“What kind of moron writes a children’s album that’s not really for kids?” -Anonymous
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Wakefield and for the record this album wasn’t planned…and neither was Vann. It started about 2 1/2 years ago at the Hollywood Bowl. Gustavo Dudamel, in his first official capacity as conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, was leading the orchestra in a reprise of the Ode to Joy ending of Beethoven’s 9th symphony, resplendent with fireworks, when my wife Joanne turned to me and said, “We’re having another baby”. Technically I suppose it started about a month earlier but semantics aside, that startling announcement led me down a very unexpected path. Our other children were 8 and 11 at the time and had recently reached a moderate level of self-sufficiency. The thought of caring for a new baby, while exciting, was also downright frightening. Fortunately, with this kind of thing there’s a built in “processing” period. On June 4th, 2010 at 3:01 in the afternoon, Vann Franklin Wakefield was born and out of economic necessity, I became Mr. Mom. The songs started coming almost immediately. Little spurts here and there, phrases, melodies, lyrics all tied together with a thread of humor. After putting together a few coherent ideas that seemed good I decided to make an effort to write a whole album….possibly as some sort of therapy. It was written early in the morning and late at night. During naps and walks, with a clear mind and in a fog. Melodies were plunked out at all hours and anything that you could imagine to write on became a lyric sheet(including finally finding a good use for those notepads from the local real estate mavens). By the Spring of 2011 I had 12 songs and was ready to start recording. After 20 years as a musician I didn’t have a lot of money but I had a lot of friends. Actually I didn’t have any money, so I borrowed some and started calling in favors. The responses were heart-warming. What you have here is the result. Over 30 of Los Angeles and Nashville’s finest musicians helped create the most unusual children’s album you’ll ever hear….you might even call it curious.