where the sun shines hard and the sprinklers squirt,
where me and my whole family love to go ….
“… An endearingly oddball sense of humor.” – NPR, All Things Considered
“Totally winning in its goofiness … there are going to be some families who absolutely love love love this disk.” – Zooglobble
“A 1-2-3 punch of catchy tunes, witty lyrics, and songs that are fun for the whole family … This one easily lands on the list of best kids’ music of 2009.” – About.com,Children’s Music
“Imagine if Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld wrote lyrics for all-ages music played by an acoustic Weezer. I cannot recall a funnier, more intelligently conceived debut family record.” – Out With The Kids
Lewisburg, PA (Jan. 18, 2011) – With jaunty aplomb, independent recording artist Billy Kelly announces the April 5 release of his third family album, The Family Garden (YAY Music, $12.00, run time 37 minutes, for ages 2 and up). Says Billy, “If, from a production standpoint, my last disc was a topiary garden then this one is (as the name suggests) the family garden. It’s loose, it’s a hodgepodge, it’s friendly, comfortable, and just about anything goes. And man, those tomatoes are gonna be delicious.”
The Family Garden leaps spryly from country to ragtime to rock. The music is peppy and fun, featuring songs for all age groups, from the interactive “I’m Thinking of an Animal” for the preschool set to a tune for older kids titled “It’s Close Enough,” which pays tribute to all things ALMOST perfect. Parents will dig Billy’s cover of the B-52s’ classic “Rock Lobster” — high-spirited rock and roll played with wild abandon. Molly Ledford from the band Lunch Money co-wrote and joins Billy in singing the sweetly sincere “We Could Be Pen Pals.” There’s even a patriotic country song written for Billy’s dad. “That Old American Flag” is based on the true story of a father-and-son project, erecting a 25-foot flagpole outside Billy’s childhood home. Other highlights include “Coney Island Washboard (a ragtime tune dating back to the 1920s), “It’s a Wonderful Life” (a tribute to Billy’s favorite movie), and the album’s title track, an ode to the joys of digging in the dirt with the whole family. Particularly noteworthy is “The Invention of the Straw,” which Billy describes as “a real up-tempo number, chronicling the amazing, albeit factually inaccurate, story of the invention of the drinking straw. This is a truly strange song, even for me. It’s loaded with completely false information from beginning to end. This song asserts, among other things, that Nancy Reagan was Queen of England in 1997. Also, it has a good beat and you can dance to it.”
On January 1st, 2009 Billy Kelly made a New Year’s resolution to record a CD of some of the songs he had written over the years for his two daughters. A few months later Thank You For Joining The Happy Club was released. Much to Billy’s delight, the album was rapidly embraced by kids’ music bloggers, kids’ music radio programs,
and, most importantly, by kids! His song “People Really Like Milk” went to #1 on Sirius/XM’s Kids Place Live chart, remaining on the chart for the better part of summer 2009, and scoring a glowing review on NPR’s All Things Considered. Thank You For Joining The Happy Club made the Time Out New York Kids and About.com/Children’s Music “Best Kids’ CDs of 2009” lists. Common Sense Media praised the album’s “School-House-Rock feel that’s super fun … vast appeal for kids and adults alike.” Warren Truitt of Kids’ Music That Rocks called the CD “a super set of indie rock songs for kids … Breezy, slyly humorous tunes … Super duper children’s music debut!”
Following the release of Thank You For Joining The Happy Club, Billy jumped feet first into making quirky animated and live action music videos for kids, writing more songs, and playing shows throughout the country with his band, The Blahblahblahs. In August 2010 he released a 10-song CD, Is This Some Kind of Joke?, which includes a duet with Davy Jones of The Monkees. This album actually features the longest, most heavily produced song about a cardboard box in the history of popular music and probably in the history of cardboard boxes, too. Stefan Shepherd of Zooglobble placed Is This Some Kind of Joke? on his “Top 10 Kids’ Albums of 2010” list and declared, “No joke – this is a seriously fun album. Highly recommended.” Jeff Bogle of Out With the Kids enthused, “There isn’t another soul alive making music for children quite like Billy Kelly. And that is not some kind of joke.”
I have a material connection because I received a review copy (book, CD, software, etc.),
or an item of nominal value that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content.