Just in time for all the festivities, three-time Grammy nominee Brady Rymer & the Little Band That Could has some cheery original tunes to add to those classic holiday standards. In this holiday album, Brady Rymer stylistically stays in his Mellancamp-esque heartland roots rock place, but not without some notable and interesting twists along the way. The song New Accordian definitely falls in the country music / Zydeco tradition, while Baby New Year has a ragtime flare. Lyrically, the themes are funny and sweet, but also, at times, unexpected. The album’s third track, It’s Christmastime, would have listeners assume the song would lyrically describe tree-trimming, present wrapping, and cookie baking – but instead subverts its title’s expectations entirely by speaking to unity, togetherness, and love. There’s not a commercial word in that song. Charlie Brown would approve (recall back to Charlie Brown’s speech about commercialism in It’s Christmas, Charlie Brown). It’s pretty refreshing. Yes, the album is largely tilted in the direction of Christmas, but Brady Rymer does dedicate two songs to Hanukkah, Hanukkah Rocks and Rainbow Candles. Those of you who are Charlie Brown fans will recognize the piano melody on Hanukkah Rocks as a shout out to composer Vince Guaraldi! Add Revvin’ Up the Reindeer to this year’s holiday playlist and sing along as you wrestle with your christmas lights, hang up the stockings, and throw another log on the fire.
Check out Brady Rymer and The Little Band That Could’s new sing-a-long video!
CULTURE CREW, We Are Culture. & Other Singles
This fall into winter, as we lose daytime hours, invite some positive light with songs by Culture Crew. Culture Crew is comprised of two central members, Sam Schultz and Aaron Watene (those of you who are Yo Gabba Gabba fans might recognize Watene’s name as the show’s songwriter). Together, these two single Dads fuse their talents into an acoustic soul pop band with self-proclaimed island vibes (both artists have island roots). Recent singles include We Are Culture and You Are. We Are Culture is a reggae influenced track which speaks to the importance of learning about yourself, and what came before you so that you, in turn, can embody cultural pride, identity, and acceptance. You Are. is a sweet and playful track, complete with a jaunty whistle refrain and melting soulful harmonies that talks about individual connection and universal love. In fact, inclusiveness is the central message of Culture Crew and keeping true to this tenet, Sam Schultz and Aaron Watene are often joined by a large cadre of collaborating artists and activists. You Are was made in collaboration with and features Biz Markie, and Soul Survivor features Snoop Dog and Big PATI. And, as if sending out musical good vibes wasn’t enough, Culture Crew advocates access to clean water for all by participating in clean water projects across the globe, most recently in the Dominican Republic and the Marshall Islands. In 2018 they are looking to go do good works in Western Samoa and Gambia! They currently have a water advocacy GoFundMe project where donations go towards water filters, tools, village supplies, travel, room and board to get millions of gallons of clean water to thousands of people in need. So, during this season of giving and beyond, listen to some Culture Crew, rise up, influence and inspire!
Watch members of Culture Crew talk about who they are and what they do:
And take a listen to their tunes!
Out of the famed musical city of Austin, comes acoustic kid hop artist SaulPaul’s new album We Dream in 3D. SaulPaul is a man with a message and We Dream in 3D conveys all manner of empowerment. SaulPaul’s goal is to help children believe in themselves so they may achieve their dreams. And we all know those little people can dream BIG! Speaking of little people with big dreams (and big voices), SaulPaul’s single off of We Dream in 3D is a remix of an earlier track called Rise which features an incredible 11-year-old vocalist named Alexia Finney whose voice is as big as the song’s message. Holy cannoli can that little girl sing! Other incredible catchy and empowering tracks include Shine Right Now, Encourage Me, Be the Change, Motivation, and Si Se Puede. The title track, We Dream in 3D, originated as a chant SaulPaul would lead in his live shows. This chant grew into a song where he lyrically reminds children they have limitless potential, all they need to do is dare to dream and work to achieve it! And, as if the album doesn’t already rain positivity, SaulPaul dedicates a song to all us Moms out there. He writes about the limitless scope of a mother’s positive influence on a live track called Mama. Yes ladies, its our time to shine, credit is given where credit is due. Put that track on repeat! The album is loaded with hooks that are catchy and will have you two-stepping in no time. In fact, The Texas Two Step and Do That Hula Hoop are two of the most compellingly danceable tracks on the album. SaulPaul’s message on We Dream in 3D is loud and clear, be strong, be proud, dream big and MOVE THAT BODY!
Watch a live, in-studio acoustic performance of Rise by SaulPaul featuring 11-year-old Alexia Finney:
Listen to We Dream in 3D: