Step into the world of one of Canada’s best loved children’s band, The Funky Mamas and feel how they build community and foster joyfulness. Children and families all over Canada and abroad have been moving and grooving on The Funky Mama train since 1998 and won’t be getting off anytime soon.
Hailing from Guelph, Ontario, The Funky Mamas are a delightful quartet who engage children of all ages with their captivating stage presence, harmonizing vocals, charming banter and, of course, funkiness.
The Funky Mamas’ songs are both familiar and original. From blues and bluegrass to a sprinkling of rock, folk and funk, their music inspires spontaneous dance parties in kitchens, giggles on car rides and “it’s-great-t-be-alive adrenalin rush” for children and adults alike. “Their delightful combination of laughter and silliness on the one hand and well-produced musicianship on the other”, makes their spirited music making memorable.
The Funky Mamas are Georgia Urban on guitar, mandolin and musical saw, Chantal von Maydell on fiddle and bass, Tannis Maynard-Langedijk on guitar and ukulele and Kate Vsetula on banjo and percussion. With hundreds of live shows in all corners of Canada and three critically acclaimed CD’s, these women are “Real Mamas, Real Music”!
The Funky Mamas play a wide range of performances including libraries, schools, festivals, corporate parties and anywhere that live family music would enhance the event. The Mamas have kicked up their heels and strummed, picked and fiddled their way across Canada. Recent highlights include Vancouver's Canada Day Celebration, London's Home County Folk Festival, Santa Claus Parade Summer BBQ in Toronto, The McMichael Gallery, Alianait Arts Festival in Nunavut, Cambridge and Peterborough Folk Festivals, Guelph’s Hillside Music Festival, The Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, Nathan Philips Square, Royal Botanical Gardens, Guelph’s River Run Performing Arts Centre, Mariposa Folk Festival, Northern Lights Boreal, Winnipeg Folk Festival and the Lethbridge Children’s Festival.
The Funky Mamas are proud to release their third full length CD "Pickin' in the Garden" during the summer of 2012, which has won a Parent's Choice recommended award and has been short listed for a Grammy.
The Funky Mamas' sophomore CD "Rollin' Along" has won a prestigious Parents' Choice Recommended Award. This CD was a nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards 2009 (Children's Album of the Year), The Indie Awards 2009 and 2010(Favourite Children's Artist), and The Independent Music Awards in the USA 2009 (Best children's CD).
"Hailing from the great northern land of children's music (Ontario, Canada) The Funky Mamas is a delightful group that mixes the string bending fun of bluegrass bands like Uncle Earl, with the witty lyricism of Loudon Wainwright III."
Lahri Bond ©2008 Parents' Choice
“Fortunately things are looking up on the kids music front. There are great Canadian acts that understand that parents are listening too. Eric Nagler, Fred Penner, Jack Grunsky, Connie Kaldor, Raffi, and The Funky Mamas are among the best!”
Eric Thom, Published Music Reviewer
“Fabulous fun funky music…what a spectacular show! You girls are great to work with, the crowd loved you and we would have you back anytime!”
Samantha Jones, Collingwood Great Northern Fair
“Thanks so much for your performance at our school. The children have been talking and singing about it for days. We appreciate how you have fostered a love of music in our students.”
The staff of Rockwood Public School
If you haven’t witnessed the frenzy of the live show firsthand, you can take the true litmus test in the comfort of your own home: throw “Rollin’ Along” on the CD player and just watch the exhilarating, its-great-to-be-alive adrenalin rush sweep over your children. No sugar required. Especially for all you moms and dads who are musically challenged, let the band do your job for you. You can trust them, they’re mothers.
The Funky Mamas
26 Clarence Street
Chantal von Maydell - Bass, Violin, Vocals / Songwriter, mouth harp
Kate Vsetula - Banjo, Drums, Vocals / Songwriter
Tannis Maynard-Langedijk - Guitar, ukulele, vocals/songwriting
Georgia Urban - Bass, Guitar, Percussion, mandolin, penny whistle, Accordian, Musical Saw, Vocals/Songwriter
LP Pickin' In The Garden 2012
A Parents' Choice Recommended Award
Short listed for a Grammy Award
LP Rollin' Along 2008
A Parents’ Choice Recommended Award Winner
Like any quintessential Canadian recording, “Rollin’ Along” can be described as the perfect music for the road trip, in this case, the minivan roadtrip. This sunny, big-hearted album is just goofy enough, but with the necessary musical prowess, to do any kid (and parent within earshot) right.
