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Tuesday, July 22 2014 13:53

Kindie Scene 6: Suzi Shelton, Django Jones, The Okee Dokee Brothers, Riff Rockit, Eric Herman, Brady Rymer

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Welcome to THE ROCK FATHER's Kindie Scene 6, a new column in which you'll find some quick thoughts on six genre-spanning family-friendly albums that you can check out right now. On-deck today, we've got records spinning from BRADY RYMER, ERIC HERMAN, RIFF ROCKIT, THE OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS, DJANGO JONES and SUZI SHELTON. Let's get to work...

SUZI SHELTON - SMILE IN MY HEART

Amazon | iTunes

I've mentioned the latest album from Brooklyn's SUZI SHELTON a couple of times here on the site, but if our recent road trip taught us anything, it's that the album has certainly resonated with my girls. In fact, we sat in a diner out in Hummelstown, PA a couple of weeks ago listening to Addie breaking out lines from Suzi's recent single, "Cinnamon Bear."

Speaking of the bear, Suzi recently sent one of the little guys our way (see the Instagram to the left), but that's just a bonus. There's a lot for kids to dig here, with songs like "Go, Fire Truck, Go" and "Tomboy in a Princess Dress" scoring big.

 

91CPSLmhlHL. SL200 THE OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS - THROUGH THE WOODS: AN APPALACHIAN ADVENTURE ALBUM

Amazon | iTunes

As we crossed The Appalachian Trail a few times in our own journey this month (albeit, by car), I couldn't help but think of the month-long trek that GRAMMY-winner Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander embarked on last year to inspire their recent Dean Jones-produced collection. Beautifully-packaged as a CD/DVD combo in a gatefold digipak complete with proper liner notes and booklet, THROUGH THE WOODS is a country-tinged slice of Americana - filled with adventure, and fueled by wonder and exploration. Don't be surprised to see this one popping up on year-end "Best Of" lists this year.

51bgzblzHpL. SL500 AA280 ERIC HERMAN - PARTY ANIMAL

Amazon | iTunes

If a party record for kids sounds appealing, ERIC HERMAN delivers as-advertised. His vocal style is reminiscent of the Barenaked Ladies, ad he offers up short bursts of rockin' fun with a wink and a nudge to the grownups in the crowd. Prime example: His K-Tel style commercial for the new record...

71PW606QNkL. SL200 DJANGO JONES - D IS FOR DJANGO

Amazon | iTunes

I've been sitting on this one for awhile, even starting a formal review and pulling back from it. My friend, John Joyce asked me about it around the time he penned his own review of the record, and his thoughts were pretty accurate. D IS FOR DJANGO has some ok songs, but it's just killed by narration (the same thing that hurt the Lucky Diaz LISHY LOU album, to a much lesser extent). The problem is that the narration is poorly done with voices that just aren't appealing. While I'm all for a great concept record, in 2014 the "radio play" doesn't work well for little ones. I found the record annoying, and my kids just didn't care. As the video below presents, they look like they're just trying too damn hard to be "kid-friendly" and it backfires. They look silly, and the $5 production doesn't help. Pass.

BRADY RYMER AND THE LITTLE BAND THAT COULD - JUST SAY HI!

Amazon | iTunes

Brady is a seasoned performer that's been making music for kids and grownups alike for a very long time. Previously featured as one of my fellow "Rock Fathers" in my #RockFathersDay feature this year (read his story here), Rymer's latest album is essentially an 11-song collection of feel-good music for families. There's a lot of nods to the past here, and the overall sound owes a lot to good, old-fashioned rock and roll. 

51O-MtUqDEL. SL500 AA280 RIFF ROCKIT - LUZ VERDE VAMOS!

Amazon | iTunes

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of RIFF ROCKIT's theatricality and penchant for arena rock anthems for the Kindie set. Here, we find Riff reaching a new audience with his first Spanish-language album, a collection of ten tracks reworked from his English-language works. It's a fitting bridge between his 2012 debut (reviewed here), and his latest album, IF I COULD FLY (out July 29, 2014). His sound is unlike anyone else operating in the family music space, and proceeds from his records benefit blood cancer research.

What's next for the Kindie Scene 6? Keep your browsers peeled to THE ROCK FATHER for six more records, spinning up shortly!
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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