Latin Grammy winners the Lucky Band are back with new music for Generation C. What is that, you may well ask? You’ve heard of Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Z. But did you know that your kids are part of the next round – with the “C” originally slated for things such as creation, curation, connection, and community. With the advent of COVID, they will be known for coming of age during the modern pandemic. “Generation C” is also the first song on Crayon Kids, the new collection from the Lucky Band.
Post-coronavirus life and a return to normalcy are the key themes of Crayon Kids. We can’t ignore that remote education happened (and virtually killed the concept of “snow days” in the northeast). Kids should get back to enjoying their childhoods, and the Lucky Band is on the case, with songs like “Sabado,” a ska tune about weekend activities and “Dinomite,” about a dinosaur from out of space (shades of “Eep Opp Ork Aah Ahh”).
Between the pandemic and social unrest (bandleader Diaz found himself unhappily involved in a police incident), the band managed to produce an exceptionally life-affirming album. Distances melted away via Zoom as frequent collaborator Michael Farkas (based in New York’s Hudson Valley) helped craft the arrangements for Crayon Kids.
The band covers a lot of ground in only nine tracks. Diaz and frontwoman Alisha Gaddis sing groovy harmony on “Dedos (Fingers),” a Spanish Dick Dale/twanging surf guitar tune. The frisky jive “Hey You!” finds Diaz prepping to eat his weight in snacks and junk food. The title track refers to city kids (of all crayon colors) as they traverse their surroundings with the familiarity of people many times their age, as Diaz channels a family-friendly bilingual Lou Reed. The SoCal soft rock ballad, “Better Together” closes the album with San Francisco’s Frances England guesting with her trademark laidback vocals.
There’s a spate of bilingual children’s recording artists doing their best to integrate audiences from coast to coast. The Lucky Band and Twinkle on the West Coast are proponents of this (not new) movement. With Crayon Kids, the Lucky Band welcomes youngsters back into the larger world with a dance beat and hooks that don’t stop. Diaz enthusiastically shows plenty of reasons to venerate his generation.
Here is a video for the song “Dinomite”: