3 Podcasts for the Summer

Hilltown Family Variety Show
Summer Shows

Looking for some summer music that’s both family friendly and commercial-free to play this weekend at home or during your 4th of July parties?  The Hilltown Family Variety Show has 5 years of archived podcasts for you to choose from!

This weekend tune into our Summer Essential Episode with summer songs by Lisa Loeb (“Ready for the Summer”), Dog on Fleas (“Green Grass of Summer”), Randy Kaplan (“Mosquito Song”) and a fun story by Bill Harley (“King of the Clams”).

Another fun summer show from the archives is our Ice Cream & Lemonade Stands Episode.  Songs by artists like Telephone Company (“I-C-E C-R-E-A-M”), Michael Hearst (“Ice Cream!”), Gunnar Madsen (“Selling Lemonade”),  Ralph Covert (“Happy Lemons”) and Peter Himmelman (“Lemonade Stand”) are strung together giving us a show that celebrates these cool and refreshing summer treats.

Another fun show for all those budding entomologist is our Insects & Spiders Episode. Steve Weeks “Yellowjacket,” Joe McDermott “Spider Magic,” The Harmonica Pocket’s “Firefly” are just a few songs we feature on insects and spiders (and frogs & toads too!).

Check our archives for fun shows & guest DJs too!

8 Featured Music CDs for Your Summer Family Road Trip

Summer Roadtrip Music

Listeners to Hilltown Families’ weekly radio show/podcast Hilltown Family Variety Show (HFVS) know all too well about the great independent kids musicians we’ve featured on the show over the past five years.  For this summer we’re reviewing a collection of CD’s to entertain the family while traveling in the car to far off beaches, or your favorite swimming hole here in Western MA, featuring several musicians who have also been our guest DJs.

While not an exhaustive list of the great music recently released or coming out this summer, here are 8 great CDs your family can enjoy this summer:

Alison Faith Levy ♦ World of Wonder

Alison Faith Levy, formerly “Sippy Alison” from the kindie band, The Sippy Cups, has released her debut album this spring, World of Wonder.  In early May this year, Alison guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show, putting together an excellent show about all things weather, including two cuts from this new album, “I Love the Rain” and “Eye of the Tornado.” Get a taste of the fabulous music off her new CD by listening to the podcast and check out the video we featured of the title track off this fabulous new album.

Recess Monkey ♦ In Tents

Load up the car pretend the family is running away to the circus with Recess Monkey’s newest CD, In Tents. This circus inspired CD brings in the voices of stellar guest musicians who have guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show over the years, including Dean Jones and Sugar Free Allstars. And the 32-page story book, illustrated by Western MA’s very own children’s author/illustrator, Jarrett Krosoczka, will entertain the kids in the back seat while heading out on your big adventure. In late June, Jack, Daron and Drew will guest DJ the Hilltown Family Variety Show again this summer. Check back on June 23rd for the podcast and a peak at In Tents.

Orange Sherbet ♦ Delicious!

Delicious! celebrates the delights of eating seasonal locally grown foods during all seasons of the year.  Orange Sherbet’s songs off of this new album celebrate farmers’ markets, gardening, the four seasons, and rice & beans… among many other celebratory songs about local food and the seasons.  In late March this year Orange Sherbet guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show, spinning tunes off this new album, including “Waffle Day,” “Garden Song,” “Springtime,” and the title track, “Delicious.”  Give the podcast a listen for a taste of this new CD, and check out their featured video.

Hope Harris ♦ Picasso, That’s Who!

Winner of the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award for her previous album, Cousins Jamboree, Hope’s newest CD, Picasso, That’s Who! is a celebration of visual artists from the 19th & 20th century. The CD is a lovely way for families to receive musical mini-lessons in art appreciation. Kids can discover many great artists, including Romare Bearden, Jackson Pollock, Paul Klee, David Hockney, Pablo Picasso, Grandma Moses, Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Claude Money and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Mo Phillips ♦ Monster Suit

The family will love Mo Phillips fiery blend of Americana, soul and blues in his newest CD, Monster Suit, an album filled with music sometimes reminiscent of Western MA musical legends Woody and Arlo Gutherie.  Mo plays classic acoustic rock ‘n’ roll influence by Neil Young and The Rolling Stones, on topics most families can identify with, like bad hair days and surprising facts about ducks.

Maestro Classics ♦ Casey at the Bat

Stephen Simon and Bonnie Ward Simon, the husband-and-wife team behind Maestro Classics, guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show in early March this year, calling their show “Classical Music Comes Alive.”  Listen to the podcast and get the kids excited with their enthusiasm for sharing classical music with families.  Their series of CDs began in 2004 as an outgrowth of their sold-out family concert series at The Kennedy Center with the Washington Chamber Symphony, for which Stephen served as music director and Bonnie as executive director. Casey at the Bat is a CD from the series that families can enjoy together while exploring classical music in similar fashion as the classic Peter and the Wolf.

The Broadway Lullaby Project ♦ Over the Moon

When the littlest one has fallen asleep on your family road trip, or it’s time for driving into the night, Over the Moon, a compilation of lullabies crafted together by a stellar cast of vocalists, Broadway composers, lyricists and producer, will speak eloquently to all listeners in the car. With piano and/or guitar, songs on this CD are about the love between parents and their kids, and the unique ways this love gets expressed.

Katherine Dines ♦ Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta

A pioneer of the “kindie” music genre, Katherine Dines newest CD, Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta, is a collection of her most requested songs over the past twenty years drawn from the eleven CD’s she’s released since 1992. Katherine’s songs tend to find the fun in everyday family life, along with softer inspirational songs. At the end of March this year, Katherine guest DJed the Hilltown Family Variety Show, sharing her life journey in song. The show gives listeners a glimpse into Katherine’s experiences, and features songs from this new album, including “In the Backseat,” “Goosebumps,” and “Imagination.” She also shared the video for her song, “All the Way Around the World,” which you can check out along with the podcast.

 

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