What do your pets long to do in the middle of the night when the moon shines blue? Crank out some old-school rock n roll music, of course!
This is the first of many songs to be released through FlyingSpaghettiMusic.com, a new venture powered by Patreon. At Patreon you can help support my music-making by pledging to pay $1 per song as new songs are released.
I'm really excited about "Pet Rock!" - it's one of the best-sounding songs I've recorded, owing its awesomeness to an unlikely collection of talented musicians who never set foot in the same room together!
The story begins with a surprise visit from fellow children's artist, Mr. Billy, a rock guitar virtuoso. When he came to Oklahoma this past August and offered to spend some time recording, I felt like a kid in a candy shop, but with only one quarter, because we only had time for one song!
I didn't have to think hard about which song to tackle. I'd had this song in mind for him for years. "Pet Rock" was inspired by my neighbor's dogs keeping me up at night - I imagined they thought they were performing rock n roll music. The song has a raucous kind of an Elvis-y vibe and I knew Mr. Billy was the perfect person to help me do it up right.
Next I brought Mr. Billy's tracks along on a client session at Bell Labs in Norman, hoping we'd find a bit of extra time. Sure enough Trent Bell, the engineer there, was able to squeeze in a session with drummer Nathan Harwell. They synced right up with Mr. Billy’s guitars to give the song a rock solid beat.
I told Billy about the drum session and somehow finagled him into adding a bass track for me from his home studio in Appleton, Wisconsin. Billy used his U-bass - an electric bass ukulele, if you can wrap your brain around that - which sounds a bit like an upright. He said it was the best bass performance he’d ever recorded. No doubt! It’s playful and confident, perfect for the tune!
Oklahoma visual artist Julie Plant provided all the whimsical figures you see in the video. Her dog playing the saxophone made me realize that I really needed a sax part to round out the arrangement. So I turned last minute to my friend Chris Wiser, AKA funky keyboardist “Boom” of the Sugar Free Allstars. I happen to know Chris is also a teacher and player of many reed instruments. His sax parts put the final sizzling touch to the mix.
Speaking of which, for mixing and mastering I called upon children’s music producer James Coffey of Blue Vision Music. It’s great to get a fresh pair of ears in for the final phase of a project, especially one with Jim’s prodigious experience and know-how. Jim's final mix rocks! I think you’re gonna dig it!
Many thanks to my Patreon patrons at FlyingSpaghettiMusic.com - your support makes new recordings possible!
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Monday, September 15, 2014
Yesterday was the second "Wiggle Out Loud" children's music festival in Oklahoma City. We are lucky to have this in our state - it's the only major children's music festival that's free to attend, and it includes great local, regional, and national acts! I was privileged to start things off, then Lisa, Evalyn, and I enjoyed the rest of the day taking in all the great music, food and activities. Lisa took a lot of photos, so feast your eyes...
|I got to kick things off!|
|I had a great little crowd - enough kids to have fun, but not so much there wasn't room to run around. During "Big Red Fire Truck" kids went "racing to the rescue."|
|That's Evalyn in the lower right, overseeing the fire truck races.|
|Going "Roundy Round!"|
|The Tyrannosaur Crunch!|
|Next up were the Doo Dads from Kansas City. Ken here on the keyboard was a childhood friend of mine. Weird we'd both end up performing music at the same festival!|
|Heidi Swedberg gave a rollicking wacky performance with the Sukey Jump Band. Say, isn't that Susan from Seinfeld? Yes. Yes it is. But she has given up the glamour of TV sitcoms in favor of her true calling - singing for kids!|
|"The Boogy Man" came out to dance during one of Heidi's songs. That's actually our buddy Brady Shattan, A.K.A. "Mini Elvis," under that ragmop.|
|The toddlers were drawn to the fountain for some relief from the heat. Actually the weather was quite pleasant, but they were still drawn to the fountain.|
|Adam & Kizzie from OKC are new to the children's music thing. A highlight of their set for me was their fantastic rendition of "Three Little Pigs" in song form.|
|Chris "Boom" Wiser, the mastermind behind this festival, and one half of the Sugar Free Allstars.|
|Rob "Dr. Rock" Martin, the other half, laying down a funky beat.|
|Boom & Dr. Rock brought several guests up to share the stage, including "Mini Elvis..."|
|... and one of the Choo Choo dancers from Disney Jr. Later he performed with Genevieve Goings, but we had to head home just as they were getting started. School night for Evalyn and all.|
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Yesterday and today we did two shows in the Wichita, KS area - one at Haysville and one at McConnell AFB.
|At the Haysville Library|
|"This is the sun..." at Haysville|
|Longhorn "Cattle"ac on the way home from Haysville.|
|At McConnell AFB|
Monday, July 14, 2014
This morning I performed for two Kindercare groups in Norman. I got to test out my new "Burglar Babysitter" song with both groups. It's a long one, but it definitely held their attention! Daycare shows are fun and spontaneous. I hope I get to do more!
Last week was our amazing tour of the Metro Library System in OKC! I had eleven shows scheduled over five days. Lisa was able to come with me four of those days. Friday I was on my own while Lisa drove to Arkansas to pick up the daughter from band camp. Hence, no photos - sorry! All the shows went really well. I think you can see from the photos that we all had a blast...
|"Spring your sharpened claws!" at Southern Oaks|
|"Working on the mystery..."|
|"... of life's history" at Southern Oaks|
|After the show.|
|Midwest City evening progrm|
|"Spring those sharpened claws"|
|"This is the sun..."|
|Ralph Ellison - "I'm gonna play my nose like a kazoo!"|
|"Belly Like a Bongo"|
|Kids lined up after the show to take a strum on my guitar.|
|Luther - they have the greatest theater at the high school! If you want to see a Neighborhood Arts program in comfort, see it at Luther!|
|Del City - "Show me your claws!"|
|"This is the sun shining down on Earth..."|
|"This is the wind blowing in..."|
|Choctaw - "Acrocanthosaurus"|
|"This is the generator..."|
|With the adult day care group - fun to have them in the audience!!|
|Edmond - "Belly Like a Bongo"|
|"Catch the reading bug - Nya nya nya nya nya"|
|"Silly Song" prairie dogs|
|Mouth full of bear hair!|
|"This is the sun..."|