Thursday, July 24, 2008

Final Summer Show in Duncan

This morning we all got up bright and early and drove to Duncan, OK for my last program of the summer!

Duncan has a little building out behind the library where they do their programs. That room was packed with kids and adults. It was a great audience; even the littlest ones were very good at focusing. During the last song, "insect zoo," we had total silence for the line "my walking sticks are hiding" - that's a part where I ask for quiet but rarely get silence like this!

Lisa took a few photos for you. Here I am singing:

"Did I say Pop Up? I don't think so!"
These girls were curious about my guitar after the program.
So what's next, now that the summer is over for me? 

Next year's theme is "Be Creative at Your Library." I'll be presenting workshops on this theme to Kansas librarians, so I'll have to learn all about it, and write some new songs right away. So I'll be getting started on that. 

Lisa has big plans for the Kids Music Planet Podcast, so I'll be helping her with that. I'm also booking my "Songworks" programs in the schools.

And there are several exciting new projects in the works for me that I don't want to say too much about yet. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Piedmont

I went solo today to the Piedmont library, since Lisa had some Children's Music Web Award work to finish up at home. Piedmont has the pleasant problem of more people than space, so I set up in the main library. Here's what it looked like from my perspective. (Except I don't remember that big funny-looking kid in the back with the colorful green and yellow shirt. Hmmm...)

Here's what it looked like from the audience:
Posing with kids after the show:





Well, only one more show to go this summer! That's Duncan on Thursday at 11:00!

Oh, and by the way (now that the summer is about over) you can download the "Catch the Reading Bug Song" for free from ReadingSongs.com. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Metropolitan Library System

I did four shows Thursday and three on Friday in the Metropolitan Library System, as a replacement for Al Bostick, who was ill. This was a very last minute engagement - we got the call Wednesday afternoon! It was kind of surreal to suddenly find myself in the middle of an unexpected (but familiar) Metro Library tour.

All the shows went well. Here are some photos from the Belle Isle library in OKC on Thursday afternoon. Here we are catching the reading bug:

"There coming after YOU!" - from the song "Creepy Crawly Party Time":
Signing a poster:
At Harrah, my audience was mostly a daycare group of three and four year olds! They were young for my program, but so cute! We had fun. Here they are dancing:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Charles Page Library in Sand Springs

I had a fun visit to the Charles Page library in Sand Springs today. It was a small group in a small room, with a few kids that were really active and/or vocal, so we had a lot of interaction, and it got a bit squirrely at times, but in a good way! The teen volunteers were having about as much fun as anyone, and the librarian had them come up to help me out "on stage" during "Silly Song." Unfortunately we didn't get a photo of that, but here's one Lisa took during the show:



And another with some audience members after the show:


This afternoon we got a phone call from the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. Apparently storyteller Al Bostick, who was touring the Metropolitan Library this week is ill and in the hospital! So I will be substituting for Al for the seven shows left in the tour, tomorrow and Friday. 

Al is a great performer. Evalyn got to see him at the Yukon Children's Festival in May, and has been re-telling one of his stories ever since! Those will be some tough shoes to fill, but I'm glad I'm available to help out. Our thoughts are with Al and we wish him a very speedy recovery!


Monday, July 14, 2008

Norman

Yesterday I did two shows at the Norman library. I look forward to this one each summer. I have loyal fans in Norman who come to see me year after year. One mom brought a CD wallet with five of my CDs in it so she could be sure and figure out which one(s) she didn't have at the sales table!

During lunch Evalyn started asking Lisa and me what book series we read when we were kids. Whenever we've talked about that, one character has been lurking in the depths of my memory - and I haven't been able to drag him into the light. Yesterday he finally stepped forward. I was thinking maybe it was a sciencey kind of story, or was it a mystery? And the kid's name was Dan? Danny? Danny... Dunn? Could that be right? I looked up the name and found Danny Dunn, Science Detective and Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine, plus half a dozen others.

