My wife and I first became aware of Mr. Aaron a little over a year ago when we picked up our daughter from daycare. She was tiny then, barely ten months old, but she was incredibly excited because, as her teachers told us, Mr. Aaron had visited that day. “Who is Mr. Aaron?” we asked. “He’s a singer/songwriter who has a studio at the Concord Community Arts Center,” they told us. So we looked him up on Youtube and showed his videos to our daughter. She was so excited then and still is to this day.
If you’re a parent to a baby/babies/young children in the greater Concord area, there’s a decent chance you’ve already heard of Mr. Aaron. If you haven’t, consider this your introduction. Aaron (Mr. Aaron if you’re a little one) has been playing music for over 15 years and began writing kid’s music about 7 years ago. He and his wife, Anna, put together a kid’s album while they were living in New York City called “Banana Baron.” When they moved to Concord a year and a half ago, Aaron opened a studio he calls Rattlebox Studio, at the Concord Community Arts Center, with the purpose of having a recording space, and space for music lessons. Of course, kids music classes took off, and he now has a space in the building for recording and a space for classes.
Since he’s been in Concord, he’s put out another album called “All My Friends Are Giants,” and things have really taken off. The Mr. Aaron Band plays shows regularly all around the greater Concord area and they consistently draw a huge contingent of families. I reached out to Aaron, asking him about what I perceived to be his quickly growing popularity.
“It does feel like I’m getting popular, and it’s really fun! I love meeting new folks and I think that people coming together to sing and dance is so super important these days. I feel so fortunate to be able to help facilitate that and that so far, people have been very responsive. It’s encouraging, in an age when the arts seem so underappreciated, to feel this groundswell of support.”
We take our daughter to the “Little Rattlers” music class at Rattlebox as often as we can. Aaron offers a variety of classes and “Little Rattlers” is perfect for parents with newborns up to a few years old. The class is roughly 45 minutes and it includes Aaron playing various instruments and singing, but all songs are interactive. Movement is a big part of his classes, as is kids playing instruments – drums, shakers, that sort of thing. When our daughter is not being cranky, she loves it!
Behind The Music:
Aaron’s songs, both on the albums and on Youtube, are incredibly accessible for children of all ages, and I’d be lying if I said I don’t find myself humming at least one of them every day. When you watch Aaron at music class, it’s immediately clear that he loves what he does, and he has a playfulness that engages kids immediately. That playfulness comes through in his music and it makes it a joy to listen to over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.
Aaron’s songs often include stories about characters or are even narrated by characters, and Aaron changes his voice to fit those characters. A favorite at our house is “I Gotta Dance,” which is about a duck named ‘Duck’ who is trying to help a bull named ‘Bull’ improve his dance moves, which terrify people. About his songs, Mr. Aaron said, “I also like songs and stories and music that are imaginative and playful, and I think that’s what drew me to kid’s music and what I strive to imbue each song with. I want to be surprised.”
As I referenced earlier, the Mr. Aaron Band regularly plays in the Capital region. Venues have recently included Red River Theatres, Flipz Gymnastics, and the Contoocook Farmers Market. Upcoming shows include the Concord Farmers Market, Magical Yoga in Wolfeboro, and even the Capital Center for the Arts.
The band itself is a fantastic group of guys who clearly love to have fun while they perform. They chat with each other and the audience between songs, laugh while they play, and always smile back at the kids who come to watch the show. Band members include:
Eric Bilodeau – Electric Guitar, Mandolin, Backing Vocals
Curtis Arnett – Saxophone, Keyboard
Dan Glynn – Bass, Tin Whistle, Backing Vocals
Blake Wayman – Drums
Aaron Jones – Guitar, Synthesizer, Lead Vocals
As a parent, I can’t recommend the Mr. Aaron / Rattlebox Studio experience enough to anyone who has young kids. I know I’m a little biased because my daughter is a huge fangirl, but I’d recommend checking Mr. Aaron out even if she wasn’t. Sure the music will get stuck in your head for days, and yes, you’ll catch yourself singing kids songs in front of your coworkers, but who cares?! The music is hilarious, and your kids will love it.
My favorite song: “All My Friends Are Giants”
My daughter’s favorite song: “New Song (La La La!)”
My wife’s favorite song: “I Gotta Dance!”
You can read more about Mr. Aaron at www.mraaronmusic.com, and more about Rattlebox Studio at www.rattleboxstudio.com. You can also reach out to Mr. Aaron on Facebook, follow Rattlebox Studios on Instagram, listen to him on Spotify, and of course, buy the album!