Happy Autism Awareness Month 2019! Ever since we released our 2011 album “Love Me For Who I Am” inspired by the students at Celebrate the Children School, the month of April has always been about shining a light on autism awareness and acceptance.
Ten shows, nine beautiful English towns, 1,800 miles driven, endless cups of tea, a few pints, fish and chips and mushy peas, one attempt at Marmite on toast and many snacks of crisps (chips) and sweets (Maltesers rock!) added up to a memorable UK trip where David Gibb and I shared our uniquely fun, feel-good musical collaboration with audiences of kids and families.
A great big thank you to David and Ellie
for their warm hospitality, vision and hard work to make this tour happen. I loved working with them both.
Ellie crafted magical clouds for the stage and managed our ambitious tour itinerary. She was also in charge of “the pack,” always finding enough room in the car to squeeze in all of our instruments, amps, the clouds and some days, their sweet lil’ kitty, Finn!
Sharing the stage with David was a joy. His songs are enchanting and he’s an ace musician. His charm and kindness made me feel right at home on my first visit to the UK. He and the audiences did have a crack up about me being new to their culture - sampling their beloved foods and learning how to make a proper cup of tea! The milk goes in first, right?
My wife Bridget was able to join us for part of the tour; I loved sharing this experience with her. She also took some beautiful pics along the way.
Cheers to all of the venues, theatre crews and staff, friendly librarians who never failed to greet us with a cup of tea, and Sarah Edmonds for the lovely tour poster and graphics.
Many thanks to Talia Smith for her social media brilliance - sharing this adventure with our US (and new UK) fans as it was happening day to day was a treat.
What a pleasure it was to get to know David and Ellie’s families! Ellie’s mom and dad took in a show, then treated us to a lovely lunch in Farnham. David’s mom welcomed us into her home and cooked up many wonderful meals. I had my first Sunday roast complete with Yorkshire pudding and sticky toffee pudding for dessert!
And finally, a big high-five
to all of the families who came out and supported the tour. So wonderful to meet you and share our songs and stories. We can’t wait to see you again!
David and I had a blast and consider this a very sweet beginning to a new friendship and an unfolding musical adventure. We’ll keep you posted...
Check out two orignial tunes we wrote for the tour!
We love playing schools!
It's great meeting students & teachers and sharing our music in such a fun, super-charged atmosphere. It’s a real rock show with energized kids of all ages, their friends & teachers having fun, moving, grooving, singing & interacting - spirits lifting & flying!
It’s extra-special when schools have time to prepare for the excitement of the concert by listening to the music, getting to know the Lil' Band. Sometimes, classes design colorful signs quoting song lyrics, or they'll get dressed up in their hippest fashions for the show. Maybe they've learned to sing their favorite tunes or rehearsed a funky dance routine. Whatever it is, putting in the extra effort makes it a one-of-a-kind experience for all. In this post, you will find all the resources you need to prepare your class for a Little Band That Could show!
We're so happy to share this video of a recent highlight.
What an inspiring April day at H.C. Johnson Elementary School in Jackson, NJ!
We celebrated Autism Awareness Month 2018 with our Love Me For Who I Am concert, and we were welcomed by an enthusiastic student body! Their extraordinary music teacher taught the students our songs, they prepared creative movements & even had a few surprises for us. The entire school explored the themes of acceptance, difference, love & celebrating all abilities and even made some cool signs: "Different is Beautiful!," "You Are a Rainbow!"
This video is a perfect document of the joy, thrill, love & appreciation we feel when we visit a school and perform our music for such a loving, spirited, attentive & just plain AWESOME audience! Enjoy!
Photos by Ms. Garagiola
ROCK YOUR SCHOOL PLAYLIST on SOUNDCLOUD & Work with our song lesson plans in the classroom!
