OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Joe McDermott “Everyone Plays Air Guitar” CD Review & Contest

You know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, you shouldn’t form an opinion of a CD based solely on its sleeve art either. If you did, you may very well be inclined to skip over this tremendous new effort by Joe McDermott – I almost did!

“Everyone Plays Air Guitar”, McDermott’s fourth full-length childrens disc – being released on True Blue Records on June 12, 2007 – is a kiddie folk-pop gem. Joe manages to bring an honest and, by all accounts, genuine sense of humor and love of entertaining young people to the table on this record.

[Quick sidebar – it is related, I swear]
We live in an age where virtually all of the entertainment that is made for and marketed to kids (even toddlers) contains subtle adult messages, jokes and innuendo. It is a fairly despicable that we as parents must be fed something racy, sensual or crude at every turn in order to sit through a film or television program packaged and sold as “kid-friendly.” Seemingly nothing anymore can be purely above-board, innocent and fun for kids.

I am happy to report that Joe McDermott’s “Everyone Plays Guitar” is a pure kids album, but don’t let that make you think it sounds like a cornball collection of safe, dull and inane tunes. That assumption would be 180 degrees from the truth. McDermott’s lyrics are energetic, heartfelt and 100% hilarious and his musical arrangements are imaginative yet at the same time clearly rooted in classic American folk music. Even a bit of John Denver can be heard in McDermott’s vocal delivery on a couple tracks.

“Everyone Plays Guitar” contains two of the best kids’ songs released this year. For sentimental reasons, “Momma’s Gonna Have A Baby” is an instant classic – recanting a parent-to-child conversation about the pending arrival of a new baby. Anyone who has, or is about to, break this big baby news to a preschooler or an older child will fall in love with this tune immediately. It is heartwarming to hear a newly minted “Big Kid” volunteer to help cook, shop, clean and change the diapers of the “built in best friend made for me”.

The other gem of a song is a romping good-time live cut that sounds as if it was recorded in a packed house full of adoring little ones. “Ride, Ride, Ride” features a charming, stellar give-and-take conversation between the artist and his elementary school fan base. It is here that you discover the true essence of Joe McDermott – a real good guy, making delightful music for the love of the craft and a terrific musician who truly respects his youthful audience.

While “Ride, Ride, Ride” and “Momma’s Gonna Have a Baby” are the faves in my household, there really is no weak track on “Everyone Plays Air Guitar”. From the title track to “Dolphins” to “Roller Coaster” and everything in between, your entire family is going to find something that connects with them and stays in their head for a long, long time. “Dolphins” is a super song on it’s own, but has the benefit of following “Ride, Ride, Ride” – which is like the sitcom that NBC would put behind Seinfeld, it was an instant hit regardless of what it was about. In “Dolphins”, McDermott manages to successfully work in references to Hemingway, Cousteau and Aflac – now that is some impressive songwriting!

As an adult, you will not tire of this record. It is infectious, funny and witty and because it has a deep connection to a traditional songwriting style, it will be adored after the first and fiftieth listen. You will not find yourselves cringing when your little one asks, once again, for more Air Guitar please!

The “Everyone Plays Air Guitar” Contest

OWTK is excited to be able to give away two copies of Joe McDermott’s “Everyone Plays Air Guitar” CD. All you need to do to enter and try to win one of them is send an email to OWTK with “Air Guitar Contest” in the subject line between right now and 11:59pm ET on Thursday, June 14 2007. Two winners will be drawn at random the next day. Good Luck!
(no worries – your email address is safe with us and you will not receive any unwanted notes in your inbox from OWTK)

Joe McDermott’s Official Website

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