Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jim Gill

For me, Jim Gill's music falls somewhat into the description from my "rules" post where I said that adults don't necessarily have to like a certain kind of kids' music for it to be good kids' music. But it's not that I don't like Jim's music... quite the opposite, I love it... it's more that the nature of it isn't something that I'm likely to listen to on my own in my car, for the sake of the music alone. And for some parents, that might cause them to steer away from Jim's music, and that would be a shame, because it's exactly the kind that kids really love the most... catchy, humorous songs that are highly participatory. Actually, to call Jim's songs merely 'participatory' is almost selling them short... Virtually every song of his includes and invites participation, much moreso than anyone else I've heard.

I think every kids' musician who performs live shows knows that you need to keep kids involved at almost every turn, and so we have to be creative sometimes to find ways to play certain of our songs live and involve the audience. Sometimes that means just clapping or dancing along, and other times there is something more unique involved. But Jim Gill doesn't even have to worry about that, because all of his songs involve participation right from the songs themselves. Listen to songs of his like "Silly Dance Contest", "Face the Fact", "Drumming the House", "Hands are for Clapping" and you'll know exactly what I mean.

Musically, Jim's music is folky and quirky with some Cajun and bluegrass elements, and he talks more than sings his words. It's not something that's likely to appeal to Gen X parents so much, but younger kids will surely love it and have a really great time playing along.

Jim Gill website

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