The Okee Dokee Brothers Tops This Year’s Phil’s Picks Best New Family Music Albums List

Courtesy: Okee Dokee Music

Family music entertainers have, like acts in every other genre across the music universe, been adversely impacted this year by the global COVID-19 pandemic.  Their live plans have been put on hold for the foreseeable future.  In the same vein, while the pandemic has put a (hopefully) temporary hold on live music, it has not prevented acts within the realm to release new albums.  That means that a list of the year’s top new Family Music albums is just as qualified as that for any other genre.  This year’s list of top new Family Music albums features new titles from some of the most well-known names within the realm, including but not limited to this year’s list topper The Okee Dokee Brothers, Paul Winter, and Justin Roberts.  It also features some younger acts, such as Roger Day, Greg Lato, and Lindsay Munroe.  Between them and others, this year produced many enjoyable albums within the Family Music world. 

The list of this year’s best new records, offers the Top 10 new albums in the genre and five honorable mention titles, for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Family Music Albums.


  1. The Okee Dokee Brothers – Songs For Singin’
  2. Alastair Mook & Friends – Be A Pain: An Album For Youn (And Old) Leaders
  3. Justin Roberts – Wild Life
  4. Red Yarn – Backyard Bop
  5. David Gibb & Brady Rymer – Songs Across The Pond
  6. Paul Winter – Light of the Sun
  7. Flor Bromley – Fiesta Global
  8. Lindsay Munroe – I Am Kind
  9. Joanie Leeds – All The Ladies
  10. 123 Andres – Hola Amigo
  11. Rolie Polie Guacamole – Avocado
  12. Roger Day – Invincible
  13. Sara Lovell – Night Life
  14. Greg Lato – Create My Own World
  15. Ants Ants Ants – Colors All Around

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the list of 2020’s Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana Albums.  Stay tuned for that.

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‘Avocado’ Is Another “Tasty” Musical Treat For The Whole Family From Rolie Polie Guacamole

RPG Records

Family music entertainment act Rolie Polie Guacamole is scheduled to release its latest full-length studio recording Friday.  The duo’s new album Avocado will come less than three years after the release of its latest album Houses of the Moly.  The 13-song record is an enjoyable new offering from the duo – Frank Gallo and Andrew Tuzhilin – that listeners of all ages will appreciate.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s lyrical themes also play into its appeal, and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  All three noted items are key in themselves to the whole of Avocado.  All things considered, they make this latest offering from Rolie Polie Guacamole one more of this year’s top new family music albums.

The avocado, for those who might not know, is a very healthy food.  Avocados provide antioxidants, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals.  They’re also really good on burgers and with chicken.  Now while Rolie Polie Guacamole’s new album Avocado might not offer any health benefits, it does offer audiences plenty of entertainment value for everyone.  That is due in part to the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements that make up the album’s body are varied, and will entertain grown-ups just as much as children.  The album’s opener and its companion – which closes out the album – is a folksy sort of arrangement that hints slightly at a Ben Harper influence.  One could also argue that the songs in question have a hint of a country music sort of sound.  ‘Ay Batta Batta,’ the record’s second entry, presents an arrangement that even with its rock elements, also very much conjures thoughts of Devo.  One can also sing in the verses, “Whip it/Whip it real good” nearly precisely.  ‘Basketball Jane’ pays tribute to Sugar Hill Gang and its hit song, ‘Rapper’s Delight.’  ‘Fire Truck’ is an upbeat rock tune that will leave any listener clapping along.  ‘Dancing on the Sun,’ believe it or not, presents an arrangement in is verses, that is comparable to works from punk band Dropkick Murphys.  The overall presentation, meanwhile, lends itself to fellow family entertainment act Josh & The Jamtones’ ‘Bear Hunt’ in the best way possible.  The enjoyment doesn’t stop there.  ‘iScream’ gives audiences a light southern rock vibe through its arrangement, while ‘Sammi the Cat’ conjures thoughts of some of the great singer-songwiter storyteller types, like Pete Seeger.  The only song that will leave listeners scratching their head is the duo’s take of ‘Jungle Bells.’  Yes, for some reason, a winter/holiday-themed song found its way into this record in the form of ‘Jingle Bells.’  It is completely out of place here.  As out of place as it is, it still presents a catchy arrangement that stays true to its source material while also giving the song its own unique identity.  Taking into considering the diversity in the album’s musical content (including the content not directly addressed), the record’s musical arrangements show clearly here why they are so important to the album’s presentation.  They are just one part of what makes the album notable.  The record’s lyrical themes play their own important part to its whole.