So in this photo I'm on a trip down memory lane with Danny Dunn. Evalyn is reading a Katie Kazoo (A character I mention in my "Catch the Reading Bug" song). 
Lisa did some video taping and only took one still photo during the performance:
Evalyn made herself a cozy nest under the sales table for some more Katie Kazoo, Switcharoo...
After the evening show, the children's librarian, Basha, was complaining that I didn't sing her favorite song. So I grabbed my guitar and sang "Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet," just for her.
Here I am with Pam Jones. We were recently paired up by SongU.com to write a song together. She lives in the Texas Panhandle, but just happened to be heading into OKC for a workshop, so she was able to come see my program. How cool is that? Not too many SongU folks probably get to meet their song challenge partners face to face before they start writing.
Posing for a photo with an audience member:

Just three more shows and my summer performance season is over! (That was fast.) I'll be in Sand Springs at the Charles Page library this Thursday at 10:30 AM, then Tuesday the 22nd in Piedmont at 10:00 AM, and Duncan on Thursday the 24th at 11:00 AM. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Baxter Springs, Pittsburg, and Fort Scott, Kansas

Whew - three shows and a long drive home yesterday, but we survived it well! It was a fun day, actually.

Our first show was at Baxter Springs, in a very unique space, as you can see below. The library is housed in the original courthouse, which is well over 100 years old, and the children's area on the second floor is dominated by this great wide-open space. Lisa tried to capture the scope of the room in a couple of shots here - not easy to do! 

For Evalyn, the best part of Baxter Springs was the cat. Yes, the library has its own cat! He and Evalyn became fast friends. In the background of this photo you can see a Magic Tree House book, forgotten and neglected on the floor. We look for the next book in that series at each library we visit. They are not always easy to find, so when she finds the next book to read, it's a big deal. The fact that she didn't get through her Tree House book tells you how much she loved playing with that cat.
Here's another angle on that wide open space, with the sunlight shining in behind me.
Evalyn in Kitty Heaven:
Our second stop was Pittsburg. I had a very energetic crowd there. Their singing blew me away, especially on the first two songs. The walls of the Pittsburg program room were covered with the body of this whimsical bookworm:
At our final stop, Fort Scott, the space was small enough that I went without a sound system. That made for a fun and intimate show, with a small but enthusiastic group!
Evalyn sat in the back of the room reading Captain Underpants. After the show a mom confided to us that before she realized Evalyn belonged to me, she had puzzled over why this one kid wasn't responding at all to the music!
Let me see your ant mandibles! "Dig, dig, dig..."
My awesome audience!
On our way home we drove back through Pittsburg and stopped for dinner at Napoli's, which I found listed in a smoke-free dining guide online. It was the best Italian food I think we've ever experienced! Highly recommended!


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Chetopa and Galena, Kansas

We are on the road tonight in Kansas. I did two shows today, first in Chetopa, and then in Galena. My seven-year-old daughter Evalyn, who is bored with the show by now, took the camera from her Mama and snapped a whole bunch of photos during my first couple of songs. Most of them turned out really great. Here are a few of those:



Lisa took the camera during "Silly Song" (what did you expect?) and took a series of Evalyn imitating me in the foreground.

This one speaks for itself:
We had a really great time during "Pop Up Sit Down." In fact in both groups today somebody said "do it again!" at the end of that song!

A couple of photos with audience members after the show in Chetopa:

At Galena, the librarian presented me with a book bag filled with goodies! We'll sure use the book bag - we have one but we always over stuff it at the library. Especially lately - Evalyn's been going through dozens of books a week! This hat was also in the bag, and it inspired this patriotic pose:
Here is a rare photo of my roady, packing up after the show. What did you say? He looks just like me? Really? I never noticed.

Tomorrow: Three shows! Baxter Springs, Pittsburg, and Ft. Scott.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Connors State College, Back in April!

Last night Lisa, Evalyn, and I walked over to Boomer lake with our folding chairs. We set ourselves up in front of the community band and read books while soaking up the patriotic music. Then we moved onto the deck (where the band had been) for an awesome view of the fireworks! 

This past couple of weeks I've been trying to get organized in the office. I read "Getting Things Done" by David Allen (otherwise known as "GTD") and I "processed" all my "stuff"! Everything is indeed very organized for the moment, though it's not all done, by a long shot! We'll see if I can keep up the "weekly reviews" and actually become more productive. So far it seems very promising.

