Best New Children's Music 2012 / OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Joe’s Backyard Band – Kick Up A Breeze CD Review


The Sound: Mild funk, breezy folk, sunny mid-70’s soft rock.

In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: Dan Zanes, Gustafer Yellowgold, Johnny Bregar

Best Moments: Missing (a good thing) Morphine’s red-light district flair for the sexually dramatic, but not it’s minor key saxophone, “Crow”, the lead track on “Kick Up A Breeze”, soars thanks to a deep horn and a cowbell (who knew?) along with some clean guitar noddling.

“Friends Are On Their Way” would feel right at home down in Margaritaville and is my personal favorite track (there’s two things I never thought I’d string together), thanks to lines like “someone to swim the ocean with / and catch another wave / someone to walk the cities with / and find the best cafes”.  The Bear and I both swoon over “Cities With Seagulls”.  It’s a dreamy, dancey seaside tune that’ll have your kids longing for a day at the beach while you reach for the cocktail umbrellas, and the cocktails that usually go with ’em.

As the head chef and lone dishwasher in my home, the idea of throwing dinner parties solely to have more plates to clean is pure lunacy, but the hilarious “Dishes” never fails to make me laugh, and I never have to lotion up my dry, cracked hands afterwards.

Bonus Thoughts: “Kick Up A Beeze”, the music and album art, is far better than the fairy pedestrian band name behind it.  Sample all 14 original songs here (the clips of my ‘best moment’ songs are particularly perfect, dropping you right in at the best moments of those ‘best moments’).

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: Joe’s Backyard isn’t a jazz band, but the Rhode Island group makes subtle use of woodwind instruments to decorate their Carribean-Americana soundscape. The horns and flutes make for some mature-sounding music. In fact, like much of the best music being made for kid’s these days, “Kick Up A Breeze” isn’t a kid’s album at all. It’s one of those CDs that will more than likely stay spinning after the kid’s have been dropped off at school, ’cause it’s a terrific all-ages, family album meant to be, and more than capable of being, enjoyed by everyone from toddlers to teens to adults.

“Kick Up A Breeze” has managed to warm up my home, despite the fact that we’ve been blanketed by sheets of white for the past several weeks.  This CD has been the paradoxical soundtrack to my winter thus far and may very well end up as the soundtrack to my summer as well.  Just as King Pajama and Dreyer Family Band last year, Joe’s Backyard Band has come out of absolutely nowhere to deliver one of the more pleasant surprises in the children’s music world in 2010.

Joe’s Backyard Band is destined for proper stages or, at the very least, bigger backyards.

*”Kick Up A Breeze” was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true – no arm twisting took place in the review process.

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