First, let me just disclose, I am a music mother. I specifically moved into the Williamsport Area School District to raise my sons because of its wonderful, nationally recognized music program.
That said, yes, I listen to a lot of the music that's been created by my son and his band Akron/Family, and just this past year I've added his side project Dana Buoy to my listening rotation.
Now I'm listening to "Lessons Learned," a compilation CD produced by Dylan Rockoff, Maverick Vicars and Jared Mondell as a fundraising project for the Uptown Music Collective, founded by Dave Brumbaugh.
The CD showcases some of the best musical talent in our fair community, youngsters with a passion for music and some pretty damned talented young people at that.
Akron/Family's offering, "Light Emerges," features my son Dana Janssen on vocals and local son Seth Olinsky on guitar, with third member Miles Seaton on bass.
This song has been a favorite of mine since they first came out with it, mostly because it chronicles the experience of one lad growing up in Billtown and a sunny outlook of a wide-eyed child with big hopes and dreams.
"Collecting visions in my brittle head, happy slumber,
The life the life the life, endless summer"
It touches my heart in a very intimate way, as no other song before has done.
I am sure that every parent of an aspiring musician and every parent of an Uptown protege must feel the same way about their children and their songs - and they should! These children work hard at their music, and if they have a passion and a talent, we as a community should nurture them and rally behind them and wish them well, because they are the next generation to put Williamsport on the map.
The CD ranges from Morgan Myles, now living in Nashville, Tenn., with her rich country voice in "How Was Your Day?" to Clyde Frog with "Moving Up North," a slow rocking song that leads nicely into "50 Miles (Demox Mix)" by 44 MAG.
"The Last Song" by Clouds Make Sounds reminds me somewhat of the earlier days of Akron/Family, while "Swerve of Shore to Bend of Bay" by Cuidado goes in a completely different jazzy direction.
I particularly like "Embers" by Maitland - it's clean, expressive and just nice listening.
Also featured are Mal Scoppa and the Tall Tales, another class act from our little town; Glim Dropper; bird(house), Dylan & Maverick; Clawfoot Slumber, Sean Farley, Treehouse and Akron/Family's Seth Olinsky with "Yellin" from his Cy Dune side project.
Yes, Dana and Seth both had side projects this past year. My understanding is that all three members of Akron/Family had agreed to do side projects before coming back together in the studio for the trio's next full CD.
I really enjoy Seth's Cy Dune work, much as I have fallen for Dana's Dana Buoy pop music, which should come as no surprise, as that's what mothers do.
Still, I cannot wait to hear what Akron/Family is cooking up next. They've been working on their next CD, to come out next year, and I need my new music fix.
Until that day, though, I thoroughly am enjoying this CD of the Uptown Music Collective. Overall, kids, this mother says "Good work!"
Now go out and break a lot of legs!
"Lessons Learned," a compilation CD of Uptown Music Collective alumni and present students, contains tracks donated by former students, many of whom were part of the founding of the school in 2000. The CD is on sale at the school and at Uptown Music Collective events. All proceeds go to the Uptown Music Collective's General Fund, which supports programs and students in need. For more information, visit www.uptownmusic.org.