Check out our school playlist, specifically designed with the songs that we'll be playing at your school. Spend time playing the tunes in the classrooms & get your voices tuned up & your dance moves down! Teachers, you can help your class explore the concepts behind our song with our lesson plans designed with the help of Monica Osgood (Director, Celebrate the Children School) & Stephanie Suter (Fourth Grade Teacher, Southold Elementary School). To book Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could at your school, contact Maura Kelly Magliaro, mkellymagliaro@RVCSchools.org or 516.225.1466
Thanks to ALL the AMAZING schools we visited in 2018! You all rock!
Kossmann Elementary School • H.C. Johnson Elementary School • Crawford-Rodriguez Elementary • Lynbrook Kindergarten Center • Roslyn Heights • Oakwood Primary • Mount Sinai Elementary • Celebrate the Children School • Early Childhood Center at Temple Shaaray Tefila • Ridge Road School • NYC schools participating in The Big Umbrella Festival celebrating Autism Awareness Month at Lincoln Center: PS 176, Richard Hungerford School and Manhattan Star Academy.
I put together a playlist for ya on yer special day.
Tunes I wrote for my kids, with 'em, and ones inspired by my own dad. I threw in some that just have a special dad-ness quality to them & a few more written by my friends.
Hope ya get a bunch of power tools, colorful ties and coupons for naps (my favorite gift!)
Enjoy your day!
Listen on Spotify!
the Little Band That Could's drummer, also plays in Bruce Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions band. He performs in many genres -- including avant-garde Jewish bluegrass. You’re in for a laugh or two with Larry’s #BandMemberMonday!
Q: What is your favorite track on Revvin' Up the Reindeer?
A: It’s really tough to choose but I think my favorites are “Hanukkah Rocks” and “Baby New Year.” A lot of behind-the-scenes creativity went into "Hanukkah Rocks” and the result is festive, exciting and fun. And “Baby New Year” shows off the traditional jazz/New Orleans styles of music that I particularly love - Seth and Bill (Holloman, who played all the horns) really shine on that tune.
Q: What are your favorite Holiday traditions?
A: Well, we have four immediate family birthdays (including mine) the week before Christmas so my favorite holiday tradition is getting through December in one piece.
Q: What do you do when you're not playing with the Little Band That Could?
A: I sit by the door waiting for my next chance to play with the Little Band That Could. (JK)
Actually, I perform and record with a lot of other artists in a wide variety of genres including rhythm and blues, jazz, country, latin, an assortment of world music styles and avant-garde Jewish bluegrass (and no, I’m not JK about that one).
Q: What is it like playing with "The Boss?"
A: Brady? He’s the best! Oh, that other Boss…
The “Seeger Sessions” project was completely different from anything Bruce (or any of the rest of us) had ever done and there was always sort of a manic, flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants energy to our live shows - very unpredictable but incredibly rewarding, especially when we saw how much the audiences loved what we were doing!
Pic 1: Here I think Bruce was looking for help from above because of that scary-looking guy behind him… Pic 2: This pic was taken in a nearly 2,000-year-old arena in Verona, Italy, with Little Band bassist, Jeremy Chatzky, on the left and Marty Rifkin (who also plays on Revvin’ Up The Reindeer) on the right. We were told that our dressing rooms used to be the places where they had once kept gladiators and lions! Pic 3 & 4: Larry on the Seeger Sessions Tour!
Q: Who are your musical inspirations?
A: Oh, so many! The drummers alone could fill a page - Earl Palmer, Steve Gadd, Jack DeJohnette, Buddy Rich, Ringo Starr, Zigaboo Modeliste, Jo Jones, Art Blakey…
My all-time favorite, though? Patrick Star!
Q: What is a surprising or interesting fact about you?
A: I’m (partially) color blind - not sure that’s really all that interesting and people who’ve seen the way I dress don’t find it surprising at all.
Q: What is your best memory with the Little Band That Could?
A: That’s hard to narrow down and I’m not sure that Brady would consider it a wonderful memory, but there was once a concert in Arizona where we had a little mix-up and the drums hadn’t arrived before our scheduled soundcheck. Until almost the very last moment I thought I was going to play the whole concert on a garbage can!
Larry, Seth, Liz, Brady, Claudia & Jeremy, "Press Play" photo shoot. Photo by Randee Doddona