My toddler’s first comment regarding LUCKY DIAZ and THE FAMILY JAM BAND was ”They’re tricking me.” I’d never thought of it, but the munchkin had never seen a CD that came packaged in a cardboard sleeve before… until A POTLUCK arrived at Rock Father HQ. No jewel case or digipack to open, she kept flipping it over trying to figure out why it didn’t open up like a book. In a lot of ways, the situation reminded me a lot of the old KNIGHT RIDER episode where K.A.R.R. took offense to the ordering speaker at a fast food restaurant and destroyed it for being a ”clever trick.” Fortunately, the little one didn’t destroy the CD, but she did hand it back to me with a fairly irritated look on her face.
Indie Rock with varied sonic stylings, A POTLUCK is bookended with the spoken word of Alisha Gaddis on “Morning” and “Night,” both setting the stage and dropping the curtain on the main event contained between. First song-proper, “Lines and Dots” plays like a less-polished version of OWL CITY with vocals gently floating above lo-fi instrumentation, hand-claps, and electro-accompaniment.
“On My Bike” is a neighborhood-cruising anthem that would make things seem a lot cooler if I were a kid again. The sound of a bicycle bell reminds me of those days, and also that I’ve been talking about buying a “big kid” bike for myself again for about three years now. A quick stop to the “Lemonade Stand” prompted by the pleasing sound of fuzzy guitars and the allure of sweet beverages, A POTLUCK is already in my mind as a solid record even before the GOLDFINGER-esque ska groove of “Squirelly the Squirrel” kicks in – a vibe carried right into “Monkey Jones.”
A POTLUCK gets bigger as the album rolls on, some rockabilly jams kicking in with “Lil Red Rooster,” and carried into the album’s final song – “Who Stole the Cookies?” The potluck picks up a latin flavor on “Tres Ratones,” while “Invisible Friend” is by far the mellowest song on the album.
The Bottom Line: LUCKY DIAZ and THE FAMILY JAM BAND have been getting quite a bit of acclaim lately, and all of it is completely warranted. A POTLUCK is a musical feast served up in kid-sized portions of tasty goodness. On the flipside, my daughter didn’t react to it quite as well as I’d expected… yet. I think she’ll grow into it.
The Rock Father Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
FTC Disclosure: A copy of LUCKY DIAZ and THE FAMILY JAM BAND – A POTLUCK was provided to The Rock Father for the purpose of review consideration. The opinions presented above are that of James Zahn, whom you may choose to agree or disagree with at your own discretion or peril. All “Music for Kids” reviews also take into account the reaction of a toddler.