New Family Music for February

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Ohio, this February has been pretty mild and warm. However, I know that as soon as I hit “publish” on this post, a massive winter storm will sweep in and I’ll be cursing the moment I commented on the easy weather we’ve been having.

I’m not too afraid though, because I have some great new family music releases to listen to that will warm me up, keep me calm and get me rocking hard when I get cabin fever. I’m sure it will give you and your family those warm and fuzzy feelings this Valentine’s day as well!

New Family Music for February

Heart BeatsFirst up, Mighty Mo Productions is back after their last album, Smiles Ahead, with Heart Beats: Feel Good Songs for Families, a collection of 12 lovely love songs from some of the best children’s music artists, including some of my personal favorites.

I guarantee you’ll be eager to spread love and joy to your loved ones after listening to this album. It includes a wide variety of wonderful voices in offerings of zydeco (in “Light of Love” by Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could, perfect for Mardi Gras day!), rockabilly (Katydid’s “Love My Lovely” by), lullabies (“E’s Lullaby” by Ratboy Jr.) and quirky, boppy tunes like “Because I Love You” by Caspar Babypants.

The album opens with a charming and infectious song you’ll be singing all day, “Litta Bitta” You by Andrew & Polly. The softly sweet “When One Became Two,” about a growing family, is one of my favorite tunes by the Verve Pipe, and I was delighted to hear it on this album. Jim Cosgrove, Mighty Mo’s “Chief Groove Officer” also appears on the album with Jazzy Ash in the adordable rockabilly-swing “Love Comes Back.”

Heart Beats: Feel Good Songs for Families by Mighty Mo Productions is available on their website.

 

If you’re snowed in and need something to get your body up and moving, The Not-Its! Are You Listening? can take care of that for you.

The-Not-Its-Are-You-ListeningThis Seattle band’s sixth studio album is set to release February 19th, and it’s an album that this punk rock-infused band says is inspired by their daily family life.

Drums and guitars drive this album to rock, and rock hard. What I love about The Not-Its is their commitment to creating music that is accessible to young ears without compromising their distinctly edgy sound.

Are You Listening? opens with “Dance with Me,” reminding me of Tony Basil circa “Mickey.” “Done with the Science Fair” is a song that will sound familiar to both parents and kids who have suffered the woes of a school science fair project.

“Don’t Fear the Dentist” reassures young listeners that there’s nothing to worry about when getting your teeth checked, in serious punk-rock fashion. “Washington DC” is my favorite track on the album. I love how the track starts with a tourist attraction slant, but turns halfway through the song to the importance of democracy and getting your voice heard.

My only criticism is that most of the songs on the album have roughly the same tempo, and I would have loved to hear  tackle a semi-ballad.

“Traffic Jam” provides respite from the driving music of rest of album with a lilting harmony and endearing canon of voices towards the end of the track.

The Not-Its’ Are You Listening? will be available February 19th.

 

Once you’ve rocked your hearts out and need to feel grounded, you could pop in Kira Willey’s  latest album, Mindful Moments for Kids.

mindful-momentsA yoga instructor and children’s musician, Kira Willey (also known for the enchanting tune “Colors”) has released an album that includes 30 short guided mindfulness exercises to help children manage stress, find calm moments and use mindfulness to focus their energy.

While it’s geared towards children, I have to admit that I’ve been sneaking this CD when I’m alone in the car on stressful mornings. The breathing exercises and self-awareness principles are beneficial to anyone of any age.

The album is divided in to five distinct sections: Calm, Focus, Inspire, Energize and De-stress. Each exercise is backed by music that is upbeat without being distracting, setting a intentioned mood.

Willey’s exercises encourage listeners to become aware of their breath, get in a positive mindset and let go of tension in their body through fun and imaginative imagery. The album also includes two bonus tracks: “Just Be” about relaxing and being content with yourself; and “Dance for the Sun,” in which Willey showcases the strength and pliancy of her voice as she sings through yoga sun salutations.

Kira Willey’s Mindful Moments for Kids is available on iTunes, Amazon and her website.

 

Finally, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you might want to check out Raffi’s newest album, Owl Singalong.

Raffi-OwlSingalong_CVR_RGBIf you’re reading this blog because you are the parent of young children, you’ve probably heard Raffi as a child yourself. With a career that spans over four decades, and most known for “Baby Beluga,” Raffi paved the way for children’s music, and he continues to leave his mark on the industry with his newest album.

A mix of both original tunes and cover songs, Owl Singalong weaves animal and environmental themes with Raffi’s unmistakable melodic vocals.

Young listeners will recognize songs like the classic “The More We Sing Together,” and delight in the fun animal spins to standards like the Hokey Pokey (in “Lion Pokey”) and The Wheels on the Bus (in “The Dog on the Bus”).

Two standouts on the album are “Who Hoo Could I Be” (with moments that nod to the vocals of Paul Simon and Bob Dylan) and the charming French song “Dans La Forêt Lointaine.”

Raffi’s Owl Singalong is available on iTunesAmazon and his website.

 

Disclosures: I was provided a copy of these products for review purposes. All opinions are 100% completely my own. Full Of It is a participant in the iTunes Affiliate Program. If you click on some of the product links above, I will receive a small commission which in turn helps run this site. Don’t fear, I only recommend tunes that I think you’ll love!

What Makes You Smile?

Now that the weather has produced some grey, cool days, I’m finding myself, more days than not, behaving like Mrs. Crankypants.

It’s as if my smile and good mood disappears with the sun and gets packed away with my sundresses and sandals. Sure, there will be some gorgeous days ahead, but as I type this, my family has spent the past few days trapped indoors, watching the rain and questioning whether we’d be the neighborhood idiots if we turned on our fireplace this early in the season.

