I’ve recently put out a kids record. It’s been a long time coming and in the thought process for years. Folks would tell me that my music is playful and that their kids like it. They also say that it’s annoying to have to skip over the songs with the bad words in them. Then they forget to and the children are subjected to language that raises questions at school. Then my music stops being played altogether to avoid another call from the first grade teacher because junior asked, “what does cock sucking mother fucker mean?” So…..thanks to “not for kids only” by jerry garcia and david grisman, the inspiration started to flow and in just 7 short years, I came up with 31 minutes of family friendly music. It’s gotten airplay on satellite radio and a few other family friendly radio shows. Until I put this thing out and hired a publicist, I was in the dark about the whole kid music industry. I knew it existed but not to the extent that I do now. It’s pretty amazing.
Once I mastered the record, I decided to sit on it and release the keels “thief” record first to allow some time to find a proper home for “kids”. During this time, I was offered the super music friends segment for 11 shows in 6 days, on the yo gabba gabba live tour. I didn’t feel there was a song on the record that was cool enough to play on this show. That’s when hula hoop to da loop was made up. I had the song inserted into album sync and then remastered. I played it at all the yo gabba shows. Of course my kids were along for the ride. How could I not take my kids on yo gabba gabba tour? It quickly became all about them and not about promoting this record. As it should be. We all had a blast. My daughter really enjoyed singing along and dancing at every show. It was the same show every time so she knew all the songs and what was going to happen when. She is a pro hula hooper as you can see from the hula hoop to the loop video. We got a hold of some awesome LED hoops, dressed her, the wife and lou Gosain (sound guy, tour manager, harmony vocalist) in black, brought them on stage at the right time, had the lights turned down and let them hula hoop to the loop. You couldn’t see the people and only the hoops. It was rad. I think there is some youtube footage of it if you feel so inclined. It wasn’t until the song was over when the lights come up, that you realize that there is 6 year old in the middle of the stage, fearlessly hooping with a full sized, multicolored, LED hoop. The response was super positive and she thrived on it. She hated the one or two days off that we had. I think I wrote about this before, but that blog didn’t make it past my filter team and was filed away where they keep my blogs that aren’t good enough for you to read. Thank god for my filters. If these said blogs see the light of day, it would be bad. I need and trust my filters. Maybe some day I will release them for a kindle book. But probably not. Any way…. where was I? oh yes. On yo gabba tour. Hanging out with my 6 year old at all the yo gabba shows was a blast. The day show collided with my son’s nap time. Not even dj lance rock could allow us to interfere with us taking advantage of nap time. No nap and look out for cranky von crankerson. There was one show that I distinctly remember. Well I don’t remember the city but I do remember me and ella going all the way to the top, back, middle of the coliseum. We danced and sang and twirled our glow sticks freely. It was quite similar to my dead show days with out the hippies and the wafting smoke. We learned a lot from that tour and even stole a few tricks from yo gabba gabba. I’m obviously not going to play “kids” songs at my regular shows and we really felt like people and their kids really need to hear these songs. So we came up with piggyback system. Pick a nice, clean (well, sort of) place to play on a saturday night, load in early, and do a kid show matinee. Now I can play songs off of this record to people that possibly know them from listening in the car with their kids. The cool thing is, that at the four that I’ve done, there’s been kids in the front row, (usually reserved for the rail riding freekes) singing all the words. That’s a great feeling. The doors opened for the matinee and the folks come in to find a hundred or so drums laid out in front of the stage brought by my awesome bro, ken crampton. He is the owner of eyeclops studios in Fredericksburg, where I’ve done shows in both locations. He also designed the laugh cover as well as the spca posters. He is a truly genuine brother man of an hombre and he facilitates incredible drum jams with the kids and parents that come in between doors and the show. He could’ve just let the people wail on the drums but instead he leads the jam with vocal cues and over animated body movements. I’ve heard that some folks like the drum jam better than the show. So in Denver and hopefully at every kid show matinee, plan on coming in when the doors open. Side note: the bar will be open too. After the drum jam, there is a mad dash to collect the massive amount of percussion goodness, and then my show begins. I play almost all of the songs off of “kids” as well as a cover or two and well…….freeker. kids scream out for that. Maybe their parents put them up to it. It’s a luxury problem. All and all it’s a positive thing. Plus it gives me an excuse to play the trombone. There’s a saying that I love. You play music for 20 years and you actually only play for 2 and hang out for 18. So….it’s cool to have something to do on certain saturday afternoons.