LP The Funky Mamas (Mamas Fishin’) 2003
A creative and exciting cd for families that inspires dancing and singing along. This CD has one of hearts of many fans both in Canada and internationally.
"In my next life, I’m coming back as one these women! These six moms from Guelph have it all ¬ talent, creativity, energy, humour and 15 children between them ¬ and they are indeed funky. For almost six years, they’ve combined their vocal and instrumental talents to perform original and traditional songs for children, largely through the folk festival circuit. Now they've released a CD of their infectious, spirited music-making. The Funky Mamas CD is a delightful combination of laughter and silliness on the one hand and well-produced musicianship on the other. Banjos, mandolins, musical saws, juice harps, and harmonicas are joined by the Mamas’ harmonizing vocals and children’s giggles to make you feel like you’re sitting around a campfire listening to them jam with their kids. Their parenting experience shows as they write and perform songs about things kids like ¬ from the imaginary ("The Alligator Romp", "Dinosaur Song") to the stuff of daily life ("The Bedtime Blues", "Pancake Song"). "
Deanne Fisher, Arts and Entertainment Reviewer
Pickin' in the Garden
Hommage au Fromage
Breathe in the Air
Blast Off Into Reading
Turn the World Around
Down on the Farm
Go Mama Earth
All the Critters
Veggie Patch Hoe Down
Mamas rollin' along nicely! Guelph's First Ladies of Children's Music
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by JOANNE SHUTTLEWORTH Almost every day is Take your Kid to Work Day for the Funky Mamas. Wit...
by JOANNE SHUTTLEWORTH
Almost every day is Take your Kid to Work Day for the Funky Mamas. With 11 children ranging in age from six to 15 among the five musical Mamas, professional discussion about the achievements and goals of the popular children's entertainers invariably become domestic.
And why not? The women met each other through their kids, joined together in song to entertain their kids, test their material on their kids, and have even included their kids in their concerts.
"We formed a strong network for ourselves and built this amazing community for our families," said Kate Vsetula -- Banjo Mama to her fans -- and spokesperson for the group. "Our kids grew up like cousins.
"It's always a challenge to juggle who will mind the kids, but this is different than a regular day job. We often had a baby in tow when we went to performances. We call them the Funky Kids."
The Funky Kids' Choir has joined their Mamas on stage, too. Some do Irish dancing, some play the fiddle, some play piano, and at one concert at a seniors' residence, the kids were square dancing with some audience members.
"That was such a heartwarming experience," Vsetula said. "The kids get tons of perks."
The Funky Mamas began performing together in 1998 and have rapidly risen in popularity and acclaim in the children's entertainment world. Their high-energy concerts are child-appropriate and adult-friendly -- something parents don't always say of the big purple dinosaur Barney, for example.
As they enter their second decade together, The Funky Mamas recently launched their second CD, "Rollin' Along," and are talking with a TV producer about hosting their own television show.
About 800 people showed up late last month at St. George's Anglican Church in Guelph for the CD launch party. They are holding a second launch party in Toronto next week.
"We really wanted to launch the CD in Guelph," said Vsetula. "This is our family, these are our fans and this is our community."
About half the songs are original; the other half are probably familiar, although with their unique assortment of instruments -- musical saw, pennywhistle, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitar among them -- it's unlikely you've heard these arrangements before.
They describe themselves as being kid-friendly, Earth-appreciating mothers who understand that parenting is as difficult as it is wonderful. What they pull off on stage, and what's audible on the CD is their love of creating music and their respect for their audiences.
"We're so thrilled, so lucky, to be paid to do this," Vsetula said.
Alicia Miecznikowski, who plays bass, vox and percussion, did the cover art for the CD -- a plasticene likeness of the women rollin' along a riverside landscape. The actual art piece is on display at Wyndham Art.
The other Mamas are Tannis Maynard Langedijk (guitar, ukulele, percussion and vox), Chantal von Maydell (fiddle, drums, bass, vox), and Georgia Urban (musical saw, guitar, pennywhistle, bass, mandolin, vox).
The CD is available online at cdbaby.com and thefunkymamas.com, Chapters, and in Guelph at Ground Floor Music, Community Roots, Merry-go-Round, Diaper Days, Duncan McPhee and Wyndham Art Supplies.
