Mr. Dave Will Have Kids, Parents "Feeling Good"
You know, it’s a good time to be a kid because it’s a good time for children’s music.
It seems kiddo music has evolved into different styles of their own: there are bubbly kinds, country kinds, Jazzy kinds, and hip hop/urban kinds. And that is awesome because there are kiddos all over this country, in the city as well as in the suburbs and country, and they each have things particular to the way they live.
The latest album here from the Windy City’s own “Mr. Dave” Dave Hamilton, FEELING GOOD, is one such album that speaks to kids everywhere and includes those who are living in the city, doing this with a not so much nautical, but an island sound to it. That’s not to say every song has a watery beat to it. Nay-nay, this album, while only 10 songs long, communicates to kids everywhere with jazzy tunes, eclectic rock, and hip-hop tunes with a heavy bass tone, as well as songs with a surfer sound to them--and that’s what makes this album such fun.
I feel Mr. Dave pulls this off because he is no stranger to music of all kinds of genres. As lead vocalist/guitarist with the acoustic funk band 56 Hope Road, back in 1998, he and the band toured the country playing concerts that included hundreds of solo shows, as well as opening for such artists as Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews Band, Page McConnell of Phish, Tom Cochrane and Red Ryder, Devon Allman, Spyro Gyra, Verve Pipe, Bob Schneider, and more. Being involved in and around all these different musical styles has obviously paid huge dividends for Mr. Dave and the kiddos who know his music.
“Bamboo the Bear,” while certainly written with lyrics easy for kiddos to pick up on and begin to sing with quickly, has an undeniably Jimmy Buffet feel to it. Song #3, “Captain Brown Beard,” had a Peter Gabriel flair to it, and “Two Wheels” feels like it is right out of a Beach Boys’ song book. In fact, I would say it was a kiddo version of “Little Honda” by The Hondells (a song originally written and recorded by the Beach Boys, but which gained its biggest success by the Hondells).
There’s another song that has flavors of “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, and a couple other that have a real hip-hop flair. “Pelican Kid” has a bass beat that will test your speakers!
Now don’t get scared because I’m naming all these “adult” sounding influences. These songs, while not talking down to kiddos, most definitely do not talk over their heads. These songs sing about sharing, caring and safety, and some touch on subjects that kiddos might not have heard before--like how to cross a busy intersection in a city environment!
I really liked this album. It’s fun, with infectious songs that kiddos all over will enjoy (and their parents, too). I enjoyed the music that accompanied the songs, too. The beats were energetic and well-composed (I loved the steel drums), and while their parents may not associate the songs with the influences I described here (because I’m an old fuddy-duddy) the songs undoubtedly will remind them of songs and musicians they know. And how great is that? Parents and kiddos listening to music together, and being happy together, and kiddos learning things they can use to keep them safe and make them better little people -- which will help them become better bigger people.
Bamboo The Bear
Captain Brown Beard
I Will Share
Song In All Of Us
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