Hilltown Families


Sing Along with Caspar Babypants Caspar Babypants is preparing to release his fourth awesome kids album, Sing Along, on August 16th. Is this one really good just like all his others? Why, yes it is! Caspar has a great approach to kids music: keep it simple so little kids can sing or bounce along, but make it interesting for grown ups, too. What a concept! You’ll see this approach in songs like… Read More

Down at the Zoo One of my favorite bands is Belle and Sebastian and one of my all time favorite albums is Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Yes, I suppose that is music for grown ups, but my son loves this album, too! Anyway, when I heard that Mick Cooke of Belle and Sebastian was creating kids’ albums I just had to check it out! Recording under the name Too Many Cookes, Mick’s newest… Read More

Share This Video Renee & Jeremy are simply awesome as is. Their music is melodic and beautiful. But they also seem to know all of the coolest artists around and when their songs are accompanied by animation… well, it’s perfection. See for yourself: ABOUT THE AUTHOR Amber Bobnar Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer… Read More

CD Giveaway: 10 CDs From Massachusetts Based Musicians! Hilltown Spring Festival Features 18 Musical Performances on 3 Stages The 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival happens this Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds in Cummington, MA! Check it out! The music line-up for the festival includes 18 musical performances on three stages: Hampshire Regional Chamber Singers  ❁ 10:30am Lui Collins ❁ 10:45am (Family Concert) Laura Wetzler ❁ 11:30am Rob Phelps… Read More

We’re Wild for Wildlife! Kids love animals—real ones, stuffed ones, it doesn’t matter. My son, Ivan, has two animal favorites right now: the Discovery Kids Smart Animals Scanopedia (he loves the sound of the turkey gobbling) and Birdie’s CD The Wild World of Wildlife. Oh, and his kitten, Murray, of course! Birdie’s CD is a fun collection of songs all about animals, from reptiles to mammals, fish to birds. Most of the songs will teach… Read More

New Music from Brian Vogan & Keller Williams Brian Vogan: Sing a Little Song As much as I like to think of myself as being totally plugged in to the kids’ music scene, lately I’ve been stumbling upon artists that I really should have already been listening to, but I’m only now discovering. That’s OK! I don’t need to be hip—I’m just on a quest for really good family music. I found… Read More

Lesson Songs Jeremy Plays Guitar just came out with his new album, Use Your Words, full of songs that teach kids lessons (like how you should use your words rather than whine). It made me think of other fun lesson songs that teach kids about manners, hygiene, or eating healthy in entertaining ways… My favorite song on Use Your Words is House Rules, a song that tells us what “we should and… Read More

Elizabeth Mitchell: Sunny Day Elizabeth Mitchell’s new CD, Sunny Day, came out earlier this month and at just the right time for my family. With the air getting crisper and school back in session, kids will invariably pick up (and bring home) fall colds. It’s no fun for anyone. When both mommy and child are feeling under the weather the best thing for everyone is to relax and take it easy. Yes,… Read More

Frances England: Mind of My Own You know when you hear an artist for the first time and they just grab you? That’s what happened for me when I heard Frances England’s new CD Mind of My Own. On the one hand I was upset with myself for never having listened to Frances before, but on the other hand I was excited that she has two other CDs! I immediately ordered Fascinating… Read More

There’s a lot of great new kids music on the scene these days, and a lot of great releases from years past too! Here in this post to “Must-Hear Music Monday,” Amber shared two of her favorite CDs from a few years ago, “The New Explorers Club” by the FLANNERY BROTHERS & “This is Fun” by CASPAR BABYPANTS…

The Bazillions Take a tablespoon of Recess Monkey, add a heaping cup of The Hipwaders, and stir in a bit of power pop to even out the heavy rock flavor, and you’ll have the recipe for Minnesota’s new kids’ band, The Bazillions. Yum! The Bazillions is the family-friendly iteration of the grown-up band The Humbugs, but their kids’ fare sounds much happier (though their grown-up songs are actually very good, too). As… Read More

Jungle Gym Justin Roberts isn’t just a musician; he’s a phenomenon. When we hear that Justin has a new CD coming out, we begin pining for it immediately. We don’t worry if it will be good or not—it’s just a question of which songs we will love the most. And Justin has been receiving some much deserved accolades in the mainstream press lately. The New York Times wrote about him in April… Read More

Must-Hear Music Monday We’ve been listening to lots of new—and some not so new—music that’s super cool. Local favorite Liz Buchanan recently released a new CD and so did Princess Katie & Racer Steve. And did you know that the ever-awesome Recess Monkey have a new CD coming out in June? Here are some highlights from our new collection of favorites: Liz Buchanan Liz’s new CD is simply a sweet collection of… Read More

Shall we rock a bit?  Yes, we shall. This month, let’s look at some music that’s just good straight ahead rock for kids.  It’s not, to be clear, all head-banging, and some of the CDs below are certainly varied in styles, but these folks set out to make various flavors of rock records, and that’s what they did. John Carlin & The Kids Music Underground – Welcome to the Kids Music Underground… Read More

High Concept, High Reward By Bill Childs, HF Contributing Writer CDs aimed at kids are rarely what the industry calls “high concept” – that is, with a Big Theme running throughout, or a clever idea at their core.  Sure, you occasionally get the food-themed record or the alphabet/number collections, but rarely anything more than that.  This month, a few releases that break the mold and, mostly, pay off with their gamble. Putumayo… Read More

Compilations: All too often, as I’ve observed before (and as you’ve likely noticed), they’re leftovers or donated rarities that should have stayed rare. No matter how good the cause, the “unreleased track” from your favorite band frequently turns out to be something left over from a high school battle of the bands.

Sure, some bands can pull it off, but most of the time, that “jack of all trades, master of none” cliché turns out to be based in truth. So this month, let’s take a look at some records where the artists aren’t trying to be more than what they are, and it works.

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