Sunday, November 22, 2009

Merry Melodies Week Giveaway #5: Mister G's Pizza for Breakfast CLOSED

One of my favorite things about being a parent reviewer is the exposure to up-and-coming children's music stars. First, I believe you can never have too large of a musical collection, especially to introduce a variety of sounds to little ears. And second, it makes me feel a bit like a judge on American Idol. I see myself as a Paula. After all, it's all about the kids.

So, when I was invited to review a new family album, Pizza for Breakfast, by Mister G, I excitedly agreed. I mean, who doesn't want pizza for breakfast now and then?

Inspired by his former elementary school students (who called him Mister G), Pizza for Breakfast is Ben Gundersheimer's foray into writing children's music. A recipient of the first songwriting scholarship in the history of the Berklee College of Music, Ben toured for years as a singer/songwriter both as a bandleader and as a solo artist before taking a year off to pursue a Master's degree in Elementary Education at Smith College.

The transition from opening for Phish and writing music for television shows was welcomed. "I'd become jaded with the music business, " Ben explains. "The opportunity to get away from that world and work with kids day to day was so refreshing." As a founding member of the Roots Music Collective, Ben had been performing for kids since the late 1990's. Referring to those concerts Ben says, "while our objective was to expose students to American roots music traditions, what always got the kids most excited was when we would write and perform original songs." During the year in graduate school, Ben incorporated music into the curriculum in unusual ways. "I had learned from the years of playing shows with the RMA that kids crave a creative outlet. If you provide them with one, the learning process will take place effortlessly." So, instead of writing book reports, the 4th graders wrote songs with Mister G. Ben specializes in promoting literacy through song creation. He combines his additional professional experience as a photographer and yoga teacher to create innovative workshops tailored to a wide range of ages, schools, and settings.

Track Listing:

1. Pizza for Breakfast
2. Don't Waste Stuff
3. Run
4. Bath
5. Sneaky Chihuahua
6. Pony with a Problem
7. Luckiest Kid in the World
8. Mister Chubby Pants
9. Dogs Don't Fly
10. Squirrels
11. Buster
12. Mister Bigsby's Brown Tuxedo

When I first caught a glimpse of Mister G on the cover of the album with his eccentric dress, I honestly expected corny and cliche. Someone a little too "jokey" for my taste. But luckily, I never judge a book, er...CD, by it's cover. Pizza for Breakfast is surely worthy of praise.

Mister G, whose vocals bring to mind Tom Petty or Jakob Dylan, serves up perfect portions of lyrical tomfoolery and important, positive messages. He easily shifts from singing about a horse who wants to dance in his underpants in the amusing "Pony with a Problem" to recycling and manners in the environmentally-friendly gem "Don't Waste Stuff". Some of the words may be something to laugh about but the music is anything but. The band's sophisticated instrumentals include a vast assortment of instruments including a banjo, mandolin and trombone - all of which contribute to the dizzying array of musical styles on the album. Ska, rock, pop, world, country,'s all here.

The stand-out tracks for me were the rhythmic, reggae-esque "Run", the ode to a boy's best friend "Buster" and the manic ska track "Mister Bigsby's Brown Tuxedo". Nate seemed to like the Spanish melody of "Sneaky Chihuahua" the best, as he wiggled to the mambo beat. My mom, who happened to be over when we first listened to the album, liked "Luckiest Kid in the World", a folk ditty that gives children a dozen reasons to be thankful - perfect for the upcoming holiday.

Bottom line: I would definitely recommend ordering Pizza for Breakfast, to-go. It's lively, fun family entertainment. Sure, it's humorous and a little juvenile but we all need to tap into our childish sides now and again.

BUY IT: You can purchase Mister G's Pizza for Breakfast online at CD Baby or on Mister G's website (ARV $14.99).

WIN IT: Mister G has graciously offered one lucky reader the chance to win the album!

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Visit the Mister G website and listen to the music sampler near the bottom of the page. Tell me what song you dig most. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile or if you are not a blogger!

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!

1.) Follow my blog or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry)

2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)

3.) Become a fan of Mister G on Facebook. (1 entry)

4.) Add my blog button and/or my holiday button to your site and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry for each)

5.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)

I'm an Editor's Pick!

Giveaway will end on December 6, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. only. Winners will be chosen via and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Pizza for Breakfast from Katherine at Coil Records to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.


shopannies said...

love pizza for breakfast

shopannies said...

follow blog

shopannies said...

following on twitter and tweeted

shopannies said...

fan of mr Gs on facebook

Jen said...

They are all great, but my favorite is the Mister Chubbypants; it has a great beat.

footejennifer at

Jen said...

I subscribe to your blog via email.

footejennifer at

Tracysweetangl said...

Mister Chubbypants sounds fun.

Tracysweetangl said...

email subscriber

Tracysweetangl said...

follower of blog

Amber said...

Squirrels is my favorite!
Thank you for the giveaway :)

Bebemiqui said...

I like "Dogs Don't Fly"!

mverno said...

pizza for breakfast

Janet and Maya said...

What a great website! I like Don't Waste Stuff.

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Anonymous said...

It's the bath song for me! My daughter loves music and walks around the house saying 'Rock on Dave Mathews!'!! She's three and would love this!

Anonymous said...

I entered the Sound of Music giveaway!

Katrina said...

squirrels! too cute!

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Julie said...

I definitely like Pizza for Breakfast the best

Julie said...

follow blog as jelaws5

Julie said...

entered Bari Koral Family Rock band contest

Desiree said...

Pizza for breakfast is my favorite

Desiree Glaze

Desiree said...

blog follower

Desiree Glaze

Desiree said...

email subscriber to

Desiree Glaze

Desiree said...

follow as WeeShare

Desiree Glaze

Desiree said...

entered the bari koral giveaway

Desiree said...

entered the sarah lee guthrie giveaway

Desiree said...

entered the sound of music giveaway

Ashley said...

Mr. Chubby Pants is really catchy!

ashaldridge (@) gmail (dot) com

erma said...

I love the song Pizza for Breakfast.

Wehaf said...

I love the song "Buster" - my neighbors have a dog named Buster, so it fits well.

urchiken at gmail dot com

saturdaynightfever said...

Don't Waste Stuff

Gianna said...

Squirrels :)

purango said...

Luckiest kid in the World is my favorite.

lilyk said...

My favorite is Dogs Don't Fly.

lilyk said...

I subscribed by email.

lilyk said...

I became a fan of Mister G on Facebook.

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