30 March 2008

OWTK NCAA Kid's Music Tournament - Rebecca Frezza vs. Suzi Shelton

Today we have the final game from The American in Paris Region #1 seed Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck are taking on the 6th seeded Suzi Shelton (try saying that out loud 10 times real fast).
I just couldn't help myself with this pairing..."Special Kind of Day" vs. "No Ordinary Day"...I mean, c'mon that was just screaming to be put together!

After the voting ends on this contest, we will move into the final round which will actually leave just three records (as opposed to a "final four") because, well, I suck at math and I didn't extend out a 12 team tournament ahead of time to realize that ending up with 4 was impossible. Ha! What I will do is throw in one of the non-Final Three records to the lucky winner. While I won't reveal which disc, I can tell you it will be a good one that will surprisingly not advance into the next round.


(1) Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck "Special Kind of Day"
"
Special Kind of Day", Rebecca's fourth album, and is a rousing work that shows what having an eight-piece band (yes, that's right...a kid's band with nine total members...a sort of kiddie Polyphonic Spree or, for my older readers, P-Funk) can do for you. Every artist has a story, but Rebecca's journey to the kiddie rock world is a rather interesting one. She has spent time as both a music teacher and as a "showbiz gypsy", as she puts it, in traveling productions of EVITA and A Chorus Line. Clearly no stranger to the stage it should come as no surprise that her live rock show is an energetic and splashy affair with dancing and theatrics.

"Special Kind of Day" opens with the pleasant sounds of birds chirping then quickly kicks into the terrific ode to the greatest season - Spring. "Come on Out",
along with Justin Roberts' "I Chalk" from "Meltdown!", is one of the finest lead tracks on a kid's album I've heard in a long time and is timed perfectly with this new disc's April 8th release date...just in time for the ducks, squirrels and birds to begin appearing again in our backyards and, deep in the woods, bears to wake up from their long winter slumber.

Rebecca's voice is lovely. She shows off her technically-sound singing style all over "Special Kind of Day" but especially on the tracks such as "Sidewalk Chalk" and "Birthday Song". Many of the cuts feature some real-life white noise at the top which is really cool - not obnoxious like what Bright Eyes does on his records - and pretty unusual in the kid's genre.

"So Nice To Meet You", much like the title track of Brady Rymer's new effort, is screaming to be that all important first song during a live concert. It would shock me if this happy, salutory (yes, I know that is not a real word) tune is not the one Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck kick off their upcoming shows with.

Rebecaa Frezza and Big Truck's "Special Kind of Day" has a clever, seasonal arc to it. As I mentioned, the disc starts with a springtime ode, then it moves through the seasons. Sidewalk chalkin' and carnival fun in the summer, spooky dancin' at Halloween, leaves fallin' in Autumn, ending with a snowy winter. Brilliant composition of a true album in a digital/singles world - I love it.

"Special Kind of Day" is a wonderfully written and well executed record from start to finish. The instrumentation and vocals are mixed perfectly. The flutes are up front and prominent when needed, the backup singer's harmonies are full-bodied and integrated very nicely. It's rare that this kind of technical detail gets mentioned in a review here but this disc is so perfect in that regard that I couldn't not give it precious space here on the digital pages of OWTK.

Sample tracks from this fine album right here.

vs.

(6) Suzi Shelton "No Ordinary Day"
Was there an artistic ordinance to draft songs about road trips this year? First Ellis Paul, then Brady Rymer and now Suzi Shelton...they all have travelin' songs on their new records. How funny. Check out Suzi performing "Goin' on a Road Trip" live at Southpaw in Brooklyn:



And speaking of tremendous opening songs, "Lift Me Up" - the lead cut on "No Ordinary Day", is a wonderful tune featuring Suzi's cheery voice along with what sounds like a handful of kids providing backup vocals. The track, like the whole album, is put together so well and serves as the ideal introduction to the music of Suzi Shelton. "No Ordinary Day" is akin to a ray of sunshine after a few days of clouds and rain - the songs are welcoming, bright and sure to put a smile on your face.

