Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Jon Snodgrass releases a free kids record that will appeal to all ages

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge Jon Snodgrass, Prost Mijos, free download at jonsnodgrass.com
  • Jon Snodgrass, Prost Mijos, free download at jonsnodgrass.com

For many artists, especially those who are musically self-sufficient, recording a low-key collection of kid-friendly songs can serve as a rite of passage. For Jon Snodgrass, who’s best known as co-founder of the Colorado alt-country band Drag the River, it was mostly just a fun way to pass the time.

Living the sheltered-in-place life with his wife and kids in Fort Collins, Snodgrass decided to write and record his newly released Prost Mijos, which he describes as a “free record for kids, parents, and regular people.” With titles like “Clean Hands & Feet Too,” and “Jumpy Jumpy Whee & Whoo, Also,” it might be natural to assume that repeated listenings would fray adult nerves even more than they already are. But listen to songs like “Mama Tired” (a play on Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”), and you’ll find that’s far from the case. In fact, if you set aside a handful of lyrics, and instead focus on the artist’s resonant tenor vocals, well-crafted melodies and understated arrangements, most of the music here would fit perfectly well on a Drag the River album.

“It’s not really a kids record,” says Snodgrass of the largely acoustic EP. “It’s as much for their parents as it is for the kids. I’ve had the idea for some of those songs for a long time. They’re just the silly things I always said I’d do if I ever wrote a kids record, a bunch of titles and maybe a little melody in my head. So that’s why I decided to do this minimalist lo-fi kids record type thing.”
Prost Mijos also features some between-song patter from the musician’s young daughter Tanner Lee and her brother Hopper “Rocket from the Crypt” Snodgrass. (And yes, Hopper’s middle name is a tribute to one of Jon’s favorite bands.) The record also conveys a generosity of spirit that reflects Jon’s current state of mind.

“Now that I have kids, my ego is just gone,” he says. “It’s such a small time that we’re here, and so many things just don’t matter, you know? That doesn’t mean I don’t care, it’s kind of like a positive nihilism.”

While family and music remain the artist’s No. 1 priorities, he also has a lifelong love for baseball. He recently wrote the theme song and bumper music for the Colorado Rockies-obsessed Purple Dinosaur podcast, which takes its name from the team’s mascot. He even books his solo tours to coincide with his team’s away games. It’s basically the baseball version of being a Deadhead.

“I was supposed to be in San Diego for opening day back in March,” he says of what now seems like the distant past. “And then I was going to go to Los Angeles to see them play the Dodgers that Monday and Tuesday. And exactly a month after that, I was gonna go back out and see them in San Francisco. So I’ll go to an afternoon game, and then I go and play a show that night.”

That didn’t happen, of course, but at least the musician was able to finish recording a full-on rock band album, with some well-known guest artists we can’t reveal, before the whole world moved indoors. Still, he’s going to hold off on releasing that one until there are live music venues to tour with it. “I just don’t want to put out a rock record,” he says, “until I can go out and rock.”

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