So, it requires a lot of mental recognition, focus and decision to turn my frown upside down. And to do this, I have to take stock of what makes me smile. Things like my kids laughter or funny things they say, Nutella, otters and awesome friends and family members.

And there’s a new family music album out that I can add to this list!

Smiles Ahead

Mighty Mo Productions is a new music label out of Kansas City that launches this fall, and its first release, Smiles Ahead, is one fantastic coming-out party, filled with hit songs from top artists in the family music biz.

Started by Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove, in an effort to “more broadly distribute quality family music by cross-pollinating artists into new markets,” this album is a collection of some of my favorite family music artists like Brady Rymer, The Okee Dokee Brothers, The Pop Ups, Kira Willey, Mista Cookie Jar and The Verve Pipe.

It also features artists that are making their debut in the family music genre like country musician Rissi Palmer with “Best Day Ever” and Katydid, with “Together Song.” The Verve Pipe, who may very well be one of my favorite cross-over artists, also penned a new song for the album, titled “Get Happy.”

The album jacket lists some of the things that makes the featured artists smile, and even these will make you grin! The Okee Dokee Brothers, obviously, mention “Taking a walk through the woods,” “My boys, my family, my dog” makes Frances England smile, and Mista Cookie Jar beams from “Kickin’ it with the fam-bam!”


Verve Pipe 1Brian from The Verve Pipe says “I’m always very happy when I’m performing, (above w/Channing Lee), but I’m even happier when the whole family gets involved! (below with Evangeline, Willow and Lux Vander Ark).”Verve Pipe 2

Check out a sneak preview of Smiles Ahead below!

 

Mighty Mo Productions’ Smiles Ahead is available October 16, but because I adore you lovely readers so much and want to make YOU smile, I’m giving away a free copy to a lucky winner! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below by Monday, October 12th at 11:59pm EST. Open to contiguous U.S. residents only.

I’ll be posting throughout the day and week with things that make me smile, and I’d love to see what turns up the corners of your mouth! Be sure to let me know what makes you smile in a comment below, or even better, share your  pictures and stories on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SmilesAhead.

Good luck, and get smiling!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosures: I was provided a copy of this product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% completely my own. 

“Be Part of the Band” on Kid Tune Tuesday…


Let it be said…I’ve always wanted to be in a rock and roll band.  Not so much for the fame, or fans, or drugs and alcohol, or bad hair.  But because it looks like such a rush to perform great music.  And have folks visibly enjoy your craft.

Unlike being a dancer, where you perform to a sea of darkness with sporadic, audible coughs and farts, only to see your audience once you’re done.  With sometimes mild applause if they’ve witnessed some “out there” modern dance.  And believe me, I’ve done some of that too.  Did I mention I once barked like a dog on stage?

And what kind of instrument would I play, you ask?  Without question, to be part of the band, I’d play the drums.  Though I’ve only taken 1.4 lessons, it still beckons me to find time to learn how to master the skin.  Mr. B was the lucky recipient of a drum set from his uncle.   Said Uncle works for a liquor distributor and scored an extra set to bring to Mr. B.  Sure, it’s a low-end set, but it has everything he needs to bang out the rhythm for “We Will Rock You.”

Only, remember the liquor distribution part?  Every single piece in the set is emblazoned with giant, screaming Jim Beam logos.  I was able to turn some of the pieces around so when you look at Mr. B behind the set, he doesn’t look like he’s set up in a bar.  It’s only a matter of time before he takes pride in those logos and turns the suckers around.

As for me, I’d hope I’d be the kind of drummer that gets the people going.  In essence, I hope I’d look like this guy – the crazy Steve Moore:

But I digress.

This week’s song comes from The Verve Pipe, a band that has been featured on Kid Tune Tuesday before.  While A Family Album was released years ago, it contains several awesome tunes that we enjoy still.  Be Part of the Band is no exception.

Seeing as how The Verve Pipe was and is a legitimate rock band, “Be Part of the Band” has some street cred to it.  I love how it encourages anyone to be in a band, no instrument necessary, and sing out loud.  With the caveat that you don’t get a manager.  Just yet.

And, oh yes, the drums are fantastic in this song.  Worthy of some crazy arm gestures.

My favorite part of “Be Part of the Band” is the bridge, where the lyrics suggest the types of songs you can write, including a love song that gets rejected, turning that in to a frustrated torch song, singing to a crowd of fans as a disco ball twirls overhead.  My kind of fantasy.  Great. Song.

And I can totally see me circling my head with drumsticks and banging this song out.  Can’t you?

 

 

The Verve Pipe on Kid Tune Tuesday…

The Verve Pipe is a band that had some one-hit wonder tunes back in the late 90’s.  Anyone remember The Freshman?  And then what?  I can’t seem to remember anything else.

Well, they’ve come out with The Family Album.  I LOVE IT when musicians that make adult music come out with a children’s album.  Perhaps they’ve had some tater tots of their own, and have gone all soft.  Or maybe they are desperate for album sales.  Whatever.  The result is usually a great group of kids tunes that adults can happily swallow.  And this tune is no exception.

We Had To Go Home is a song about a kid that goes to a birthday party, gets in trouble, and has to have his mom come and get him.  What I like about this song is that it resonates with me as an adult.  Perhaps reminds me of parties I attended in college.  Except that instead of passing out on some stranger’s nasty couch, this party ends with a kid flushing a towel down the toilet.  It has those looping horns that always remind me of stumbling around drunk, but in this case seem to indicate mischief.  And these kids?  They pull some pretty good gags.

And now for the results:

MR B:  He flushed a towel down the toilet!!  Hahahahaha! 
MISS PMeh…what’s coming on next?