NEW IN MUSIC
What: Funky Mamas' second CD, "Rollin' Along"
Available at: Ground Floor Music, Chapters, cdbaby.com and various other Guelph retailers
On the web: thefunkymamas.com
Funky Mamas release second CD titled Rollin' Along
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The Funky Mamas have just released their second CD, Rollin’ Along, playing to two full-house cro...
The Funky Mamas have just released their second CD, Rollin’ Along, playing to two full-house crowds in Guelph on Nov. 24.
Almost 800 parents and children, friends and relations danced, clapped hands, snapped fingers, and generally grooved with the Mamas at a free, community-based family event at Mitchell Hall, St. George Church.
The enthusiasm of the crowd for the highly interactive performance, plus strong CD sales, speak to the loyal following the Funky Mamas have gathered over the years.
The Guelph-based group of five musical moms has played tunes for children and their families since 1996. The musicians include Huntsville’s own Georgia Urban on musical saw, guitar, mandolin, pennywhistle, bass and percussion; Tannis Maynard-Langedijk on guitar and percussion; Kate Vsetula on banjo and banjo-uke; Alicia Miecznikowski on bass and percussion; and Chantal von Maydell on fiddle and drums.
All the Mamas harmonize and sing lead vocals and have composed and arranged material for the group.
The Funky Mamas have appeared at events and festivals around Ontario and Canada, including the Huntsville Winter Carnival (2003-05), Hillside Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival, Lethbridge Children’s Festival, as well as numerous public libraries, schools, corporate and fundraising events, and TV spots on TVO and Rogers.
The Funky Mamas’ self-titled first CD was released in 2003.
Anyone who has heard the Funky Mamas knows how infectious their music is. Rollin’ Along continues that tradition with a selection of both original and traditional songs (10 of the 16 are original works) in both English and French. The bluesy first (and title) song gets the fingers snapping and toes tapping and, in performances, always features a long “choo-choo train” of children and parents snaking around the hall.
Bluegrass and folk influences are strong in arrangements of traditional songs such as Shortnin’ Bread, Alouette (powered by Mama Chantal’s rollicking fiddle), Raccoon and Possum, and Rattlin’ Bog. Anyone who has ever had a mouse in the house can relate to Mama Tannis’s Hommage au Fromage.
Rap rhythms drive Mama Kate’s composition Blast Off into Reading, performed with the Funky Children’s Choir (the Mamas’ 12 children). Mama Georgia’s Go Bananas encourages everyone to act like monkeys – “I don’t eat bread and cheese, I eat things that grow on trees.”
The Mamas’ strong commitment to environmental causes inspired the group composition, Breath in the Air. You can see this one as well as Go Bananas on Youtube. Mama Alicia’s Tooth Fairy Twirl tells a familiar tale of dismay – the loose tooth that just disappeared.
The spirited recording features crisp vocals, simple harmonies and a range of instrumental support. In performance, the Mamas seem to switch around instruments for every number, sometimes tag-teaming mid-song. Rollin’ Along is a recording the whole family can enjoy. It’s music that makes you move and smile.
The Funky Mamas CDs, Rollin’ Along and The Funky Mamas, are available in Huntsville at the Bookcase and the Great Vine or online at www.thefunkymamas.com.
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What started out as a hip group of women getting together to jam for friends and family has turned i...What started out as a hip group of women getting together to jam for friends and family has turned into a real success story for six funky mamas from Guelph.
The Funky Mamas, hailed as Guelph’s best children’s band are Pam Harrison, Tannis Maynard-Langedijk, Alicia Miecznikowski, Georgia Urban, Chantal Von Maydell, and Kate Vsetula.
Together they blend their voices and talent, having entertained children from Southwestern Ontario to Lethbridge, Alta., and many points in between, with a mix of blues, bluegrass, folk, and pop.
Their lively show offers traditional children’s standards combined with a host of fantastic original numbers inspired, and at times partially co-written, by their own kids.
“My kids have sat at the table with me when I’m making a song and I’ll ask ‘do you want to help me with it,’” says Miecznikowski who believes that music provides a fantastic opportunity to communicate with children on their level.
“Their immediate input and their excitement in helping create something and complete something that they feel really involves them is important.”
Plus what better way to keep your finger on the pulse of kids than by picking the brains of their peers.
They band admits they didn’t really know where their friendship and love of music would take them, but six and a half years later they have sold out the first run of their self-titled debut album “Mamas’ Fishing”, and are recording their environmentally themed, sophomore release titled “Dig Your Mama.”
