Feeling Good

Mr. Dave

Mr. Dave Music, 2017


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Finally, a child-friendly musician for the aging punk parents whose tastes have expanded but who still long for a smattering of their youth in song.

Not so surprisingly, Chicago's Dave Hamilton – also known as Mr. Dave – spent much of his formative years playing in 56 Hope Road, a funk and jam band that played with the likes of Verve Pipe, Dave Matthews, and Stevie Wonder while releasing four albums. Now devoting his life entirely to youngsters, Mr. Dave is not only a teacher but opened a children's music studio in his hometown, where the 10 tracks on his fourth kids' album were fleshed out.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

While there isn't a dud on the album, standouts include the title track, “Feeling Good,” an acoustic strummer about all of life's pleasantries, from feeding animals to tea parties, and even features a whistle solo; “Bamboo The Bear,” a catchy, upbeat, bouncy story that sounds almost like a quirky Elvis Costello; and the funky and educational “Street Smarts,” which discusses protocols for the youngsters walking through intersections with some clever rapping and spacey sounds, too. 

Mr. Dave sure does span the spectrum here. For instance, “I Will Share” is a calm, piano song, while other songs here, like “Two Wheels,” are surf rock along the lines of The Beach Boys. Elsewhere Mr. Dave gets closer to New Wave with the '80s-esque “Captain Brown Beard,” while “Song In All Of Us” is a folk song in the vein of Bob Dylan but also something you could dance to.

Though it's unlikely that he's seeking out any mainstream attention, the most modern moments on this disc are the electro-pop and beat friendly “Pelican Kid,” which could soundtrack any club packed with those who are barely drinking age, and the wispy, orchestral indie rock of “Questions.”

Dave Hamilton has reportedly recently become aware that he was destined to write kids' music, which is fantastic because he has a knack for it, and his ability to channel his own influences keeps the parents interested, too.

Rating: B+

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© 2017 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mr. Dave Music, and is used for informational purposes only.