A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Brady Rymer and his band are on a mission to entertain kids with an authentic and enthusiastic introduction to Americana music. The melodies and rhythms are upbeat enough to keep younger listeners dancing, while the lyrics are refined and don't need to rely on gross or absurd images to appeal to kids. Parents might even forget they are listening to a children's music.
What's the story?
\"Boys and girls let me tell you a story, about a rockin' band...Just like that little engine that could, they are small but full of soul...Boxcars full of rock and roll, they're called the Little Band that Could.\" The first lines to the intro song, \"The Little Band that Could,\" sum up Brad Rymer and his band. Inspired by Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, Rymer delivers rock-infused folk designed especially for little listeners.
Is it any good?
With his roots based firmly as a rock musician, Rymer has carried his gusto for songwriting and performing into the children's music genre, with this his fifth children's album. He covers the educational on the rockabilly "Road Trip" ("We went to Chi-town, Sugarland, Baton Rouge, Shoo Fly Sleepy-eyed Kalamazoo/I saw Loveland Kissamee ol' Missasip/yeah we're taken our first road trip"), the silly on the track "Pie" ("a big ol' sweet potato's doin' the old soft shoe/cauliflowers calling on you to play but you just turn your little nose up and you look away...you'll never grow high if all you every eat is pie"), and the tender on tracks such as "Your Smile" and One True You." Rymer skillfully crafts a group of songs with clear imagery and sincere emotion. And, with solid songwriting skills on songs like the endearing "Get Back Home" ("I'm comin' home to a bubble bath/Mom's meatloaf, a big ol' slice of pie/I'm comin' home to my PJ's and my big ol' cozy bed/it's been a long, long day of dreamin' in my head"), Rymer hits all the right notes on this LP.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the many layers to the songs. Rymer and his band are based in a classic American folk tradition and there are many singers and instruments on each song. Can you hear different instruments? How do the singers share one song? How do the slower songs sound different than the more up-tempo tunes?