See (and Hear) Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band

You don’t need a college education to make pleasurable, amusing children’s music, but it helps in the case of Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band. Humor and children’s music are an uneasy mix. It’s fairly common to hear performers talking down to kids, which aggravates parents and turns off their target audience. But when it’s done correctly, such as on Louis and Dan’s new collection, Smorgasbord, the results are laugh-out-loud funny.
‘Smorgasbord’ from Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band

College professors (and neighbors) Louis and Dan spent their pandemic year polishing eight new tunes that run the gamut from amassing all holidays under one umbrella (“Happy Day!”) to the astounding number of musicians that hail from their base—Minneapolis—without mentioning the most famous of them all (“Minneapolis, the Musical City”). The diversity of related and unrelated clan members is their topic on “What Is a Family?” featuring vocals from local folk musician Helen Forsythe. Louis’s globetrotting mother, Joy, inspired the travelogue tune, “Joy to the World.” There is also the most specific rap-oriented deconstruction of financial advice, “Mind Your Money,” with lyrics along these lines:

At any age, you can save a small amount.
Just make your folks open up a joint account.
Save a dime a day for a year
That’s baller. You’re saving $36 dollars (holler)!

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Parents who have followed children’s music for any length of time are accustomed to lullabies closing out the CDs. “I’ll Take Myself to Bed” is a deceptively drowsy entry sung from the perspective of a kid reminding his folks that one day he won’t require their help doing evening wind-down activities. The literal definition of a smorgasbord is “variety.” As promised, Louis & Dan convey a convoy of comedic proportions with their latest, Smorgasbord.

Smorgasbord is available from the Invisible Band’s websiteAmazonSpotify, and Apple Music.

Here is the video for the band’s song, “Minneapolis, the Musical City”:

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This post was last modified on October 22, 2021 8:02 am

Jeffrey Cohen

Born and raised in New York (with a brief sojourn in New Jersey during his preteen years), Jeffrey Cohen lives in New York with his two sons. He has reviewed children's music for the past 14 years on his own blog. Jeff's podcast, "MrJeff2000 Explains It All" is available through iTunes.

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