Free Music Download: Summer Sounds Playlist


We love playlists any time of year but there are certain times where it feels like the season dictates the need for certain kinds of sounds. Summer is one of them. Every summer, we look forward to creating a soundtrack that echoes the feeling of warmer weather, beach days, outdoor concerts, nature walks and road trip adventures. Even when the hot, sticky weather calls for more time spent indoors, we reach for things that are upbeat, breezy and remind us to just take it easy.

Thanks to our friends at Sugar Mountain PR, the following playlist will help kick-start your summer soundtrack. Starting today, the playlist is available for download through May 25, 2016.

Like what you hear? Click on the artist’s name to visit their site and learn more. Be sure to also check their shows/schedule pages to see if you can catch a summer concert in your town.
Frances England – “Explorer of the World” (Explorer of the World) 
Charity and the JAMband – “Sing a Summer Song” (Earth)
Raffi – “Garden Song” (Owl Singalong)
Aaron Nigel Smith – “Take Time In Life” (ONE)
123 Andrés – “Fly, Fly” (Arriba Ababjo)
Alphabet Rockers – “Players’ Life” (The Playground Zone – coming soon
Sugar Free Allstars – “Upside Down Town” (Self-titled)
The Not-Its! – “Bird On A Wire” (Are You Listening?)
The Whizpops – “Pika” (Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1 – out May 20, 2016)
Red Yarn – “I Had A Rooster” (Wake Up & Sing)
Okee Dokee Brothers – “One Horsepower” (Saddle Up)
Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could – “One Day By The Riverside” (Press Play – coming soon)

Playlist: A fine blend of kids’ music that rocks!


Photo Steve


It’s always fun to gather up some great songs, and tuck them neatly into a playlist. Today I’m sharing a bunch of songs (new and previously released) that we’ve been jammin’ to. It’s been fun to revisit some “classics.”

As always, I recommend listening to the playlist in the following order and then mixing things up with a little “shuffle.” If you like what you hear, click on the links below the playlist and consider supporting these wonderful, independent artists.

Daylight – Dream Jam Band from the world of Nickhoo
Easy as 1,2,3 (Feat. Ellen Brackin Sevits) – Jamison Sevits from Get On Down!
Vroom – Todd McHatton from Super Audio Sunshine
Nose in a Book – The Not-Its! from Raise Your Hand
Monkeys Driving Cars – Billy Jonas and the Billy Jonas Band from Build It Back Again
Someday Some Morning Sometime – Little Miss Ann from Follow Me
Outside Sounds – Papa Crow from Full Moon, Full Moon
Jazzy – Kira Willey from How to be a Cloud
We Got The Bite – Gustafer Yellowgold from Gustafer Yellowgold’s Wisdom Tooth of Wisdom
Block House – The Pop Ups from Appetite for Construction
Food Songs – Alphabet Rockers from Go!
Everybody Dance – Josh and the Jamtones from Bear Hunt!
Food Calculator – Alphabet Rockers from Go!
Lines and Dots – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band from A Potluck
Rad – Play Date from Imagination
Nicky Nicky Knock Knock – The Dream Jam Band from Kidzapalooza Volume One
Don’t Ask Me Why – The Whirlygigs from Greetings from Cloud 9
A Fresh Start – Lucy Kalantari from Pockets Full of Joy
The Snow is  Falling Down – Josh and the Jamtones from Bear Hunt
Rattlesnakes – Walter Martin from We’re All Young Together
Not Too Young For A  Song – Randy Kaplan from Jam on Rye

Rox in Sox 2014 Playlist: Children’s Book and Music Festival

rox in sox logo

S is for summer and songs and SOX as in Rox in Sox, an Oregon-based children’s music and literature festival. In its second year, Rox in Sox will once again present an all-star lineup of kindie musicians for FREE. This is an incredible opportunity for those in the area. And if you are thinking about a weekend getaway, this is an excellent reason for you to check the Pacific Northwest off your bucket list of places to visit.

Great Day – The Not-Its!
Inner Rock Child – Mista Cookie Jar
Wired – Recess Monkey
Gotta Be Me – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Man Gave Names To All The Animals – Aaron Nigel Smith
Mr. Rabbit – Red Yarn

View this: “Haircut” – The Not-Its!


This new video by Seattle band The Not-Its! makes me want both my Betamax and my MTV back. Only this Seattle quintet can make a totally rockin’ retro video feel in-fashion. “Haircut” is one of our favorite songs from their upcoming album, Raise Your Hand, due out July 15, 2014.

Who wants more Not-Its!? We do!

Keep up to date by following the band via their Facebook Page and considering singing up for their newsletter.

Looking for ways to empower your kiddos this summer? The Not-Its! talk about KidQuakes in this interview. Learn more here.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Give Dad the gift of music! Enjoy a free Father’s Day playlist!

Sunday is Father’s Day and whether you are going on an adventure, giving a little one a shoulder ride or enveloping your cubs in the best bear hug ever, make it a musical day with the following playlist specially crafted by Beth Benz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR. Bonus: This playlist is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD through June 18.

The following list contains stellar songs by some rockstar kindie folks, as well as a prominent father figure responsible for spreading love and joy to so many children world-wide. There’s a whole lotta love in this playlist!

Below is the full track listing, as well as the artists’ websites where you can learn more about them, find out where they are playing, and find other ways to connect and show your support.

Additionally, if you click into each song in Soundcloud, you will find some fun facts about the artist and/or the song itself.

Brady Rymer – “Light of Love” from his forthcoming album “Just Say Hi!” –
Raffi – “Love Bug” from his forthcoming album “Love Bug” –
The Not-Its! – “Love is Love” from their forthcoming album “Raise Your Hand” – http;//
Suzi Shelton – “Ten Thousand Kisses” from her award-winning album “Smply Suzi” –
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band – “When I Grow Up” from the album “Lishy Lou and Lucky Too” –
The Pop Ups – “Feelings Change” – from their GRAMMY nominated album “Radio Jungle” –
Sugar Free Allstars – “My Daddy’s Record Collection” – from their new vinyl 45 release –
Eric Herman – “Elephant Song (Snail’s pace version)” – a new version of his hit song, with his two daughters –

A Mother’s Day Playlist + Free Download (limited time)

Mother’s Day is a special day! It’s a celebration of time spent watching, playing and growing with your little ones. Maybe you are getting a special homemade card that says “I LUV U MOM” or a kiss and a super duper leg squeeze from a little person (or two) who is just about as tall as your knee. Whatever the case may be, mom’s rock!

Speaking of mom rockstars, Beth Benz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR put together an awesome playlist featuring some of serious kindie talent. The best part? Starting today you can DOWNLOAD THE SONGS FOR FREE. But hurry because they are only downloadable for about a week. Although, the playlist will be available to stream beyond then.

Music has been a major “bonding agent” for me and my daughter and to have a collection of great music to share with her is already making Mother’s Day that much sweeter!

Please note that, according to Soundcloud, the download function works only on computers and laptops. Mobile devices and tablets ONLY allow for streaming of all of the songs.To Download, go to soundcloud and highlight the track you’d like, then click the download icon to the right.

The artists that make this playlist rock are:

  1. “Motorcycle Mom” – The Not-Its! (from their upcoming album Raise Your Hand)
  2. “No Fairy Tale” – Lisa Loeb
  3. “Ice Cream Girl” – Brady Rymer  
  4. “Our Love Fits” – Danny Weinkauf (feat. Laurie Berkner)
  5. “Red Piano Rag” – Brady Rymer
  6. “Black Bear Mama” – The Okee Dokee Brothers
  7. “Mockingbird” – Zee Avi
  8. “Mama’s House, Daddy’s House” – Suzi Shelton
  9. “Smile In My Heart” – Suzi Shelton
  10. “Tu Eres Amor” – Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Kidquake!: The Not-Its! celebrate kid power!