Suzi, a mother of two and a former pre-school teacher, is going to be a force to reckon with on the kiddie rock circuit if she keeps churning out tunes like "Jump", "Lift Me Up" and "Scooter Boy" - a sort of kiddie take on Avril Lavigne's old hit "Skater Boy" .

"No Ordinary Day" is no ordinary record. Suzi Shelton has tapped into something exciting here and her growing fan base is testament to her wide-scale appeal. She is an artist that both kids and parents will sing along with and will be able to call their own. She is poppy and fun but also breaks things down and gets all sentimental with the gorgeous lullaby-ish song "My Favorite Moon" complete with sweeping strings and the sweet tickling of the ivory. A lovely number.

Where Rebecca has the perfect opening song, Suzi has the ideal closing tune in "Makes Me So Happy" in which she essentially thanks each of us for listening, dancing and enjoying her music. See I told you this was a match made in heaven.
Not that kid's shows have opening acts but she would be perfect playing in front of Rebecca Frezza, oddly enough. Someone needs to put these two talented ladies together on one bill.
_________________________

Vote for either Rebecca Frezza or Suzi Shelton by midnight ET on Wednesday 4/2. Your comments will help decide the winner. Everyone that leaves a comment during the Tournament will have a chance to win the Final Four CDs.

160 comments:

Jill said...

I like both, but I'll have to vote for Suzi Shelton.

Bob said...

Rebecca is hands down the better of the 2

Bob

Bob said...

The choice is easy. rebecca rocks!

Piseco said...

I do like them both, but I'll have to vote for the eight-piece band sound of Rebecca Frezza!

Anonymous said...

My kids love, love Rebecca and her music -- we vote for her!

lisaproshooto said...

Rebecca rocks the house - she gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

Nancy says:

In our house - Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck rules!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Frezza and the Big Truck Band is awesome! This is THE best kid's bands I've ever heard! Of all the Rottweilers they are the Pomeranians! I hope the Big Truck tires will roll on forever. My kids and I love their music. Even better to see them in concert. The musicians rock and roll!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca and Big Truck are the best!

Anonymous said...

We vote for Suzi!

Anonymous said...

Suzi, hands down! My son and I both can't stop smiling when we listen to it!

Anonymous said...

My kids have both CD's and since I bought Suzi's they haven't listened to Rebecca's ever again. They love it and so do I.

justalbert said...

oh, my goodness! Well in our home it's Suzi all the way! Musically this girl rocks the house and the kids dig her too!!!

Anonymous said...

SUZI! SUZI! SUZI! SUZI! (to quote my two kids and the chanting crowds at Southpaw) That's my vote....

Anonymous said...

suzi, suzi, suzi! We love Mama's House, Daddy's House! She's in tune to what's happenin'!

Anonymous said...

Suzi is the clear winner!

Jen said...

Suzi's songs are some of my favorite ever! They are perfect for kids and adults.

Anonymous said...

I gotta say, Suzi is really the best.

Anonymous said...

Suzi Shelton rocks! You should see her in concert.

Anonymous said...

In my house, we really love Suzi - both kids and adults!

Anonymous said...

This is all well and good, but where are The Jimmies for goodness sakes???

Anonymous said...

We live in Brooklyn and see Suzi LIVE as much as we can. My son says he's the Scooter Boy and my daughter loves pretending she's Suzi. She has a huge following in Brooklyn and I hope more people get to hear her music...my family loves it.

Anonymous said...

My family loves Suzi and can't wait to see her again. We vote for her.

Anonymous said...

Suzi all the way, and Sebastian and the Gumdrops rule!

California Girl said...

Any musician that can manage an 8 piece band, produce amazing vocals and serious music -- keep both kids and parents entertained -- well, Rebecca Frezza gets my vote

Anonymous said...

It's even better than her first. Bravo Suzi. We also have Rebecca's CD, but I have to give my support to Suzi.

Naomi said...

Suzi Shelton sounds less produced which I like...

