Locally Produced Family CD to Benefit Haiti

Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti
Locally Produced by Spare the Rock Records

Hilltown Families friends Bill Childs and Dean Jones have joined forces to produce "Many Hands," a locally produced CD of family music to benefit the Haitian People’s Support Project. This forthcoming CD will feature new music from Dan Zanes, Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Mitchell, They Might Be Giants and many more. National release date: Aug. 10th, 2010.

With a national release on August 10th, Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti is the first release from Spare the Rock Records, based out of Western MA.  This unique collection of songs is filled with uplifting messages from some of today’s very best family musicians.

After the January 12th, 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of the Haitian capital, family musician Dean Jones (Dog on Fleas) found himself feeling helpless and desperately wanting to help the people of Haiti. Having close friends in Haiti and feeling a deep love and respect for the music from the region, Jones felt the need to create something that could help the ongoing rebuilding effort.

The idea for Many Hands came to him in the middle of the night and the very next day several of his fellow family musicians signed on. “When I had the idea for the ‘Many Hands’ CD, I knew without a doubt that I could count on the big-hearted kindie community.” said Jones. “The generosity and the amazing work of all the musicians and everyone involved definitely exceeded my initial expectations.”

Almost all of the tracks on the album are previously unreleased, most of them recorded especially for this release. The gathering of artists featured here is a strong assortment of the unique and special talents creating and performing for today’s all ages audiences, from the legendary Pete Seeger to family hip-hop star Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. In addition, everyone involved in the process of getting this album out into the world from replication to distribution has also either drastically discounted or donated their services. Proceeds from this release will benefit the Haitian People’s Support Project and their long-standing work to help the people of Haiti.

Many Hands will be released as the debut album of Spare the Rock Records founded by kindie rock connoisseur Bill Childs. “After speaking with Dean it was immediately obvious to me that this would be a great record, and, just as importantly, that it would have the potential to help keep people’s attention on the ongoing recovery of Haiti,” recalls Childs on how the partnership came to fruition. “Dean asked for some help reaching out to a few artists, and that just naturally flowed into my helping the record get a wider release; ultimately, that meant starting a label.” Childs produces, with his kids, the weekly radio show Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child which airs every Saturday on 103.3FM Valley Free Radio from 7-9am, and 93.9FM The River from 8-10am. Bill also writes about kids’ music for Hilltown Families and various parenting magazines,  has produced numerous kids’ concerts and is the co founder of KindieFest, the family music conference.

Musicians include on the CD include: Dan Zanes, Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Mitchell, They Might be Giants, Gustafer YellowgoldCaspar Babypants, Frances England, Dog on Fleas, Lunch Money, Baby Gramps, Recess Monkey, The Deedle Deedle Dees, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem, Bonga and the Vodou Drums of Haiti, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Jonathan Coulton, Uncle Rock, Grenadilla, Dean Jones, Emily Curtis, Randy Kaplan, and Jerrice Baptiste. – CD release shows are planned on both coasts, with details available at ManyHandsCD.com.

Spare the Rock on The River

Indie Music for Indie Kids Now on 93.9 The River
By HF Contributing Writer, Bill Childs

Starting this Saturday, February 9, our long-standing radio show (over 100 episodes!) “Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child,” will be airing on The River (93.9 in Northampton and most of the Valley and at least some of the Hilltowns, 101.5 in Brattleboro). We’ll be on from 7 to 9 AM every Saturday on the River; we’ll also still be aired on Valley Free Radio (103.3 in Northampton and immediate environs). Both stations stream (http://wrsi.com for the River, http://valleyfreeradio.org for VFR), and on-demand streams of the show are available at http://sparetherock.com.

We’re very excited about the move. The folks at the River have been terrific – many of them have kids themselves – and the show will be essentially the same, though we’ll now be pre-recording. (This week’s show, which is sort of a soft launch, has a bit less conversation than usual, but that was due to nerves, not an intentional change.) We’ll keep having terrific musicians on the show, we’ll keep playing all sorts of kid-appropriate music, and we’ll keep bringing shows to the area. Just now, we can get even broader exposure for all the great artists!
So if you’re out and about and wanting to hear some great music for kids on Saturday mornings, you’ve now got an option farther out of town.

-Bill, Ella, & Sometimes Liam

ABOUT THE AUTHORBill Childs & Ella Bill teaches law school by day in Springfield, MA. With his kids, he produces a radio show for kids, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, on Valley Free Radio (103.3FM in Northampton) on Saturday mornings from 8am to 10am and online at www.sparetherock.com. He’s also a columnist for regional parenting magazines, covers music for Parenting magazine, and is a bi-monthly contributing writer to Hilltown Families. Contact him at show@sparetherock.com.

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