As mothers to 15 children, they have to be very organized and at times logistic wizards when juggling and arranging suitable times for rehearsals and caretakers for the kids during their shows, which are growing in size and frequency each year.
“A big part of our challenge has been our show has gone from being community based with mainly friends and family to well produced shows at big events,” Vsetula explains.
“The whole feel of The (Funky) Mamas has changed.”
The women laugh as they reminisce about the days when it was commonplace for their kids to run up on stage, ask for a juice box in the middle of a set, or to perform with babies on their hips.
Today their children, who range from ages 2 ½ to 12, don’t require the same amount of personal attention. This has allowed the band to work toward a new level of focus and professionalism.
They have recently found the need to hire a booking agent to take care of scheduling, and Vsetula has stepped up her role to take on promoting the act and distributing their CD.
Their album is being sold locally, through their website, and is now being distributed throughout the Canadian library system by Library Services Centre and Library Bound Inc., and American libraries through BWI Books.
Magical, lively, unpredictable and always ready to have a good time are how the women see their young audiences.
But the kids aren’t the only ones leaving the shows on cloud nine.
“I enjoy seeing the parents so pleased to see their kids happy,” says Harrison.
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We parents love it when our kids respond to music, but our first mistake is to think their unsophist...We parents love it when our kids respond to music, but our first mistake is to think their unsophisticated taste should begin with saccharine sing-along lyrics....
Fortunately things are looking up on the kid's music front and there's plenty to choose from to please you and your kids.
There are great Canadian acts that understand that parents are listening too. Eric Nagler, Jack Grunsky, Connie Kaldor, Fred Penner, Raffi and The Funky Mamas are among the best.
The Funky Mamas
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Here's something rather fun and refreshing from a group of women dare I say O Mamas, who hail from...Here's something rather fun and refreshing from a group of women dare I say O Mamas, who hail from the Guelph area, notorious for its high density of musical mothers. This disc is not designed to rock your world, necessarily, but it is a delight to listen to with its crisp, clean lead
vocals, simple yet effective harmonies, sturdy instrumental flourishes on a
range of weapons (including banjo, harmonica, fiddle, pennywhistle, mandolin
and guitar), entertaining originals and smart covers. It is clear that this
bunch love what they do and they never lose their focus for their audience,
erring on the lovably goofy side of adulthood for the kids sake. And for
kids sake there is the Funky Kids Chorus, which keeps things grounded in
mini-reality. These 6 homegrown fireballs: Kate, Alicia, Georgia, Chantal,
Pam and Tannis with 15 kids between them have more energy than anyone
might expect from a non-Funky Mama. Yet the bulk of their work is spirited
folk-cum-bluegrass, making this disc a good bet for everything from the
campfire to the ride to the cottage. It encourages singing along and it
provides many a good giggle along the way. Singalong staples like Oh Susannah benefit from Kate's well-brandished banjo, Georgia's harmonica and Pam's mandolin while Woody Guthrie's "Bling Blang" soars thanks to their
tight harmonies. Alicia's animated vocal on "Boogie Woogie Washer Women" is
a barrel of laughs and might change the way you approach the bathtub. The
traditional "Teddy Bear's Picnic" is one of the disc's most tastefully
crafted numbers, as guitar, banjo and mandolin (and somewhat spooky saw!)
create a lush musical base for Tannis' rich vocals. The Carter Family's
"Keep on the Sunnyside" is updated, dramatically, with a kids' chorus as one
young joker after another tells a quick one to keep things hilarious. Cool
originals like Alicia's short-but-sweet "Summer Storm" and Alicia's string
bass-led "Pancake Song" an ode to spring that should be double the length,
demonstrate their ability to create their own quality material. Kate's
"Bedtime Blues" is rooted in blues but can¹t help but combine actual kids'
laughter with Beach Boy-type harmonies in "Barbara Ann" fashion. All in all,
these Mamas are Funky but they are, above all, fun and fresh. They have become popular on the Festival circuit and something tells me that the kids would love to see what them perform this material live. Judging from this release, a good time would be had by all.
Those Mamas are Funky!
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Move over Sharon, Lois and Bram, the Funky Mamas have arrived, complete with a Funky Kids Chorus. F...Move over Sharon, Lois and Bram, the Funky Mamas have arrived, complete with a Funky Kids Chorus. Formed six years ago at a play group in Guleph, Onatio, the Mamas are guaranteed to keep both kids and parents entertained. And these six ladies should know: between them they're the mothers of 15 children.....