Anonymous said...

Suzi's songs are the best!! We can't help but sing along from beginning to end.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Frezza

Anonymous said...

Got to say Rebecca Frezza - I just love her band.

towerner said...

I'm going to have to go with.....SUZI!

Anonymous said...

our family votes for Rebecca Frezza

Anonymous said...

BIG TRUCK all the way

Anonymous said...

We vote for Rebecca and Big Truck!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck or as their know around my house "RFBT", should be victorious!

Anonymous said...

Big Truck Rocks!

Anonymous said...

Liza says:

Rebecca Frezza and the Big Truck gets my vote any day of the week!!

Anonymous said...

Suzi rocks in this house. My son has been listening to her since he was born, and has a big smile on his face every time he hears her voice! She definately gets our vote.

Anonymous said...

BIG TRUCK is great for the kids, and parents love it too! She's got a great band - you must hear them live!

Anonymous said...

I liked Suzi's better.

Anonymous said...

are we there yet??

rebecca frezza and big truck get my vote

Anonymous said...

Suzi Shelton gets my vote. She sings with a smile in her voice, and is a natural. R

Meghan said...

My Vote is for Rebecca and Big Truck!!

Anonymous said...

i have to go with rebecca frezza. we saw her in concert and it was great, real good energy. everyone should see her and her band live. great cd!

Anonymous said...

I like them both, but I'll have to vote for Rebecca. My kids like it more too, and that's what REALLY counts.

Peter said...

We have been following and growing up with Suzi for years. She's got amazing energy and a fantastic, pure voice. Our kids feel like they are not listening to kids music, especially since the whole family can enjoy her songs. SUZI ROCKS!

Anonymous said...

We love The Suzi Shelton Band! Can't wait to see them at Symphony Space next month! Go and check them out, then you will know how good they are!

Anonymous said...

Suzi hands down!

Anonymous said...

My grandson loves Suzi! She gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

We have been fans of Suzi's for years and she gets our vote!

juice-stain said...

hands down Rebecca wins.

Anonymous said...

My almost four year old votes for Suzi. Wait - My nine year old votes for Suzi, too! That's 2 votes for Suzi!

Anonymous said...

baby Cole just hit the keyboard to vote for Suzi!!!!x

Anonymous said...

In Park Slope- it's Suzi all the way!

Anonymous said...

Ever since Imagination Workshop Band, we've been big fan's of Suzi's talent. Will they ever get back to do a reunion tour!! Anyway, our vote is for Suzi!

Anonymous said...

Simply Suzi, Simply the Winner!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Ohio (Suzi's home state) and my 3 kids love her music. Can't wait to see the band at the Fallfest again. Go Suzi!!

Jeff - OWTK said...

Love all the comments! You'll very passionate about Rebecca and Suzi. Please remember to leave your name and email/website. Your comment enters you into the contest to win 4 kids CDs. Thanks!

sandy said...

BIG TRUCK! Have you seen their new website? Very cool, very fun! http://bigtruckmusic.com/index.html

I was just there, they have a radio player you can listen to clips of their songs, kids loved it.

dave said...

No Ordinary Day ROCKS!

David said...

My kids love Suzi's music more than any CD we own. All of us were at the Southpaw show and love seeing ourselves on the LIVE DVD. Suzi gets our vote without a doubt!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca and Big Truck are the coolest. My kids, who are pretty particular in their musical tastes, ALWAYS ask to hear Rebecca. In my house, she is #1.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Rebecca Frezza is amazing! I live in Brooklyn too, but I have to go with Rebecca on this one.

Anonymous said...

I must say, my kids don't have either one of these CD's and they both sound great. However, I really love the video that is posted and the Roadtrip song by Suzi. My vote will go for Suzi and I'm anxious to hear the rest of her songs. Pam

Anonymous said...

We love Rebbecca and Big Truck!! The whole band is fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in our house loves Rebecca and her band. We listen to them all the time and see them in person whenever we can.

Anonymous said...

