California, by the very talented stop motion animator, Caden Ghen, who made a killer trailer for the movie Man of Steel with Legos.  Ghen does a fine job of syncing the images surrounding McHatton and Taylor with the words of the song.

[Courtesy of Underbirds via YouTube]

Concert Re-Cap: Underbirds Premiere Live Performance & Release Party

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I recently attended Kindiefest, an annual family music conference that took place in Brooklyn, NY. The conference sought to provide helpful information about the industry while showcasing some amazing talent. I am going to write a separate post that provides a little more detail about what went on at the conference but one thing I clearly remember hearing about is that collaboration can be extremely useful.

One fine example of how collaboration can produce something pretty spectacular is the Underbirds.

The Underbirds consists of Morgan Taylor from Gustafer Yellowgold and Todd McHatton, who not only has released some wonderful kindie albums of his own, but is also the creator of Marvy Monstone’s Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band, and the wildly popular single “I Think I’m a Bunny.” Together their music sounds like a mix of the Flaming Lips, the Beatles and a little bit o’ Queen.

TheUnderbirds had their official world premiere live performance/release party at Symphony Space in New York City on Saturday, April 27, 2013 as part of Symphony Space’s Just Kidding series. I was more than lucky enough to catch it. Although it meant leaving the Kindiefest conference for a bit, it was an easy trade-off as these guys are at the top of our list when it comes to quality music and performances!

Standing in front of a screen with projected images of the outdoors, Taylor and McHatton sang original songs from their self-titled debut, which were filled with warm, joyful harmonies that reflected upon the beauty of nature and companionship. The duo also premiered a few new songs and each played a single from their own kindie catalogue. Taylor sang one of our favorite Gustafer songs, “Wisconsin Poncho” and McHatton brought his daughter, Hazel, up for “I think I’m a Bunny.” Seeing her sing live was so fun. She’s a natural just like her Dad!

It really was a treat for both grown-ups and kids. And for a world premiere performance, it didn’t take very long before everyone in the audience started to sing along.

I’ve spoken of the wonderful sounds coming from these two highly talented kindie artists before, but seeing these two sing together in a live setting was a real gift.

You can sample, download and purchase the Underbirds from CDBaby, Amazon and iTunes. Highly Recommended!

Underbirds – “Trail of Hearts” live at Symphony Space via YouTube

Underbirds – “Brilliance” live at Symphony Space via YouTube

Singled Out: “Brilliance” – The Underbirds

artworks-000041738599-ujs6vd-t200x200When you hear the words “let me hit you with some brilliance” you can’t help but tune in.  And with good reason.  Morgan Taylor of Gustafer Yellowgold and Todd McHatton, creator of the highly popular “I Think I’m A Bunny,” have joined forces to become Underbirds.

Taylor and Mchatton complement each other really nicely which have earned them a place in my heart as vocal soulmates.  I am very much looking forward to hearing more from these guys.  In the meantime, enjoy their first single, “Brilliance,” which is a great indicator of what is yet to come.

Concert: Kids Can Groove Family Music Series presents Gustafer Yellowgold

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A unique, extraterrestrial event will soon take place in Downtown Palo Alto. Gustafer Yellowgold, a small, yellow, cone-headed fellow, who came to Earth from the Sun, will be making an appearance at the All Saints Episcopal Church (555 Waverely Street) on March 9, 2013 at 4pm.

Accompanying Gustafer will be Morgan Taylor, the genius behind the concept and illustrations of this radiant little alien and his friends. Taylor will be singing along with projected, animated illustrations of Gustafer’s adventures on our planet.  And you can too, because all of Taylor’s videos contain subtitles for the lyrics.

So bring the whole family along to witness this unique, multimedia experience.  It will be out of this world!

Purchase tickets online or at the door. Adults $10, Kids $6 (3 and up).

Take a peek at the live show demo below for a preview of  the fun that’s in store for you and your family.