The groups 15 song CD features instruments ranging from a mandolin to a musical saw and includes folk classics like "Oh Susannah," children's favourites like "Teddy Bear's Picnic" and original compositions like "Pancake Song."
Funky Group on their Way!
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In my next life, I’m coming back as one these women! These six moms from Guelph have it all talen...In my next life, I’m coming back as one these women!
These six moms from Guelph have it all talent, creativity, energy, humour and 15 children between them and they are indeed funky. For almost six years, they’ve combined their vocal and instrumental talents to perform original and traditional songs for children, largely through the
folk festival circuit. Now they¹ve released a CD of their infectious, spirited music-making. The Funky Mamas CD is a delightful combination of laughter and silliness on the one hand and well-produced musicianship on the other. Banjos, mandolins, musical saws, juice harps, and harmonicas are joined by the Mamas’ harmonizing vocals and children’s giggles to make you
feel like you’re sitting around a campfire listening to them jam with their kids. Their parenting experience shows as they write and perform songs about things kids like from the imaginary ("The Alligator Romp", "Dinosaur Song") to the stuff of daily life ("The Bedtime Blues", "Pancake Song").
Deanne Fisher Arts & Entertainment Editor
The Funky Mamas' Music makes them Dance!
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This is a "toe tappin', finger snappin' and belly laughin'" CD that includes many original and famil...This is a "toe tappin', finger snappin' and belly laughin'" CD that includes many original and familiar folk songs with loads of appeal for young children! The instrumentation, including banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, recorder, juice harp and musical saw, truly demonstrate the diverse talent of this group! At my day care the children growled, hissed and quacked along with "Animal Says", bounced in their seats to "Mamas' Fishing", shook egg shakers to "Foolish Frog", and then shook it all about to their all-time favourite "Hokey Pokey". Anything my kids love, I love! And so will you and yours!
Angelique Davies, editor
Mom's the Word
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The celebrity's cliche about being grateful to all the little people was never more true. The child...The celebrity's cliche about being grateful to all the little people was never more true.
The children's group The Funky Mamas is poised to hit it big with the release of its first full length CD, and they owe it to thier biggest fans, little Guelphites.
The CD of 15 songs is selling all over North America through cdbaby.om and has just been signed on to a number of Canadian distributors.
The Possibilities of The Funky Mamas
The Mamas sets are flexible and varied, catering to the crowd's ages and moods! The Mamas' 20-50 minute sets are engaging and amusing with something for everyone. Audience participation is standard and no set is ever the same!
Some of our available shows are listed.
For The Earth
The Funky Mamas share environmental concepts about water conservation, diversity of species and treading lightly on Mother Earth. Children will soak up the music and the message!
The Funky Family Show
A fusion of blues, folk and pop. Unique, entertaining and danceable. Audience participation and loads of fun...guaranteed!
Ontario Music Curriculum Show
A fun-filled exploration of tempo, beat, rhythm, pitch and dynamics. The Mamas take children ages 5-9 on a magical Creative and interactive musical journey without the kids even knowing they are learning!
Universal Values including compassion, respect, kindness and courage are musically shared with the audience to bring out these gifts from within everyone.
Does your event have a theme? Let the Mamas know and we will customize our show!
Children will be inspired musically and appreciate their take home instrument. The Mamas bring all required materials to make a number of different kinds of percussive instruments and lead the children in a sing-along with them.
Suitable for ages 10-under
Instruments and Music Styles
The Mamas tell short tales about the history, folklore and types of instruments they play. Different musical genres will be explored with lots of examples. Everything from the musical saw, washboard, banjo to juice harp will be incorporated. With over a dozen instruments between them, this workshop is captivating and a great introduction to the musical world.
Suitable for all ages
Song List Includes:
Boogie Woogie Washer Women
Teddy Bear's Picnic
Possum and raccoon
Keep on the Sunnyside
Turn the World Around
The Water Song
Veggie Patch Hoedown
Shake Your Brain
Golden Rod and Chickory
Mon Petit Lapin
Homage Au Fromage
Blast off into Reading
Skipping in the Garden
Coming Round the Mountain
40 years on an iceberg
Tirer Ma Vache
I Love You Too
All The Critters
and a whole lot more...