Suzi's music is great because it is catchy but with a sophisticated edge to it. If you haven't heard her stuff you really should. So many kids CD's are so typical and are just so simple minded and sugar coated to the point it makes you gag....Kids get more than we think. I vote for Suzi and so does my daughter. I am a divored mom with a 5 year old and Suzi's song about Mama's house and Daddy's house is truly one of the best kids songs I've ever heard. We hope to see her in concert very soon. She just needs to come to NC.--Please.

Anonymous said...

Suzi gets the vote.

Anonymous said...

our vote is for rebecca and big truck!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a tough one because my son loves both of these CD's and we've seen both of them in concert in NYC. However, I'm going to go with Suzi because my son loves Scooter Boy. But thank you to both artists for putting out great products.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca's our familys choice!!!

Anonymous said...

HANDS DOWN SUZI ROCKS! FROM HER FIRST ALBUM TO THE FUTURE SUZI IS A RAY OF SUNSHINE! WHEN YOU HAVE PARENTS EVEN DANCING AROUND AND FEELING LIKE KIDS AGAIN, YOU KNOW YOU HAVE SOMETHING GOOD! GO SUZI!!

Anonymous said...

Suzi Shelton alllll the way! Kids love her. Albums are great so up beat and catchy! Come on, its so easy---Simply Suzi!

Anonymous said...

SUZI is number one in our house. Ten years ago, after our daughter Hannah was born, our family started listening to Suzi's music with Imagination Workshop. Now we have a son, David, and the whole family is singing along to her new CD. I even found myself, a rather large man, in my truck at the traffic light the other day, singing along to one of her songs, long after I had dropped the kids off. GREAT MUSIC, awesome heart. This is the family music of our kids generation. WAY TO GO SUZI.

Anonymous said...

I live in Ohio and grew up right where Suzi did, and I have to say that she gets my vote, my 12 yr old step daughters vote and my newborn 4 month old son! He hears her angelic voice and smiles from ear to ear. I can't wait to see him dance around at her concerts! GO SUZI!

Anonymous said...

WE LOVE SUZI, SO OUR VOTE GOES TO HER! GO SUZI!

Anonymous said...

We love both of them, but we will have to go with Suzi on this one. Goin on a Road Trip! It's the best!

Anonymous said...

MAYBE BOTH ARTISTS CAN DO A SHOW TOGETHER SOMEDAY, AND THAT WOULD BE GREAT, BUT FOR US, WE LOVE SUZI.

Anonymous said...

My vote is for Rebecca and the Big Truck!!

Laura T. said...

I took 2 of my grandchildren to see Suzi in concert and they loved her. They danced and sang along it was a great family day. Suzi is the best. She is the kind of role model I want for my grandchildren. It is so nice not to have to worry about what they will hear when they listen to Suzi. Laura

Santino's Parents said...

Suzi was my son Santino's first concert and he loved it. We have her CD and a DVD that is always a part of our play time.
Tina & Anthony

melissa said...

Simply Suzi & No Ordinary Day - should I say more??? ok, I will. Suzi is such an inspiration in my house. I am proud to say that my 13 yr old daughter who listens to all types of music of course, loves to sing along with Suzi on both her solo albums. To me that says a lot about Suzi. She rocks!

Anonymous said...

MY VOTE IS FOR SUZI! GO SUZI!

Enid said...

My children love rocking with Rebecca and Big Truck music! Her music is terrific.

Anonymous said...

We love Rebecca!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca and Big Truck have such great variety in their music, I have to vote for them! I must admit I listen to her online at work sometimes with no kids around!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that Suzi is the biggest in our house. We love to listen to her voice and her songs are filled with wonderful lyrics. We vote for Suzi.

Anonymous said...

We feel that Suzi has something special. Her music appeals to a wide range... both kids and adults and we love her songs! Keep on....

Anonymous said...

I vote for Rebecca!

Anonymous said...

My vote is for Rebecca Freeza

Anonymous said...

My vote is for Rebecca - you go girl!

Anonymous said...

It's Frezza all the way, hands down.

