Known as a band that makes roots music with strong pop and rock elements, the Dirt Nappers, led by Frank Migliorelli, usually serve up songs dealing with serious adult themes of love and loss, cultural issues, and much more. However, as with every other band and artist in the world, the pandemic forced a change of focus for at least a few months.
In this case, it brought a passion project Frank had dream’t up a while back from the back burner to the front. “I had this idea years ago to do a bunch of songs that were inspired by some pretty great children’s books, and started writing and demoing them,” says Frank. “When the pandemic hit, I had all of these ideas and asked my band if they would be into recording a kids record.”
The resulting album is called We’re Not Kiddin’ Around and features eight songs inspired by children’s books like Go, Dog, Go!, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Harry the Dirty Dog, that Migliorelli encountered over the years. “I used to write kid’s music for a living, publishing music for video games and educational products,” Frank explains. “Plus I would do ‘story time’ in my kid’s classrooms when they were growing up—which usually was embellished with a guitar and a few songs.” At some point he remembers, “I started thinking, every good book deserves a good song, and the idea for this project was born…” To complement the album, the band is launching a companion website (www.musickideos.com) that highlights activities, features music videos, and resources for kids, caregivers, and teachers to explore.
When comes to writing songs, Frank began to find his personal voice after many years of writing for product marketing, as well producing others’ records for his own indie label during the 1990s. “That all kind of wrapped up…and I realized I have a recording studio here, and I’m playing for really nobody, and I thought I should start writing again…Eventually this thing known as the Dirtnappers came out.” Prior to the kids album, Frank and his band released three Americana records with distinct roots and rock overtones.
By Dan Walsh