My awareness of and subsequent passion for local music began when I was around 12, but a new compilation album could get your favorite little one started even earlier. Diva Kangaroo is a 13-track album featuring a variety of area performers playing original children’s songs. Put together by The Ceilidh Group, the proceeds from the sales of the exceptional album will go to kids-related charities like the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Cincy Blues Society’s Blues in the Schools program and the Foundation for Ohio River Education. The Ceilidh Group’s first “Little Bird” kids comp, the 24-track Isn’t It a Wonder, also raised funds for children’s charities when it was released in 2008.
The songs are clever and not your usual dumbed-down kids’ music, a testament to the talent involved with the project. The collection features songs from Mike Fair & the Adventurer Seekers, Lenny Hall & Linda Callan, Debra Randall with Jan Diehl (of Bromwell Diehl) and Greg Schaber, Papa Joe Kretschmer, The Jayne Sachs Band, Tim Kelly, Dave Wolfenberger, Dave Hawkins, Prudence Hunt, Jake Speed and the Freddies, Roberta Schultz (of Raison D’etre) and Kyle Meadows.
Saturday at 1 p.m., Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood presents a launch party for Diva Kangaroo. Along with a group of young guest singers, several of the album participants will perform at the event, including Wolfenberger (with Mike Helm and Carrie Smiley), Hawkins, Meadows, Fair, Randall, Hunt, Kretschmer and many others.
More New Local Releases
• Longtime local musician and singer/songwriter Dusty Bryant releases his first album this Saturday in conjunction with a release party at Mayday in Northside. The free show features support from Josh Eagle and The Harvest City and Free Will. Bryant is a young veteran, having played keys with beloved local Roots Rock crew Big In Iowa when he was just 17; since then, he’s played bass with local Punk crew Eighty Sixed and Punk Rock legends Gang Green (alongside his drumming brother, Troy Bryant). Going it alone in 2005, Byant’s debut solo album Wasted Midwestern Town Blues is an impressive collection of rootsy, soulful Americana. Full of well-written songs and an endearing rawness, it shows why Bryant’s nomination in the Singer/Songwriter category at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards a couple years ago was well deserved and why he deserves another one (if not the actual trophy) next time around. (www.dustybryant.com)
• Another long-in-the-works debut album is also set for release Saturday, this one by local foursome Sweet Ray Laurel. Work on the self-titled album — which showcases the band’s crafty Indie/Post Punk sound, featuring strong undercurrents of Reggae, Dub and psychedelia — was started in 2009, but when a key member left, the remaining musicians took some time to refocus, finally completing the release late last year. The band hosts Saturday’s release party at the Southgate House, where they’ll be joined by The Frankl Project, Great Young Hunters and Come Here Watson. (www.sweetraylaurel.com)
• Atlantis Becoming will have copies of its new release, an eponymous six-song EP that perfectly captures the band’s strong brand of powerful, melodic Rock & Roll, available when it opens for Taproot Thursday at Rhino’s in Eastgate. While the band’s music would fit perfectly on any “Active Rock” radio station’s playlist, Atlantis Becoming’s sound is more progressive and less predictable than most harder rockin’ bands infecting the airwaves these days, which helps the it stand out from the crowd. Thursday’s show also features like-minded local bands Livid, Tower of Silence and State Your Cause. (www.myspace.com/atlantisbecoming)