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MP3 J.D. Thompson - Dreams, Sillies and Stuff

Eclectic, surprising, award winning, funny, and thought provoking kids music the whole family will enjoy- like Shel Silverstein meets Prarie Home Companion.

17 MP3 Songs
KIDS/FAMILY: Kid Friendly, FOLK: Modern Folk

Excerpts from an article in The Annapolis Capital newspaper By THERESA WINSLOW, Staff Writer

Like just about every songwriter, Joe Thompson draws inspiration from everyday sources: leftover tuna casserole, hiccups and pirates that lurk in the bathroom.
Well, maybe not every songwriter.

But the Annapolis resident''s sense of wonder and whimsy paid off in the form of awards on two different coasts. He won gold in the children''s category at the 18th annual Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, performing "P.U." at a ceremony in November at the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington, D.C. He also won two awards in the Just Plain Folks contest, taking first place in the children''s category for "Pirates in the Bath" and second in the best children''s album category for his first CD, "Every Kind of Magic." He was invited to perform at that ceremony, too, but it was held in Los Angeles the same weekend as the Washington gala.

"He''s just kind of a neat, imaginative guy," said Norma Byron, director of the Mid-Atlantic contest, which is sponsored by the Songwriters'' Association of Washington. "I know the lady that judged the children''s category thought he was head and shoulders above the rest." Ms. Byron said the litmus test was that the judge played "P.U." (the ballad featuring the foul-smelling casserole) for her children "and they didn''t stop singing it for three days."
When he''s not performing, Mr. Thompson, 48, works as a graphic artist for the county Board of Education. He is also the creator of "Cabaret for Kids," which concluded its fourth summer of shows in August.

His twins, Martin and Leslie, had parts in the show, and his wife, Susie, a former county kindergarten teacher, was the assistant director. "He''s so magical, musical and wonderful," said Laurie Berman of Annapolis, whose two sons, Alexander and Sam were in the kids cabaret. "We just think he''s amazing, and our children think Joe is amazing, too. I''ve referred to him as `The Magic Man.'' He''s magical with the children."

At the Thompson home, which resembles a Spanish fortress from the outside, fun is the recipe for the day as Mr. Thompson talks about how he began playing music while the twins hover nearby, smiling.

He started playing the guitar at age 16 to get a part in a Colonial Players show. He told the director of the local amateur theater group he knew how to play even though he didn''t. He got the role anyway.

Mr. Thompson says many of his songs start out as poems. He writes "adult" songs too, but has certainly found a niche with his children''s music.

"In many ways, I don''t consider them children''s songs," he said. "They''re people songs; songs explaining the things kids are more in touch with, imagination and fun."

As he strums "P.U." on the guitar, Martin and Leslie sing along.

In the deepest darkest part of my refrigerator
Where I keep the leftovers I think that I''ll eat later
Behind the mayonnaise, ketchup and the mustard oh so hot
Was a bit of tuna casserole I guess that I forgot
At first it turned to yellow -Then it turned to green
Then it turned a kind of fuchsia purple tangerine
Then it started growing hair and about about then I should think
Is the time that casserole started in to stink ... Mr. Thompson said he was thrilled but a little nervous taking the stage at the Hard Rock Cafe, which is usually reserved for harder-edged music. "Everybody in the restaurant was sort of looking," he said. "(But) everybody ... sang along in the right parts." In fact, Mrs. Thompson said she heard the waiters humming "P.U." long after her husband left the stage.

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