Here's one of the items on my to do list - catch up with my blogging! I like to try to put photos up within a day or so after each gig. There are a few I've missed lately and need to catch up on.

Back in April I visited Conners State College in Muskogee to help the Child Development Club celebrate the 100th anniversary of their campus. They brought in Head Start kids from all over the county for an Oklahoma Celebration concert, and then they did a balloon release and a picnic. 

Here's a photo of my audience. Check out all those colorful pointy party hats (click for a slightly larger version)! 

Here's the balloon release:


Later that day I did an evening show in the same venue for a small but enthusiastic group. Here are some photos with audience members afterwards.


This little guy and I got deep into a discussion about shoes.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

David Brinkman, From My Pen

Back in 1997/1998 I co-wrote three songs with David Brinkman. David contacted me from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, with lyrics that he wanted set to music. Together we wrote three songs: "Walk Away," "Our Princess," and "Mayday Fair."

I've received regular updates from David since then on his progress with a new CD to include the three songs. Now after a decade of hard work and seemingly endless setbacks, his persistence has paid off. David's new CD, "From My Pen" is finally available!

Following is a photo of David with a shelf full of his new CDs in a local CD shop. Below is the CD artwork, and below that is David's press release about the CD, including links for more information. 

Oh, and since you know that I do children's music I should say that this CD is not aimed at kids. A couple of topics, such as serving time in jail, and dealing with drug addiction are pretty mature, but they are handled tastefully. I would say it's a family-friendly CD for the most part. Check it out!


Sample image

Press Release


For immediate release 30/06/2008




 HYPERLINK "http://www.silvermile.co.uk"

 HYPERLINK  "sales@silvermile.co.uk"

 HYPERLINK "http://www.myspace.com/davidbrinkmanmusic


Silver Mile Records, based in Aberdeen, Scotland would like to announce that it will be releasing the debut Cd, 14 track album, “From My Pen”, SMR 003, featuring the work of singer/songwriter David Brinkman, on Tuesday, 1st July,  2008,  and it will be sold in various retail outlets around Scotland, and online.


Local artist Dod Dow, pictured with David in the Aberdeen HMV store, has produced a new original painting of the clipper Thermopylae, designed and built in Aberdeen,  to help promote the song “A Tall Ship” which tells the story of a homesick Scotsman working his passage home, and his feelings about his people and his country.


Niall Mathewson – Musician/Engineer/Producer:


“David’s album is an eclectic mix of ideas that he has been collecting and honing over a period of years. It features an interesting dynamic range of material from the lush string arrangement of “Love is a Game”, or the more electronic feel of “Cindy Clark” to the more acoustic mood of “In Time” and “Our Princess”. He also manages to inject a good helping of blues with “If You’re Without A Woman”, the happy sounding “Queen Bee” and the thought provoking “Serving Time”. There’s even some jazz on offer with the smokey sounding “Another Lover”. A few of the songs fall into no particular category, but are just good pop songs, such as “Someone Like Me”“Here Without You”, “Walk Away”, and “A Tall Ship” or “Mayday Fair” and “Jojo’s CafĂ© in Paree”. I hope that you will enjoy David’s album and I hope that you will find, like me, that it has something for everyone”. 


For more information please contact David Brinkman by email at sales@silvermile.co.uk


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tri-City TV and Collinsville Library

This morning I visited the Tri-City TV studio in Bartlesville, OK for some taping. After dealing with technical problems, we recorded two live song performances, "Big Red Fire Truck," and "The Cat Came Back," for the children's cartoon show the station is putting together. Then we recorded an interview for their talk show. Tri-City TV is a public access station which is "coming soon" on channel 59 in Bartlesville. If all goes well, it looks like I'll be heading back up there in the near future to work with them on creating some production videos of my songs!

I had a great lunch with storyteller Fran Stallings and her husband Gordon while in town. It was great to catch up with Fran, even if time was short! 

Then it was off to Collinsville for a library program. I had a really great audience today; they were quiet and attentive when appropriate, yet enthusiastic with their participation! I love performing for a group like that! 

Here are a couple of photos from after the show:



Here's a photo I just came across on my desktop from my October 30, 2007 visit to Collinsville. I just thought I'd add it here! The kids are on stage to help me out with "You're a Dinosaur."