Mister G
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Mister G

Whately, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Whately, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


"CD review www.owtk.com"

Mister G’s debut kindie effort is, much like it’s title, a jubilant sometimes irreverent treat. Bluesy, pop-rock songs with populist themes (ponies, dogs, pizza, bath time), curious characters (“Mr. Chubby Pants”, “Mr. Bigsby’s Brown Tuxedo”), and occasional depth (“The Luckiest Kid in the World”, “Don’t Waste Stuff”) are forged with a small town New England craftsmanship. The result is a sophisticated, often soulful album that plays as an homage to the sillier side of childhood.

Mister G is Ben Gundersheimer, a Massachusetts native who holds both an English degree and a Masters in Elementary Education. His impressive credentials no doubt help him peel the onion on standard kiddie fare to craft hilarious, sensitive and enduring tales that have a sneaky way of adding pep in steps and smiles on faces.

There’s a deep grove on the humorous title track, a sweet playfulness in the witty lesson song “Don’t Waste Stuff”, a groovy wish-to-be-a-counting ditty (“Squirrels”, video below), and a rhythm & blues argument for getting in the tub (“Bath”). Children are gonna dig the goofiness – thieving dogs, French toast eating bears, and ponies with kid-issues – while adults will appreciate the grown-up musicianship and the subversive, never-once-preachy teachings snuggling up with all the zany characters. - Jeff Bogle


"Tim Lightman Testimonial"

I really can’t say enough about Mister G! In his work with children, Ben Gundersheimer effortlessly combines a worldly musician’s ear, an educator’s eye, and a storyteller’s heart. He has a unique ability to listen carefully to children and to craft their words and ideas into song. More importantly, he enthusiastically invites children to join in this process, demystifying songwriting while capturing the innate abilities of children to create rhythm and rhyme. I have witnessed first hand, children who previously shied away from singing and music classes excitedly teaching their whole family the songs they created and learned with Mister G. I think Ben has a natural ability to connect with children, to see the world through their eyes, and most importantly, to voice their experiences through music; music that is created for them (although also appreciated by adults!). Ben’s unique approach to music not only activates children’s imagination but also helps introduce kids to the musical styles of diverse cultures and promotes positive social messages.

-Tim Lightman, Principal
Smith College Campus School
- Principal Smith College Campus School


"Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child"

Ben Gundersheimer (known to his adoring Smith College Campus School students, including my son, as Mister G, which is also the name he uses for his family music) writes ridiculously catchy songs with witty and clever lyrics-indeed, all I need to do is see the cover of his "Pizza for Breakfast" and I'll get "Sneaky Chihuahua" stuck in my head for days). And as good as the CD is, kids go nuts for his live shows which are filled with laughs and sing-a-longs. - The Greenfield Recorder


Discography

Mister G debut CD, "Pizza for Breakfast." Release date: August 10, 2009.

"Shark in my Bathtub" single release: March 7, 2010

Tracks streaming at: www.mistergsongs.com
www.cdbaby.com/cd/misterg

Photos

Bio

Like those last few seconds before recess, the wait is unbearable. Tapping their feet, humming favorite songs: the crowd is antsy for the show to start. But where’s Mister G? Then, from off stage, the funky guitar groove kicks in, and countless tiny hands reach for the sky. By the time Mister G appears with his trademark hat and bright red shoes, high-pitched shrieks are threatening to crack the windows.

Over the past year, Mister G has performed with Dan Zanes, toured in Europe and Latin America, and shot a video in Bogota, Colombia for a forthcoming album of bilingual, Spanish language songs. Combining a worldly musician’s sensibility with his background as a teacher with a Master’s in Elementary Education, Mister G has led innovative concerts and songwriting workshops in settings as varied as the Children's Museum of Manhattan, Dana Farber Cancer Clinic, Horizons for Homeless Children, and the 92nd St Y.

Mister G’s story begins when he was just about the same age as his devoted fans. Growing up the son of noted children’s book author and illustrator Karen Gundersheimer, Mister G (then known as Ben Gundersheimer) learned to value great writing for kids at a young age. After begging his parents to let him switch from recorder to guitar lessons, he started writing his first songs at nine years old. By the time he graduated from Amherst College, Ben had already been performing his original songs professionally for years.

Ben’s prolific composition won him the first song-writing scholarship ever awarded by Berklee College of Music. As an adult-oriented singer/songwriter, he performed and toured internationally, headlining legendary venues such as the Bitter End, the Iron Horse Music Hall, Somerville Theater, the Mercury Lounge and Club Passim. He’s shared the stage with Phish and Martin Sexton, and his music has been featured on dozens of network television shows around the world.

In the late 90s, Ben created an educational side project, “The Roots Music Collective,” with his bandmates. So began a peculiar double life of playing at rock clubs until 2:00 AM and performing in elementary schools at 9:00 later that same morning. The experience hooked him: time and again he was blown away by the energy, curiosity and creativity of the young audiences.

Ultimately, Ben decided to combine his background as a musician and songwriter with his passion for teaching children. For his Master’s thesis, Ben created a unique curriculum to incorporate songwriting into the classroom as a learning tool. Inspired by his students (who originally dubbed him ‘Mister G’), he began writing the songs that would comprise “Pizza for Breakfast.”

The CD showcases his skills as a producer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist. The album was recorded in New York City and at Ben’s studio in the woods of Western Massachusetts, with a stellar cast of musicians. Accompanied by the voices of his former students, the CD features Mister G singing all original songs and playing acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Drawing on his eclectic tastes as a songwriter, the tracks on the album span an unusually wide range of styles, from rock and country to bluegrass and ska.

A lifetime nature-lover, Ben made “green” themes prominent on the record. “Mister Chubby Pants” tells the story about the impacts of pollution from the viewpoint of a gigantic bullfrog, and “Don’t Waste Stuff” encourages kids to conserve precious resources-- not only plastic and paper, but also laughter and love. Other songs tackle classic themes of childhood, like not wanting to take a bath (“Bath”), while “Pony with a Problem,” and “Sneaky Chihuahua” describe the adventures of unforgettable animal characters.

In addition to his high-energy concerts, Ben has developed a series of school workshops (“Who Writes Songs? You Do!”; “Mister Goes Green”;“Sights and Sounds”) designed to unleash the imaginative potential of children. Whether performing for hundreds of kids at a concert, or crafting an original song with a group of first graders, Mister G’s boundless enthusiasm and sophisticated musicianship are taking family music to a new level.