What is it
If you ever wanted to hear the band The Presidents of the United States of America play Beatles covers and nursery rhymes, then have I got the band for you.
Chris Ballew, the lead singer and basitarist of P.U.S.A. has a side gig as Caspar Babypants and has put out eleven albums under that name.
Who is it for
Most of the songs are simple (covers such as the Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme, or Beatles tunes such as Hello Goodbye) and a few of the originals are slightly more complex, but all have a very professional arrangement and production. So, while kids of various ages may like the songs, older kids and adults can appreciate the musicianship.
What Kids Like
We discovered Caspar Babypants on WXPN’s nightly kids’ music show, Kids Corner where the host, Kathy O’Connell, played Caspar Babypants’ Crooked Crows. My kids became transfixed and asked to play the song over and over on youtube when we got home.
They like the simple, kid-friendly lyrics, but also like that the songs don’t sound like typical kid songs, which usually have very spare arrangement.
What Parents Like
I like that there is music for kids that I can actually enjoy, rather than merely endure.
What the Critics Think
Caspar Babypants was nominated for a Grammy in 2019 and got a PEPS award in 2016
Who Made it
Chris Ballew has led an interesting and enviable life (more on his Wikipedia page)
Fatherly has an article titled How Presidents of the United States’ Chris Ballew Became Caspar Babypants
He is married to artist Kate Endle
From the Caspar Babypants Wikipedia page:
Ballew’s first brush with children’s music came in 2002, when he recorded and donated an album of traditional children’s songs to the nonprofit Program for Early Parent Support titled “PEPS Sing A Long!” Although that was a positive experience for him, he did not consider making music for families until he met his wife, collage artist Kate Endle. Her art inspired Ballew to consider making music that “sounded like her art looked” as he has said. Ballew began writing original songs and digging up nursery rhymes and folk songs in the public domain to interpret and make his own. The first album, Here I Am!, was recorded during the summer of 2008 and released in February 2009.
Where Can I Get it
Caspar Babypants has a YouTube channel and is available on Spotify and other streaming services.