I recently attended a presentation at my daughter’s school called “The Celebration of Learning.” The entire presentation was focused on young change makers, i.e. kids who are making positive change for the greater good. Each grade level (K – 5) researched, interviewed and spoke about a change maker and the outcome(s) of their efforts. It was incredible to hear these little voices talk passionately about how they were inspired by these young people. In some cases, there were kids showcasing what they are personally doing to give back, i.e. creating a petition to save a sacred Nature Area in California, hosting a bake sale to benefit the ASPCA, standing outside a homeless shelter (with mom) doling out food on cold nights, raising money to help build a school in Africa, and even raising money to name a sea turtle (“Wilson”) from Costa Rica and track another sea turtle (“Chubby”) from Bermuda who has traveled 600 miles since birth.

The Not-Its!, one of Seattle’s most popular kindie rock bands, refers to these acts of kindness as “KidQuakes.” Or, as bassist Jennie Helman describes it, “A KidQuake! describes an act of good, by a kid. It’s that seismic energy kids have that translates to dance, smiles and good times.Lead singer, Sarah Shannon continues,Kids are powerful, they have some serious mojo to make good things happen.”

When I first heard about what The Not-Its! were doing, I was blown away. As the parent of a child who is regularly disgusted by litter on the streets (and has walked around our neighborhood with a mini broom and a bag picking up garbage), I can personally attest to experiencing that serious kid mojo. The innocence and sense of justice kids have is incredible and something I have always been intrigued by. As one of the students**, age 10, put it: “I believe [kids are the ones who will make changes in this world] because children can have more open hearts. They believe in things that grown ups don’t. If you told a grown up that humans could fly, they wouldn’t believe you because of ‘course’ humans can not fly.  But if you told a young child he would think ‘could humans fly? Maybe if you…’ They would think of ideas. That is why the younger generation is going to save this world.” Kid power!

I love that The Not-Its!, one of our favorite kindie rock bands, is working hard to “showcase and inspire kids who are doing good.”

In my interview below, Sarah and Jennie talk more about the inspiration for one of 2013’s best albums, KidQuake!, what The Not-Its! are doing to highlight all of these amazing changemakers, and how you can become a part of The Not-Its! Nation!

Kids Can Groove: Can you explain the inspiration for and concept of a Kidquake?!

Sarah Shannon
: I heard this heart-wrenching story about a little girl who passed away in a car accident here in the Pacific Northwest. When she was alive, she heard that a lot of people in Africa didn’t have access to clean drinking water, so she started a fundraising drive (in lieu of birthday presents) to help build a well in Africa. After she died, her story went viral, funds started pouring in and she raised millions of dollars for clean water.

After I cried for about an hour and a half, I started to think about how amazing it was that this little girl’s spirit – her instinct to do good – was so potent that she continued to make something huge happen even after she passed.

During the time I heard this story, my band, The Not-Its!, were in the process of writing songs for our fourth record. We had a rough little gem that we were calling, “Earthquake.” Boom! The creative muses began swarming and we thought “KidQuake! Kid power for good!” We wrote the song, “KidQuake!,” but then started thinking this needs to be something more. A movement, perhaps? A way to showcase and inspire kids who are doing good.

Jennie Helman: In that moment, KidQuake! took on a whole new meaning. Kids have the power to do good and what better way to help them realize their potential than through music.

KCG: Since you started promoting this movement, have you seen or been a part of any KidQuakes?

JH: Many organizations have already established ways for kids to get involved. This summer, The Not-Its! partnered with Seattle Children’s hospital, who had already published materials on ways kids could raise money for the hospital, i.e. lemonade sales, bake sales, clothing/book drives. The Not-Its! had the opportunity to help promote a lemonade sale at a nearby elementary school, run solely by kids, where proceeds went towards the hospital. The below clip was shared on our Facebook site, which is another example of ways we have been able to promote weekly stories of Kid Power for Good on a national and local level.