Anonymous said...

rebecca and the big truck band.

Anonymous said...

Both have great talent. Rebecca's repertoire, however, is both diverse and very specific. She also has a beautifully trained voice. That voice, and the band behind her, unbeatable combination!

Rodrigo said...

Rebecca and the big truck ROOOOCCKKSSSSS!!
I can't stop dancing!!
I vote for Rebecca and Big Truck!!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca & Big Truck all the way!! Her albums are constantly playing in our home and the whole family rocks out together - so much fun!

Anonymous said...

The kids say Big Truck are the best.

Anonymous said...

GO BIG RED BALL. GO PARK SLOPE. GO SUPERSONIC. GO SUZI!

Anonymous said...

SUZI all the way.

Mike Reynolds said...

Rebecca and Big Truck are always the call for me.

Rock on!

Anonymous said...

My grandkids only listen to Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck.

They always listen to Special Kind of Day in the car.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca & Big Truck all the way!!! My nephew listens all the time and is already learning how to dance to the songs.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca is the BEST!!!

Anonymous said...

we love Rebecca Fressa & Big Truck!

Lizie said...

Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck Definitely!

Anonymous said...

My vote goes to Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck!!

Anonymous said...

My niece and I love listening to Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck together!

Carole said...

When it comes to adult friendly kid rockin music, who's better than Rebecca and Big Truck? No one!
You don't even mind when they are playing their favorites for the
10th time - and what's better than that? Clever, catchy, and most of all fun!

Anonymous said...

Definitely Rebecca. It's so rare and awesome that the music she writes is what any and every adult would love to listen to, and at the same time, the lyrics are kind friendly. FINALLY there's something that the kids and I BOTH love listening to!!

Anonymous said...

We've been Big Truck fans since May 2004 and love all of Rebecca's albums. Keep rollin' on!

Anonymous said...

Both girls are great, but I really just love the diversity of Rebecca's music. RF rocks.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca & Big Truck are absolutely amazing! Their shows are energetic, the kids in the audience really get into the mix. They really have a good thing going on!

Anonymous said...

I teach music to kids from Pre-K through the 8th grade and every one of them is a Rebecca fan! The Pre-K 3's are really into Spooky Dance and the older kids especially love Sidewalk Chalk.

Dante said...

Got to go with Rebecca!!

Anonymous said...

My 3 year-old is a big fan of Rebecca & Big Truck! His mom and dad love them, too! Adult and kid friendly music - love that!

Anonymous said...

I gotta go with Rebecca.. or as a friend's daughter says, "beccafrezza"!

PaulErik said...

Rebecca and Big Truck are the best!!

Anonymous said...

With such catchy tunes and a killer band, I just have to go with Rebecca.

Anonymous said...

WE LOVE SUZI. SUZI ALL THE WAY!

Anonymous said...

They are both really talented, but we have to go with Suzi! From one Brooklyn girl to another!

karla said...

Big Truck has my vote... and my kids!!

Anonymous said...

SUZI IS THE BEST! WE VOTE FOR SUZI!

Anonymous said...

Suzi inspires us by her heartfelt songs about family life. We vote for Suzi!

Anonymous said...

Suzi teaches at our daughter's school and every single time she has Suzi, she comes home and teaches us her songs. We love Suzi and when you listen to her songs, you will love her, too! Our vote goes to Suzi!

Anonymous said...

Danielle votes:
FOR SUZI........... The gumdrops are the best. You guys are the greatest!!!!!

Anonymous said...

SUZI ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Suzi all the way!!

Anonymous said...

SUZI! SUZI! SUZI! You rock the world!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Emma votes for her Mama, Suzi!

Anonymous said...

When you listen to Suzi's music, you will agree. In Ohio, Suzi ROCKS THE HOUSE!

Miss Dalal said...

BIG TRUCK BIG TRUCK!!!

musicfiend1 said...

Rebecca Frezza all the way!!

Anonymous said...

Our entire family loves Suzi and the Gumdrops. See you next month. We vote Suzi!

