Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spinning Wheel: Joel Caithamer

I first learned about the music of librarian Joel Caithamer through Warren Truitt's Children's Music That Rocks blog with a review of Caithamer's rockabilly album "ACTIVATE!" Truitt asks, "Why isn't this guy more famous?" The first track alone, "Big Bad Wolf," was enough to hook me into buying the whole album. (On a song-mix I've made for my daughter, I've got "Big Bad Wolf" following Laurie Berkner's "Lots of Little Pigs.") You can listen to some song samples here and find links both to "ACTIVATE!" and Caithamer's first album, "What's Happening, Spaceman?" here.

Joel Caithamer works with the Kenton County Public Library in Kentucky. Although he is busy finishing the vocals for his next album, "The Biggest Everything in the World," he was kind enough to take some time to answer a few questions for the Spinning Wheel interview series:

What exactly do you do for a living?
Joel Caithamer: Children’s Services Coordinator

How long have you been working in your chosen profession?
JC: 11 years

What prompted you to perform for children?
JC: I got into children’s services because of the literature. Performing was a natural offshoot since I was presenting story times every week.

Why do you continue to do it?
JC: There is always a new audience with new reactions.

Which performers are your inspirations for your work?
JC: Zak Morgan, AC/DC, Steve Martin

What are some of the things you enjoy doing outside of your profession?
JC: Competing in Scottish Highland Games Heavy Events, Family outings

Was there ever a time when your audience surprised you? What happened?

JC: I was playing a song about underpants at a preschool and little did I know but the teacher had instructed the kids to bring an extra pair of undies to school that day. During the chorus all of the kids pulled out their underpants and put them on their heads. I still get misty-eyed to this day.

What’s in heavy rotation on your stereo/iPod lately?
JC: Hank Williams 3, "Rising Outlaw"

If you could headline a festival with three other performers, who would they be?
JC: Pete Seeger, Jason Ringenberg and Heywood Banks

What’s the song or story that never gets old for you?
JC: Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance (Keith Graves)

The Pivot Questionnaire:

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Joni Mitchell’s Blue album

What turns you off?
Lite Beer

What is your favorite curse word?
[Opted not to answer]

What sound or noise do you love?
My daughter saying "Daddy"

What sound or noise do you hate?
Woofer speakers in cars

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

What profession would you not like to do?
Door to door salesman

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“You can use any Marshall Amp you want. Just stay away from my Mesa Boogie!”


SevenImpossible said...

Now, that was fun to read, and I really want to hear his music. Not to mention I love that Steve Martin as a performer is named as inspiration, and who knew he had such a great web site? Anyway, thanks, and I'm off to hear those samples.

Yes, lite beer. Ick. What's the point?

Jules, 7-Imp

HipWriterMama said...

Cute underpants story. Fun interview!

Warren Truitt said...

Huzzah for Joel! And three "rock on!"s for all Children's Librarians who see the endless creative possibilities that can exist in their children's rooms. We need more folks like Joel who put their all into enriching our kids' lives.