KCG: Have there been any KidQuakes within your own families?

SS: I share all of the stories we showcase on Facebook with my kids. This past summer, my daughter’s CampFire troop came up with a KidQuake! of their own. Of course summer is prime lemonade stand time, and we were able to raise money for charity, as a result.

JH: Just last week my 8 year old daughter, Jaden, and I, participated in a fundraising event and 5K obstacle course in which we raised over $250 for LLS (the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society). The event was called the Winter Pineapple Express and we had to each carry a pineapple the entire route. For all our neighbors and friends who donated, we cooked soups or plates of cookies as a Thank You, depending on the amount they donated. Last year she and I did The Big Climb where we raised money towards LLS. Together, we climbed 69 flights of stairs at the tallest building in Seattle. I know that Jaden has been proud of her contributions and is starting to realize the difference she’s making with each KidQuake!. Last Christmas, all my girls spent one Saturday making art and selling it throughout the neighborhood. Their KidQuake! contributions totaled $2.88 and they were more than proud to deliver it to the local Food Bank.

KCG: Where can families participate in and read more about this movement?

SS: We are working on ways to build a social network for families to inspire/encourage each other to do good. In the meantime, we will be showcasing and inspiring families through our KidQuake and Not-Its! Facebook pages, The Not-Its!’ website and live shows.

JH: My hopes are — To generate a movement that The Not-Its! Nation – kids, parents and caretakers – feel connected to and can experience together; to appreciate kids for their acts of good and recognize how the power of kind acts can inspire kids and others towards a more positive approach in life. And, we want to showcase stories that will motivate kids and parents to do more good in their communities.

Dig what you’ve just read? Check out the song that inspired this movement, along with the the rest of the album through the Bandcamp widget below. Do you have a KidQuake! of your own? Share it in the comments below and spread the word!

**The 10-year-old student who I quoted nominated and awarded Pavan Raj Gowda who founded the organization Green Kids Now, Inc when he was 8 years old. Green Kids Now, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization purposed to reach youth of all ages around the world to raise awareness on environmental issues, and encourages children to learn, innovate, take action, and share ideas and experiences.

FREE MUSIC: Kick Out the Jammies: Various Artists


I’ve gone through many a compilation over the years and sometimes a compilation can greatly succeed all expectations and other times, not so much. Finding that one compilation that contains stellar music, organized in just the right way, is priceless. Burnside Distribution recently released their second compilation, Kick Out the Jammies, containing 11 rockin’ tracks from kindie artists such as Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke, The Verve Pipe, Caspar Babypants, Recess Monkey, The Not-Its!, The Harmonica Pocket, Cat Doorman, Miss Nina and several other wonderful artists that make our souls come alive with the sound of music.

Even better, the compilation is FREE. See, priceless!

Download Kick Out The Jammies from Amazon here.

NOTE: This is Burnside Distribution’s first compilation, released in 2011, is also full of kindie music featuring some of the same artists as mentioned above. “Plays Well Together” can be found via Amazon and is also free.

View This: The Not-Its! – “Rock, Paper, Scissors”

Seattle’s gnarliest kid rockers, The Not-Its!, will be bringing a series of high-octane shows to the Bay Area on September 7 and 8 and that weekend just can’t get here soon enough! However, I will settle for a new video for “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” from their 2013 release, KidQuake!. Like previous videos, The Not-Its! deliver an energetic performance that bursts out at you. I particularly love how some of the kids on each team are holding electric guitars while cheering for their respective players. It’s little touches of character like that that reinforce the band’s ability to have fun while making music that rocks!

With lead singer Sarah Shannon at the helm, the crew gives this classic game of strategy a rock n’ roll revamp with a new dance called the Rock, Paper, Scissors dance. Wanna learn the moves? Check out the instructional video below, featuring Shannon, as she teaches you and your little rockers all the right moves.

