Monday, June 20, 2016

Music Minute: The Hollow Trees - Hello Friend

Los Angeles-based band The Hollow Trees will release their fourth album of upbeat, top-tapping folk music for families, Hello Friend, on July 1. I had a chance to review this fun release. The songs are definitely fun for the whole family. They blend a variety of American styles, primarily folk and bluegrass, with a little bit of country, blues, and jazz thrown in. The songs include familiar old-time hits like She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain, a jug band/rap based on a Shel Silverstein poem (one of my favorite poets for kids), and quite a few original songs. The songs are easy for kids to pick up on and sing, but also include some witty wordplay for parents to enjoy. The fun ukulele sound on one track, the song about tacos on another, and cute little story songs about ants in my pants and fleas on the dog, make the album enjoyable for any time of day.

From his college years onward, Greg McIlvaine played folk and country music, and there was even a period of time when he produced weekly Sunday hootenannies. When he became a dad, however, these congenial diversions took a back seat to parental responsibilities until a confluence of events in 2004 led to the creation of The Hollow Trees. When his first son was eighteen months old, Greg chanced upon a used Burl Ives CD for children and fell under its spell. Around this same time, Greg heard a Dan Zanes record at a children's play date and was surprised to learn it was catalogued as a kids' music album. Finally, and most importantly, Greg was asked by a friend to perform at his twins' first birthday party. A good time was had by all, the children responded enthusiastically, and Greg had an epiphany  He was born to perform for kids and families.

Previous albums by The Hollow Trees include Wacky's Tackle (2010), Welcome to Nelsonville (2008), and the Hollow Trees (2005).

Hello Friend will be available at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, The Green Bean in L.A.'s Eagle Rock neighborhood, Grow Kid Grow in L.A.'s Silver Lake neighborhood, and at all Hollow Trees shows.
The Hollow Trees
Performance Highlights - June - August 2016

June 21 - The Americana at Brand, Glendale, CA
June 26 - McCabe's Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA
August 7 - Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga, CA

the The Hollow Trees' website HERE.
  The Hollow Trees on Facebook

  The Hollow Trees on Twitter

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