Music Reviews
5:35 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Troubadour Radio: 'Jam Band' Releases A New Album For Kids

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Los Angeles duo, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jazz Band, is a kids' music act with a prestigious reputation. They've won plenty of praise from the critics and they were the first Americans to win a Latin Grammy in the Children's Album category. Our kids' music reviewer Stefan Shepherd says their latest album comes in the form of a radio variety show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEFAN SHEPHERD, BYLINE: Lucky Diaz is a troubadour from Los Angeles. Alicia Gaddis, his wife and partner is his Family Jam Band, is a comedienne and author. Together they share a fondness for catchy pop songs and silly words such as "Thingamajig."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LUCKY DIAZ: (Singing) He couldn't help but say it's a thingamajig, a whatchamacallit, thingamajig, a whatchamacallit, thingamajig, I don't remember what it is. It's a thingamajig, a whatchamacallit, thingamajig, a whatchamacallit...

SHEPHERD: That's from their fifth album "Lishy Lou and Lucky Too," on which the duo brings a playful attitude to the foreground. The album, structured around the Lishy and Lucky radio show is set in the time of transition to TV so it's filled with corny jokes and sketches.

DIAZ: Hey, Lishy, how are you?

ALICIA GADDIS: I'm great, Lucky. I learned a new joke.

DIAZ: Let's hear it.

GADDIS: Did you know that your shoes have a favorite unit of measurement?

DIAZ: No, I didn't. What's their favorite unit of measurement?

GADDIS: Feet.

SHEPHERD: But to my ears, the true stars are songs like "Duck Ellington," that burst with energy.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DIAZ: (Singing) Hey diddle, diddle, the pig with the fiddle looking for something pretty. Hey diddle, diddle, the pig with the fiddle looking for pumpkin pie. Hey Jack Sprat, don't you skedaddle (unintelligible). Little Jack Horner get out of the corner, you got the (unintelligible). Join the (unintelligible)

SHEPHERD: Set aside the sad puns and the canned radio laughter of the sketches. At its heart, this is an album celebrating people like Jackie Robinson and Amelia Earhart who worked hard and took risks chasing their dreams.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DIAZ: (Singing) A passenger train, just you, just a train to ride (unintelligible) in the sky. Amelia...

SHEPHERD: Diaz and Gaddis have been flying especially high themselves lately, attempting to scale even greater heights. Dreaming big is scary, but this couple has shown they're not afraid to reinvent their sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DIAZ: (Singing) When I grow up, when I grow up, when I grow, when I grow up, when I grow, when I grow, when I grow up.

BLOCK: Stefan Shepherd reviewed "Lishy Lou and Lucky Too" by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. Stefan writes about kids' music at Zoogloggle.com. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.