Sometime after I interviewed librarian and performer Joel Caithamer for this blog, Joel kindly sent me a copy of his new album, The Biggest Everything in the World.* While it’s easy to fall back onto the usual comparisons with Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, there’s no denying that infectious rockabilly sound. Whether the songs are about midnight munchies (“Chicken Sandwich”) or changing into a robot (“Feeling Science Fiction”) Joel Caithamer’s lyrics have child-appeal served up with lots of electric guitar and backbeat. My favorite songs are "Strange Foodstuff" and the punchy “Mekong Catfish”:
Lost an eye in a fight with a cousin from Japan
Got a fishing hook collection and a mug to beat the band
Someone grabbed his tail on a tourist expedition
But he tipped the pontoon over when he made a split decision
It's pure coincidence that the last song, "Under the Bed," was released the same year as "Under My Bed," by Recess Monkey. They are two very different songs (both good!) employing one of the enduring themes of childhood.** As Eric Herman pointed out to me last summer, how many different musicians have sung about "ants in your pants?"
Here is the link to listen to song snippets at CDBaby: The Biggest Everything in the World
I’ve decided that a double-billed concert of Joel Caithamer and Johnny Bregar is definitely on my wish-list. Then again, I’d like to see an entire weekend festival concert series made up of really good but not overly-famous performers for children. Does anyone have any ideas of what to call this festival? Please exclude the prefixes/suffixes “Fest” “Looza” and “Stock” from your answers. (Yes, I know I just ruined someone’s fun.)
*Disclaimer: I only review CDs I like.
**Unfortunately, it's also a continual theme of adulthood, what with those scary, scary dust-bunnies and wretched "presents" the cats leave behind.