This week, all your favorite musicians – that’s Mr. Ben, Mo Phillips, The Alphabeticians, Johnny Keener, Matt Clark, Professor Banjo, and The Toy Trains – are giving away CDs, t-shirts, and even a ukulele!
Today is the last day of Week of Rock, and the last musician spotlight. (See past musician spotlights below.) I will close the comments tonight. Tomorrow morning, I will randomly pick 7 winners, and randomly assign out the prizes to those winners.
Musician Spotlight: Johnny Keener
My husband liked Johnny Kenner’s CDs so much he wanted to write the review. I think he did a great job – here it is!
To listen to Johnny Keener’s first two family-oriented albums – “Elephants Over the Fence” & “Long John” is to take a wide-ranging and fully entertaining tour of American roots music stylings. Keener’s understated voice and crisp acoustic & electric guitar licks invoke the generations-old sounds of folk, country, blues and rock & roll, and there are some very cool moments featuring children on backing vocals. Kid-themed original compositions (“How Would it Feel?,” “I Don’t Want It”) blend in alongside freshly arranged takes on traditional tunes such as “Oh Susannah” and “Polly Wolly Doodle,” as well as covers of hits by Creedance Clearwater Revival and Bob Marley. Throughout both records are ample opportunities for everyone to dance and sing along.
Thanks again, Matt for the review! Johnny is giving away a copy of both of these CDs to one lucky reader.
To enter to win, just post a comment below. This is your last chance to win! Week of Rock ends tonight!
In case you missed the earlier spotlights and offerings of your favorite local musicians, here they are!
Mr. Ben is a rock star on the kids’ music scene. Grady and I saw him perform at Posies Cafe a few months ago, and were so impressed by him. He is enthusiastic, kind, and oh yeah – he can sing! He has a great mix of well-known songs and original songs, all of which you’ll be singing along to in no time. I was most impressed with the easy way with which he engaged kids, and how he actually taught them something about music without it seeming like he was. I have a much longer review of him here.
Mr. Ben is giving away a copy of his CD “My Bicycle” AND one of his super-cool ukuleles to one lucky winner.
The Alphabeticians are Mr. E and Mr. Hoo, two local dads who like to rock out with music that kids and parents can enjoy. They sing mainly original songs, which are quirky and smart and cover topics from monsters to, of course, the alphabet. Their shows are high-energy and interactive, and they have a deservedly large following because of it! I have a much longer review of The Alphabeticians from just this past weekend here.
The Alphabeticians are giving away a copy of their hot-off-the-presses album “Rock.”
I got the CD over the weekend, and have listened to it at least 5 times now – and not always with my son in the room. It’s really funny, energetic, and just plain good.
While Grady and I have not yet had a chance to see Matt Clark perform live, we are more than slightly obsessed with his latest CD, Funnier Little Fellas. Matt is a local dad with two young sons. His CDs are for and about them, and chronicle some of the joys, frustrations, and milestones of baby and toddler life.
There are a lot of things I love about Funnier Little Fella, but for purposes of brevity I’ll narrow it down to three. First, it’s eclectic. There are traditional children’s songs, blues, even rap (pump up the jammies!). Second, a child can relate to these songs. Many of the songs are told in the first person from the perspective of the child. The songs cover kid-friendly topics like tickling, sharing, sitting up straight and even the toddler’s ultimate weapon – the tantrum! Third, parents will love this CD too. There’s variety, great lyrics, and some very dance-able songs. Grady and I have both had a great time bouncing (and tickling) along to it.
Post a comment below for your chance to win Funnier Little Fellas and other goodies from your favorite local musicians.
Professor Banjo brings a unique, bluegrassy slant to the kids’ music scene here in Portland. He sings mainly traditional songs like Old Molly Hare, Twinkle Twinkle, and All the Pretty Little Horses, although he makes them his own by playing with the lyrics and arrangements. He has a sweet, clear voice, and his fingers fly over the banjo. It is nearly impossible not to tap your feet and dance along to his songs – and I say this as someone with absolutely no dancing ability. He is an engaging perfomer, able to draw out suggestions, demands, and choruses from even the shyest of audiences. I have a much longer review of Professor Banjo’s musical stylings here.
Professor Banjo is giving away a copy of his newest CD “Old Time, Good Time.”
(And yes, you can color in the CD cover!) I dare you to sit still while listening to it!
The Toy Trains certainly meet and exceed their modest motto of “Playing music for kids that won’t make you sick.” Grady and I have never seen them live (we plan to remedy this as soon as possible – they will be playing at Mississippi Pizza on the 15th), but we have enjoyed listening to their downloads on their website. They are a kids’ band in that kids will enjoy listening to their music. But I’d say they are geared as much to adults as kids. While they sing a Twinkle-Twinkle/This Land Is Your Land medley, they also sing REM, Lisa Loeb, The Beatles, and Tom Waits, among others. In addition to playing a wide variety of types of music, they also play a wide variety of instruments – drums, stand-up bass, harmonica, accordion, violin, mandolin, banjo, and electric and acoustic guitars. Seeing them would be a great opportunity for you to listen to some truly great music, while exposing your kids to a lot of different sounds.
Although The Toy Trains don’t have a CD out yet, they are giving away three t-shirts.
They are available in youth large (light pink), blue (3T), and bright pink (2T). The winner will get all three to keep or share! The Toy Trains can also be found on Facebook, and band founder Vince runs the fabulous Portland Family Adventures.
Mo Phillips is a local dad who loves to rock. He is somewhat paradoxically both laid back and high energy – a weird combination that definitely works. He sings a mix of original songs and old favorites. His original songs are truly original, often involving ninjas and robots. He interacts well with the audience, taking suggestions for songs, asking for audience participation, and just generally making funny faces! I have a much longer review of Mo playing at Flying Cat Coffee here.
Mo is giving away copy of his new CD, Robot Rodeo AND a t-shirt to one lucky winner!