Rymer at Newton Theatre & Growing Stage
Sparta - Three-time Grammy nonimee Brady Rymer never forgets that his roots are in Sparta, even though he lives on Long Island these days. He's back in the township for holiday performances at the Newton Theatre and the Growing Theatre, and his youngest fans are especially excited.
How did the rocker end up as a singer and songwriter of children's music? By phone, from his home in Southold, NY, he said that after 13 years of playing with his rock band, "From Good Homes," words like “dad” and “family” started winding up in his conversations, and in his songs. So he went with his natural instinct to write through the eyes of children, and then after recording his first children’s song in his New York apartment, he realized a whole new career was dawning for him. "Up until then, I had no idea there was a career like that, or a children’s genre.”
His own childhood memories of kid songs consisted mostly of “Tuttie Fruttie” and music by The Platers.
But then it struck Rymer that Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and other rock greats had written quality children’s songs that everyone enjoyed, and so that further inspired Rymer to keep writing kid-point-of-view lyrics. In fact, some of his songs have essentially become self-empowerment, self-confidence anthems for kids, including those with special challenges. But whether Rymer's writing and singing for children or adults, he’s a rocker at heart.
“The music was the same, but my lyrics were coming from a different place,” he said. “Whenever I looked into a child’s eyes, the writing poured out.”
The song “Look at My Belly,” was written after Brady’s then 2-year-old son, Gus, ate a big helping of rice and beans, then became fascinated in the realization that his belly had actually gotten larger.
“He had a moment when he ran to the mirror, so proud of himself, and happy and self-aware. So that was a song. His first shoes, too, and my daughter’s first words.”
Rymer is married to fellow Sparta High School alumn Bridget (Clark) Rymer. When he realized their daughter Daisy's pre-school didn’t have a music program, he helped out. One performance led to another. Now Rymer also has a very special rapport with disabled and special needs audiences, where kids are celebrated for exactly who they are, able to interact, and where the music has a self-empowerment, self-confidence message.
There’s nothing like a kid’s rock concert, he says.
“It’s a microcosm of a Bruce Springsteen, James Brown concert: It’s got those elements,” he said.
This Spring Rymer releases his 10th album, “Under the Big Umbrella." A lof of the songs were inspired by, or even in part written by kids, with kindergarten through 4th grade being the target audience. In fact, he encourages kids to send him their poetry.
Tickets to his concerts sell out quickly. If tickets are sold out already, no worries, he’ll also be at the Morristown Theatre on March 3.
As for The Growing Stage performances, “there are two shows,” he said. “One’s a family show and another’s a sensory friendly show. The Growing Stage is such a sweet place; it’s really does get fun and rocking and festive. We’ll be doing our holiday show and Santa might even make an appearance. The kids will love it. I encourage all families to come out. Instead of a family game night, have a family rock night."
Rymer recalls overhearing a 2nd-grader as she ran into the lobby after a concert and proclaimed to her friends, "that was intense."
To view online recordings of Brady’s concerts visit (youtu.be/CBjrthIZhFM).
Rymer will be rocking out at the Newton Theatre with the band “From Good Homes” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 22.
Rymer performs at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, as Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could, at the Growing Stage in Netcong.
Growing Stage Show Details:What: Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could Holiday Concert.
When: 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22.
Where: Growing Stage Children's Theatre, 7 Ledgewood Ave, Netcong.
Tickets: www.growingstage.com/concert-series/ or 973-347-4946, Children $15, Adults $20.
Newton Theatre Show Details:What: From Good Homes Concert
When: 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m.
Where: The Newton Theatre, 234 Spring St, Newton
Tickets: Limited tickets available www.thenewtontheatre.com/acts/fgh.html