• Traveling the galaxy in a Winnebago

    Oh sure, Ian Hummel has played in "real" bands for grown-ups, and still spends some weekend with his old-time country band and a country duet project, but in his real life, Hummel is captain of a space RV that travels the galaxy playing cocnerts for kids.

    Yes, as pilot Captain captain, Hummel is the leader of The Shazzbots, a local band making music for kids and families. (We start the story in print here.) (The Beat should also point out that our family cat's name is Shazzbot.)

    "I had a band that had kind of run it's course," Hummel told The beat. "I was writing these dirty hillbilly songs. So I thought I'd try the opposite."

    "Turns out, it's not that different."

    "I make a conscious effort not to dumb it down. Kids can spot fake stuff. I wanted to write good songs that just happen to be for kids.. And I didn't want the parents to feel crazy if they had to listen to it over and over."

    The Shazzbots will host a CD release party for their second record, Blast Off, Saturday morning at the Gateway Film Center. The event will include crafts and activities, video shorts (similar to the monthly family film series the band hosts at Gateway) and the debut of their new music video.

    The new record includes songs the band's fans have heard at concerts, but "ramped up a little" in the studio. Hummel figues he's got "another album's worth of songs" already written.

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    By: Jim Fischer

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