Anonymous said...

Suzi rocks! We loved Simply Suzi, but this CD is even better. Debra W.-from the Y.

Anonymous said...

Scoot, Scoot, Scooter Boy!! Suzi and the rest of the band.

Anonymous said...

I vote Rebecca- Go Big Truck Go!

Anonymous said...

We're goin on a roadtrip this weekend and we'll have Suzi with us all the way. Suzi gets our vote. Great video. Mario Ferrando

Anonymous said...

Karen says:
The only music my kids want to listen to is Suzi! We listen to her in the car, at home while making dinner, before bed, in the morning....

catherine said...

I am a teacher and I always use songs from No Ordinary Day. If fact, if I don't, my kids start to chant "We want Suzi!" So, i guess our vote goes to Suzi!

Anonymous said...

Big Truck!!!

Rex said...

If you want good music for kids, not just your typical kids music, but GOOD music for kids, then you want Suzi!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a difficult decision... Both were great but if I had to choose a winner, it would have to be Suzi!! She really rocks RUSSELL!!

Anonymous said...

These gals both do such a wonderful job but our kids really seem to love rockin out to. Big Truck. Rock on Rebecca!

Seb said...

Be sure to check out Suzi's website and hear for yourself how great her music is! suzishelton.com. Suzi, Suzi, Suzi!

Rose from Windsor Terrace said...

We love our Suzi Music!

Anonymous said...

WHEN YOU WANT GOOD KIDS MUSIC, YOU MUST GO AND GET NO ORDINARY DAY

Anonymous said...

WE VOTE FOR MUSIC THAT BUILDS IMAGINATION, JOY, AND CONFIDENCE. WE VOTE FOR MUSIC THAT INCLUDES, THAT BONDS, THAT CONNECTS. WE VOTE FOR MUSIC THAT CAN BE SUNG BY ALL AND DANCED BY ANY. WE VOTE FOR A VOICE THAT, HOW DO YOU SAY IT, DRAWS IN OUR KIDS. WE VOTE FOR A SINGER THAT IS TAKING US ALONG WITH HER ON HER JOURNEY OF PARENTING. WE VOTE FOR A SINGER WHO SINGS FROM HER HEART AND MAKES THE PARENTS WANT TO GET UP AND DANCE WITH THE KIDS. WE VOTE FOR SUZI.
WREN & MARTHA

Elias said...

I have to say, Suzi has something special in her music for kids. It really connects to the adults as well as to the kids. We love listening to Suzi, and it is hard to compare her to anyone!

Anonymous said...

Pietro says:
Suzi is the best of the best. We vote for Suzi!

Anonymous said...

NO ORDINARY DAY IS GOING ALL THE WAY!

darlene said...

BIG TRUCK!!!

Sue said...

Love, love, LOVE Rebecca and the Big Truck band!

Anonymous said...

One word to describe the songs off of Rebecca's new album... MAGIC!

Anonymous said...

My vote's with Rebecca. Gotta love that "Go-Go's"-style song, "Snow Day"!

Anonymous said...

Clack-ity, clack-ity, clack-ity, clack-ity.. on the track!! A big WOO-WOOOO!!! goes out for REBECCA!!!

Anonymous said...

Over the past few years, I've given many Suzi Shelton CDs and DVDs as gifts to kids of friends and family. Suzi's lovely voice and lyrics, on beautifully produced recordings, are enjoyed by the parents and kids alike -- they all always end up HOOKED -- singing and dancing along with all their favorites! Yeah Suzi! - Amy

Anonymous said...

It's Suzi and the Gumdrops for me.
Mike Meshky, Chagrin Falls

Rebecca said...

Hey Jeff,

I just wanted to thank you for your kind words about our CD and for featuring us in your tournament.

I hope our paths will cross sometime soon. Maybe World Cafe in May??

Thanks for all you do to support indie kids music!!!

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

sO WHO WON?

Anonymous said...

My niece and nephew love Rebecca Frezza and Big Truck!! - M. De Salvio