Kidz Town Rock
collaborators and husband-and-wife team Tyler and Vesa Byrnes are, fittingly, all about the kids. Both work with special-needs children and bring this focus to musical fruition in their band’s self-titled debut. The album is marketed as an “educational CD emphasizing social skills for children 3-13,” and is packaged with a list of accolades from people with titles that hold more water than the Hudson. A departure from the current craze of ex-alt-hip rockers making music for kids that may also appeal to parents—or at least those who don’t cause new dads to rip their receding hairlines out in “Bob the Builder” mania—Kidz Town Rock’s raison d’etre is to teach children, and hold their attention by entertaining them. The CD’s 10 songs are upbeat rock, each concentrating on a specific lesson manifested by a repetitive lyric (think “All You Need Is Love”).
The music is easy on the ears, nothing off the beaten path, sort of Monkees-genre rock with a tinge of twang and a hint of half-tempo Ramones. The best song on the album, “Pig on a Farm,” embraces the silly and country with rhythmic harmonica and the sole appearance of Vesa on vocals, with Tyler joining in on a fun chorus. Kidz Town Rock is very much a live band as well, performing regionally at local festivals and children’s venues. The project is in partnership with the Children’s Annex of Kingston and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to benefit children with autism via the National Autism Association.