The lyrical themes featured throughout Avocado run the gamut.  As noted already, Gallo and Tuzhilin take on the classic ‘Jingle Bells’ in this album.  It’s a song about going for a ride through the snow by way of horse-pulled sleigh.  Again, it is completely out of place here, but is still enjoyable.  ‘Dancing on the Sun’ takes listeners throughout the solar system, from Earth all the way to Pluto.  Yes, Pluto gets respect here.  ‘Pizza Pie’ pays tribute to pizza, one of America’s most beloved foods. ‘Ay Batta Batta’ is a tribute to Amerrica’s pastime.  One can only hope that Major League Baseball will get up and running this year, but that’s a story for another discussion.  ‘Basketball Jane’ meanwhile, is a tribute to basketball that also encourages young women to get involved in the sport.  ‘iScream,’ just by its title hints at a commentary about technology, but the reality is that it is in fact just about ice cream and the love for the sweet, frozen treat.  Who out there doesn’t love ice cream?  Simply put, this is another way in which the diverse lyrical content featured throughout this record proves its own importance.  The very diversity and the fact that the themes are family friendly makes the record even more appealing.  Together with the equally enjoyable musical arrangements, the record’s content makes it well worth hearing at least once.  When the record’s content is considered along with the sequencing of said content, the album becomes that much more enjoyable.

In examining the sequencing of this record, audiences will note that ‘Avocado’ and its refrain bookend the presentation, opening and ending the presentation slowly and casually.  In-between those casual notes, Gallo and Tuzhilin offer audiences balanced energy from beginning to end as well as varied themes.  ‘Ay Batter Batter’ ups the album’s energy and is couple wisely with another sports-themed song in ‘Basketball Jane,’ which is more laid back, but still upbeat in its own right.  ‘Fire Truck’ and ‘Dancing on the Sun’ keep the record’s lyrical themes and energy changing, but still manages to balance everything out and in turn, keep everyone engaged and entertained.  ‘A Quiet Song,’ which effectively serves as the record’s midpoint, is fittingly titled and placed.  That is because it is in fact quiet and relaxed.  It serves as a good way to break up the energy in the record’s sequencing.  The duo gradually picks things back up again eventually as the record makes its way through ‘Aquacafe’ and into ‘Pizza Pie’ and then ‘iScream.’  The record’s energy gradually starts falling again in ‘Persevering Penguins and Pals’ and even more into ‘Sammi The Cat.’  The record’s final burst of energy comes in that aforementioned surprise addition of ‘Jingle Bells.’  Looking back through all of this, what is clear is that the record’s energy rises and falls at all of the right points, and the lyrical themes change just enough from beginning to end.  The end result is that the record ensures audiences’ engagement.  When this is considered along with the album’s content, the result is that the record becomes a musical treat for the ears and mind just as avocados are their own treat for the body.

Rolie Polie Guacamole’s forthcoming album Avocado is another appealing record that is certain to leave its own good taste in listeners’ mouths.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal just as much to grown-ups as to children, as has been pointed out here.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical contents add even more to the record’s appeal.  That is because they are just as accessible for any listener as the record’s musical arrangements.  The sequencing of all of that content puts the finishing touch to the record.  Each item noted is important in its own right.  All things considered, they make Avocado another positive offering from Rolie Polie Guacamole.

More information on this and other recordings from Rolie Polie Guacamole is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Rolie Polie Guacamole Announces Release Date For New LP, ‘Avocado’

RPG Records

Family entertainment act Rolie Polie Guacamole will release its new album next month.

The duo — Frank Gallo and Andrew Tuzhilin — is scheduled to release its new album Avocado June 19 through RPG Records.  The album is the duo’s seventh full-length family music album.

Avocado boasts a wide range of influences throughout its 13-song body beginning with a Beatles-esque work in the album’s title track/opener.  ‘Ay Batta Batta,’ which immediately follows, is a prog-rock style song while ‘Basketball Jane,’ the album’s third song gives audiences an old-school hip-hop vibe.

‘Fire Truck,’ the record’s fourth entry, is an upbeat rock arrangement.  The variety continues on from there, offering audiences plenty of reason to applaud the album.

Avocado was produced by Dean Jones.  He was assisted by fellow famed producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey).

More information on Avocado is available along with all of Rolie Polie Guacamole’s latest news at:






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Kindie Rock Band’s New LP Has Quite A Kick

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Later this month Rolie Polie Guacamole will release its latest full length studio recording. The album, Chips and Salsa, is a great new collection of songs from the veteran kindie rock act. The main reason that it is such a joy for listeners is its variety of lyrical themes. From standard material such as promoting dental hygiene in ‘Always Brush Your Teeth’ to something more outside the box in the simply titled ‘Acai’ to the promotion of America’s museums in (yes, you guessed right) ‘Museum of Natural History’ and more, Chips and Salsa gives listeners quite a wide swatch of material to think about lyrically. That’s just one reason that this independently released children’s album stands out. Its musical content boasts just as much variety. There is a fair share of standard kindie rock spread across the album’s thirteen total tracks. It is just one style that the album–the duo’s fifth–boasts. There is a hint of calypso in ‘Acai.’ The musical styling presented in the trio’s cover of ‘This Land is Your Land’ is another standout sound. It is one more reason that the musical content presented throughout Chips and Salsa makes it such a tasty musical treat for young ears. The sequencing of the album’s songs rounds out the reasons that this record proves itself so enjoyable. Considering the songs’ lyrical and musical content, it is clear that a certain amount of thought was put into even this element. Together with the noted content, all three elements together show Chips & Salsa another enjoyable record from Rolie Polie Guacamole and one that will definitely leave a great taste in listeners’ mouths.

