Joel Caithamer | ACTIVATE!

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United States - Ohio

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Kids/Family: Children's Pop Kids/Family: General Children's Music Moods: Mood: Fun
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by Joel Caithamer

Singer-songwriter/children's librarian Joel Caithamer lets loose an electric ten track CD sure to please the inner rocker and R&B cravings of all ages.
Genre: Kids/Family: Children's Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Big Bad Wolf
2:37 $0.99
2. Bobby's Been Bad But Wanda's Been Worse
3:10 $0.99
3. Cattin' All Night
2:51 $0.99
4. Master of Disguises
3:12 $0.99
5. Daredevil of Butte
3:53 $0.99
6. Dewey
3:38 $0.99
7. Thistle of My Heart
3:14 $0.99
8. Pancakes All Around
3:40 $0.99
9. Sock Monkey Man
3:35 $0.99
10. Every Last One
3:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A children's librarian by profession, Joel Caithamer is entertaining kids across the country by releasing CDs filled with original tunes that are fun and catchy, yet sophisticated and often poignant. Adults will enjoy his music just as much as the younger crowd.

Following the acclaimed 2004 release What's Happening, Spaceman?, ACTIVATE! showcases a variety of dynamite musical styles and instruments - from the heartfelt power ballad "Thistle of My Heart" to the blistering Zeppelinesque harmonica riffs on the rompin', stompin', call-Nanny-911-inducin' scenarios of "Bobby's Been Bad But Wanda's Been Worse".

More hooks than a bait and tackle shop!



to write a review

Alkelda the Gleeful

"Activate!" has a backbeat (you can't lose it)
Nothing raises my ire like seeing a music review that says something akin to, "The music is not that great, but it's for kids, so it doesn't matter." Songs for children should be music the whole family can enjoy. "Activate!" fits the bill, especially if your family is partial to rock and roll with good bass rhythms.

Need some rockabilly? Then ACTIVATE!
Why isn't this guy more famous? I mean, he's got the rockabilly sound down pat, he sings about big bad wolves and Evel Knievel, and he's incredibly busy in his own library ... check out Joel Caithamer's ACTIVATE! and get ready to rock the town!

The album opens with an upright bass-slappin' song where ol' wolfie admits that, yes, I am a "Big Bad Wolf", but I'm not that bad. Then we find out that "Bobby's Been Bad but Wanda's Been Worse", after an overdriven harmonica solo blasts out of the speakers and a babysitter's worst nighmare is described. Kitty's been out "Cattin' All Night", complete with a film noir soundtrack, including a finger-snapping 5/4 break. A spooky tune describes A Series of Unfortunate Events' "Master of Disguises", the evil Count Olaf ... but then Joel cranks up the volume again with a bio of Evel Knievel, a librarian's musical explanation of the Dewey Decimal System that would make Sun Records proud, and a rock and roll ode to a vine full of briars. The rock continues with a "Taxman"-like tune about Sunday morning pancakes; a jazzy story of the life of a sock monkey, featuring a very singalongable 5/4 chorus; and the album ending, organ-heavy tune dedicated to stubborn eaters.

ACTIVATE! goes way beyond gimmicky kitsch: Caithamer's songwriting skills, his band's stellar musicianship, and the wholehearted effort he put into this project show that he's serious about the fun he's having. Get ACTIVATE! and, as Joel himself said, "Play loud!". You'll find out why he should be more famous.

Mike Breen - CityBeat

A rollicking, stray-cat-struttin' collection of greasy kid's stuff
A rollicking, stray-cat-struttin' collection of greasy kid's stuff that could pass as a legit vintage Rock & Roll/Rockabilly album if it weren't for the child-friendly storytelling. If Sun Records had become known for pumping out children's music instead of Rock & Roll, this could have been its flagship release and Caithamer would be its Elvis.


NOT your average, drive-you-crazy kid CD!
The lyrics are quite funny -- entertaining! The music itself good for the ears! They're songs the kids (young and older) and parents can both enjoy listening too. Every morning I'm asked to play one of the CDs during breakfast.

Publishers Weekly

Strong musicianship throughout adds color and depth here.
Kentucky children's librarian Caithamer jams out in rockabilly style with his guitar and deep, friendly singing voice on this collection of 10 original songs. Strong musicianship throughout (harmonica, drums) adds color and depth here.

School Library Journal

A wonderful album for the whole family
Ohio children's librarian Joel Caithamer plays a mean guitar on these 10 original songs, joined by talented musicians on bass guitar, drums, percussion, keyboards, harmonica, and trumpet. He sings in a wonderfully deep voice in hard rock, boogie woogie, folk ballad, and country musical styles. . .a wonderful album for the whole family.


My 3 year old loves this!!
My 3 year old daughter, Claudia, loves this CD so much that it has replaced her Little Mermaid soundtrack as her favorite. She listens to it every night as she goes to sleep. We hear her singing along and giggling (maybe not the best to get her to sleep, but she's happy!). Best of all, my husband and I enjoy it, too. The songs are so funny because they are so true! Big Bad Wolf is one of those songs that sticks in your head, but not in an annoying Barney sort of way. This is music that you can enjoy with your child. We love it!

School Library Journal

12 Kid's Albums You Can't Live Without
Children's music has never sounded better, and I've compiled a list of 12 albums you can't live without—and another dozen that are too good to keep to myself. To hear some of my favorite tunes, visit SLJ's Web site and click on "Podcasts."

"Caithamer's rockabilly songs are covered with blue suede and pompadour gel, but they're not gimmicky twang. His band rocks sincerely and with gusto, churning out a performance that would have made Sun Records' founder Sam Phillips proud.

The fact that this northern Kentucky children's librarian works with kids is definitely a plus—and you can hear it in these tyke-appealing tunes about the not-so-bad Big Bad Wolf, Evel Knievel, the Dewey decimal system, and Lemony Snicket's Count Olaf. This album is an example of a grown-up making rockin' music for children without dumbing it down or compromising his approach. Just check out the raging harmonica solo that kicks off "Bobby's Been Bad but Wanda's Been Worse," the rock 'n' roll beat of "Daredevil of Butte," and the "Taxman"-like "Pancakes All Around." Great stuff from a very busy librarian."