"Will you enjoy yourself? It's a shore thing," says Mr. Jeff 2000, children's music critic, about this beachy new family rock album. mrjeff2000.blogspot.com/2016/04/jungle-gym-jam-checks-in-with-lollipop.html
Jason and Amy Didner have enjoyed their summer ritual of driving to the Jersey Shore with the music of Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and more sun-drenched summer rock-n-roll playing on the car stereo for almost as long as they’ve been together. Now with the help of their band, the Jungle Gym Jam, they’ve assembled the sounds and memories they love the most into a new album, Lollipop Motel — a rollicking soundtrack for your summer beach vacation with the family.
***50% of digital download proceeds and 10% of physical CD sales proceeds will go to 5-year-old heart patient Xavier Ross through June 30, 2016 ***
The sound is often quite faithful to the E Street band, right down to the bells, saxophones, piano and organ combining to conjure up scenes of the amusement pier on the boardwalk, as on tunes like “Little Yellow Plane,” “Summertime Santa” and “Jersey Dinosaurs.” Jason is equally happy calling on a horn-infused sunny ska vibe to invite the listener to a “Day at the Beach” or dialing up a big 70s hard rock tone for his duet of “The Ultimate Frisbee” with kindie glam-rocker Ron “Polka Dot” Albanese.
The legends of 70s and 80s rock and pop are not the only musical influences that inspired Jason and Amy on this album. Having immersed themselves in the world of “kindie” music (independent music for kids and families) for the past three years, Jason and Amy were encouraged to go big on lyrical wit and respect kids’ abilities to engage with their sense of humor by the stunning powerpop songwriting triumphs of Justin Roberts, Joanie Leeds and The Not Its. You’ll hear this kind of humor come through on tracks like “Jam Packed,” an ode to the harrowing experience of packing for the family trip.
The record ends with an exclamation point with Jason’s spirited duet with golden-voiced kindie songstress Suzi Shelton on their version of “Free to Be…You and Me.” Dearborn, Michigan DJ Phil Maq (WHFR-FM) had this to say about the closing track: “A super sized arrangement! It includes many musical elements–too many to count here, but you might want to make sure that your kitchen sink is still attached! It all works, so check out the boisterously happy ‘Free to Be…You and Me!’”
The subject matter that fueled the inspiration for the album was the family tradition of staying at the Lollipop Motel in North Wildwood, NJ, an historic motel that was part of Wildwood’s “Doo-wop” motel scene since it was first opened in 1961. “Before our first-ever stay at the hotel, we were looking at pictures of hotels on the iPad and our then-three-year-old daughter giggled at the image of the neon sign depicting kids’ faces as lollipops and all the colorful doors to the rooms surrounding the pool,” Jason said. “When we actually arrived at the real place, Holly’s stunned reaction was what I would have expected upon first arrival to Disney World. It was a stunning moment that led to writing the title track, a theme I felt could carry the album.”
Jason and Amy teamed up with producer Marc "Baze" Bazerman, a kindie musician in his own right, who gave the album a great deal of presence and clarity. "Marc and I took on a 'No regrets' policy with this album. Since we know it's a permanent record of our work, we wanted to make sure that it's 100% satisfying to listen to from beginning to end, whether you're 2 years old or 42 years old," said Jason. "When I listen to this album all the way through, I feel we've achieved that."
Lollipop Motel is the Jungle Gym Jam’s second album, a follow-up to their Parents’ Choice-approved Everyone’s Invited! which peaked at #2 on the CD Baby children’s music chart and was named Editor’s Pick by the online music distributor.
Jason, Amy and band are set to travel through the mid-Atlantic states from New York to Virginia through the spring and summer in support of Lollipop Motel.