Now, put your best rock n’ roll face on and dance it out!

You can view additional videos by The Not-It’s! here and here, as well as an album review of KidQuake! here.

Tricycle Music Fest schedule

California’s Tricycle Music Fest 2013 – Back and Bigger Than Before!

Tricycle Music Fest 2013 opens on September 7 and 8 with The Not-Its!

Summer may be quickly moving into Fall but the Bay Area is about to heat up as the most supreme family music festival hits the West Coast. Taking place every weekend in September, October and early November, the 5th annual Tricycle Music Fest will peddle its way through 28 libraries for a total of 29 FREE concerts featuring 9 award-winning performers (full schedule below). Think indie music– family style– and libraries and you have the essence of Tricycle Music Fest.

This year, Tricycle Music Fest makes its debut in San Mateo County as the San Francisco Public Library and the San Mateo County Library partner up to make this the biggest version of the festival to date. Christy Estrovitz, early literacy coordinator for San Francisco Public Library, says “Music unites us all. For young children, musical experiences, including singing and dancing, are essential to build early literacy skills. It’s thrilling to work with San Mateo County Library to engage even more families through music at the library.”

Because playing is just as important as singing in early childhood learning, there will be a raffle offering one tricycle to a lucky concertgoer at each event. All the more reason to skip the nap, grab your boogie shoes and catch a show!

The Not-Its! to open Tri Fest the weekend of September 7 and 8 with 4 shows!

Remember your first rock concert? Now your kids can too as Seattle’s most rockingest band, The Not-Its!, open this year’s Tri Fest with a bang! Armed with an energetic blend of power pop and serious rock n’ roll, this fashionable quintet puts the phrase “shake your sillies out” to shame. Curious? Get to know The Not-Its! in this clever video put together by the San Francisco Library and the San Mateo Library.

For more information on Tricycle Music Fest, please visit and

Also, stay tuned to this site for more updates, videos and music from each of these awesome bands.


The Not-Its!

Saturday, September 7at 11 am, Mission Branch Library

Saturday, September 7at 3 pm, Portola Branch Library

Sunday, September 8 at 11 am, Mission Blue Center in Brisbane

Sunday, September 8 at 2 pm, Belmont Library

The Corner Laughers

Saturday, September 14 at 11 am, Parkside Branch Library

Saturday, September 14 at 2 pm, Portola Valley Library

Saturday, November 2 at 1 pm, San Carlos Library

The Hipwaders

Saturday, September 21 at 11 am Redwood City Fair Oaks Library

Saturday, September 21 at 3 pm, Presidio Branch Library

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Saturday, September 28 at 11 am, Half Moon Bay Library

Saturday, September 28 at 3 pm, Portero Branch Library

Sunday, September 29 at 1:30 pm Pacifica Fog Fest

The Okee Dokee Brothers

Saturday, October 5 at 10:30 am, Foster City Library

Saturday, October 5 at 1 pm, Ortega Branch Library

Saturday, October 5 at 4 pm, Bernal Heights Library

Sunday, October 6 at 11 am, Pescadero Elementary School

Cat Doorman

Saturday, October 12 at 11 am, Excelsior Branch Library

Saturday, October 12 at 2 pm, Woodside Library

Sunday, October 13 at 3 pm, Marina Branch Library

The Pop Ups

Saturday, October 19 at 1:30 pm, Park Branch Library

Saturday, October 19 at 4 pm, Merced Branch Library

Saturday, October 19 at 10 am, Brisbane Library

Sunday, October 20 at 3 pm, Atherton Library

Alison Faith Levy

Sunday, October 20 at 3 pm, West Portal Branch Library

Aaron Nigel Smith, Finale Weekend

Saturday, October 26 at 3 pm, Western Addition Branch Library

Saturday, October 26 at 11 am, East Palo Alto Library

Sunday, October 27 at 10:30 am, Millbrae Library

Sunday, October 27 at 3 pm, Main Library, Koret Auditorium