Rolie Polie Guacamole’s latest full-length studio recording Chips & Salsa is another enjoyable recording from the Brooklyn, NY-based kindie rock band and one that is sure to leave a great taste in listeners’ mouths. Get it? Thank you. I’ll be here all week…or longer. Getting back on topic, the main reason that the band’s upcoming full-length studio recording proves so enjoyable is its overall variety of lyrical themes. Throughout the course of the album’s thirteen total tracks, the band covers quite a bit of ground. There is plenty of standard kid friendly fare in the likes of ‘Always Brush Your Teeth,’ ‘Wake Up Shake Up,’ and ‘Apples’ included as part of the record. It’s not all that the band touches on, though. There’s also a silly piece about a praying mantis included in the record in the form of ‘The Mantis’ as well as an equally interesting piece celebrating the Acai berry in the aptly titled ‘Acai.’ There is even a piece that promotes America’s museums in the equally fittingly titled ‘Museum of Natural History.’ At a time when kids are being increasingly made to believe that their cell phones and video games should be the center of their worlds, such a push to get a new generation of children interested in the nation’s houses of history is fully welcome. On a related note, it could be argued that ‘The Mantis’ could serve as the starting point in a discussion/lesson that could get children just as interested in biology and entomology or the study of insects. On another note, a song such as ‘Central Park,’ which touts all the fun things that can be done in New York’s famed greenway could be used as a starting point in a lesson about physical education. And in an age when childhood obesity has become an epidemic, this is especially important. To that extent, it along with the previously noted songs and those not noted serve collectively to show exactly why the lyrical content of Chips & Salsa is so important to its enjoyment and overall success. Keeping that in mind, the lyrical content presented in this record is just one part of what makes it so enjoyable for listeners of all ages. The musical variety presented throughout the record is just as key to its enjoyment as its lyrical variety.

The variety of lyrical themes presented across each of the songs culled for Chips & Salsa are each equally important in their own right in the grand scheme of the album. For all of the importance presented within that variety, the variety of the album’s musical content is just as important to the album’s enjoyment. For the most part, the songs that make up the body of Chips & Salsa present a familiar kindie-rock sound that is commonplace within the world of children’s music. Though, what makes that sound interesting is the variety of that sound within itself. There is a pure, straight forward rock vibe in ‘Central Park’ that is sure to have young listeners on their feet dancing to the music. ‘Hello My Name Is’ offers up more of a laid back, funk-influenced sound. And ‘Acai,’ as noted earlier, presents a clear calypso sound complete with actual steel drums. There’s even a ska-influenced piece in ‘Bird Bellyfull’ and a piece that Jack Johnson fans will enjoy in the album’s closer, the band’s cover of ‘This Land Is Your Land.’ Whether for any of these noted songs or any of the others not directly noted, it can be said that the variety of musical stylings presented throughout Chips & Salsa’s thirteen tracks makes for just as much reason for listeners of all ages to pick up this album as its variety of lyrical themes.

The variety of both the musical content and lyrical themes within Chips & Salsa is an important part of this latest new release from Rolie Polie Guacamole. While both elements are important by themselves and together, they are just part of what makes this album another enjoyable collection from the Brooklyn, NY-based band. The sequencing of the album’s songs is just as important to the album’s enjoyment as the content of the songs that make up the album’s body. The band never sticks to one musical style or overlapping lyrical theme too long. For example, the album’s second, third, and fourth song all have the standard style lyrical themes that are so common among other kindie rock acts. ‘Bird Bellyful on the other hand is anything but. The same applies with Mantis. Yet what is interesting here is that that pair of songs both present that starting point for discussions on biology even at an elementary level. That is then broken up with ‘Acai’ and ‘Hello My Name Is.’ Neither song really goes with the other musically or lyrically. In the same vein, ‘Museum of Natural Science’ doesn’t necessarily link in with the safety lesson presented in ‘Red Light Green Light’ and the pro phys. ed. lesson taught in ‘Central Park. The album’s final two songs–‘Carpenter Paul’ and ‘This Land Is Your Land’–have a tenuous connection at best. And their connection to the album’s other songs is just as slight. Considering all thirteen songs together, it can be said that plenty of thought was put into the sequencing of its songs. The band keeps things fresh from beginning to end, ensuring that listeners will remain engaged the whole time. This consideration coupled with the album’s varied musical stylings and lyrical themes makes Chips & Salsa an impressive new release from Rolie Polie Guacamole and a piece that will leave a good taste in any listener’s mouth so to speak.

The men of Rolie Polie Guacamole may have released their latest full-length studio recording without the backing of any of the major names in the world of children’s music. That aside it still proves over the course of its thirteen songs and thirty-seven minutes to be just as enjoyable as any album released by those acts that are backed by said labels. That is thanks to the combination of the songs’ lyrical and musical variety alongside the smart sequencing of the album’s songs. All things considered this latest effort from Rolie Polie Guacamole is one that is sure to leave a great taste in listeners’ mouth and a great sound in their minds and ears. It will be available Friday, September 25th. More information on this and other recordings from Rolie Polie Guacamole is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:



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