"This Sunny, Charming Disc Is A Fun Listen..."

CD Review: This sunny, charming disc is a fun listen, and it is dedicated to a cause close to my heart. The Conductors play punchy, ‘70s-style folk-rock to bring awareness to Autism Spectrum Disorders and the advocacy group Autism Speaks. 

Navigating the Spectrum is family music of the best kind – catchy and breezy songs that send positive messages for kids, and the grown-ups will find themselves bopping along too. “Great Freight Train” chugs along like a good ol’ Steve Miller-style rocker; “Twelve (Kisses For My Baby)” and “Won’t You Be My Friend?” groove like the great Scooby Doo theme song. 

“My Backyard” is a fun, loping tune filled with vivid lyrical imagery – it boasts fine harmonies and a couple of nifty musical twists, too. I dig the off-kilter chord changes in “Twelve” as well. This is in no way dumbed-down kids’ music. 

The old favorite “I’ve Been Working On the Railroad” is rockabilly/power pop fresh, and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is joyfully remade as a propulsive, hand-clapping number. 

“Hush-A-Bye Darling” is a simple and beautiful, fitting conclusion – just acoustic strumming and Joe Hutchinson’s warm, rich, just-a-touch-raspy voice. Hutchinson also wrote or co-wrote all the original songs on the set. 

There’s no way to get bored with these nine short and snappy cuts. The Conductors have created a wonderfully rocking family listen - I can think of many uses for it with my six-year-old (car rides and clean-up time, to name a couple), and here I am digging it by myself.



Navigating the Spectrum
The Conductors

As a parent to a child with autism, “Smokestack” Joe Hutchinson wanted to make music for attention-challenged children; however, his band’s quick, catchy songs hold an appeal to all kids.

True to their name, the Conductors do several train songs (the Steve Miller-ish original “Great Freight Train” and a propulsive version of “I’ve Been Working On the Railroad”) along with tunes that express the joys of being kids and the fun found in a back yard. A good album with a good heart.




(kidsmusicthatrocks.blogspot.com )

***The Conductors***

L.A. rocker and dad Joe Hutchinson has created a project dear to his heart: Navigating the Spectrum is Joe's way of musically reaching out to fellow parents of children with Autism. Besides leading his powerpop band HUTCH, Joe is the proud father of a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, or Autism. His hope is that through his kids' band, The Conductors, he can use the power of music, especially live music, to strengthen bonds between parents and children, and between like-minded adults, as well.

Now, this isn't some disposable vanity project: Hutchinson put as much time and love into Navigating the Spectrum as he would a HUTCH album, and you can hear it. The rockin' "Twelve (12 Kisses for My Baby)" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" take their cues from classic powerpop bands like Off Broadway, 20/20, and the Paul Collins Beat, while the chug of a steam engine rolls through "Great Freight Train" and I've Been Working On the Railroad." Equally as nifty are the Buddy Holly-inspired "Won't You Be My Friend?" and the a cappela rhyme "The Sun Comes Up, The Moon Goes Down," perfect for audience participation. And dig "Hush-a-bye Darling," a lullaby that's as good as any ballad Oasis ever wrote.

A great short album of short songs, perfect for The Conductors' target audience. Still want more proof that Hutchinson's heart is in the right place? Check out this blog about a recent kids' show in L.A. that seemed to put families with children at a disadvantage.:

“SHOW CANCELLED! What is a fair FARE for children?

“Our show on Saturday Aug 9th at Int'l Pop Overthrow Festival is cancelled due to the fact that The Conductors would not allow the venue to charge admission to children under 12.

Is it not fair that parents should pay full price and their kids get in free? 

In a world where families struggle to stay afloat financially, special needs families go into bankruptcy, and single parent families are suffering during an economic nightmare, THE CONDUCTORS want you to know that we believe in quality entertainment for the masses at a reasonable price, and will ALWAYS put these principles before profits.”





The Conductors - Navigating the Spectrum

Interesting title of an album that is, actually, a children’s album (The Conductors are “conducted” by Joe "HUTCH" Hutchinson).  Some fun music here for pop fans and their children to enjoy! Bits of Dave Edmunds (see Track #1), The Smithereens (#4), Bill Lloyd (#8) and Buddy Holly (#2).

The idea:  Every kid likes trains. Every kid LOVES the Conductors. Embracing the best qualities of the Beatles, Wiggles & Raffi, a train load of memorable original songs. Gentle enough for kids with AUTISM, ASD, ADHD & Sensory Issues. Kids and parents alike can expect a train-load of fun and catchy melodies as The Conductors deliver some of the COOLEST original children’s songs we’ve heard in a LONG time. They’ve also put that all-important new spin on the classics each of us grew up on, playfully delivering unique twists at every turn of the tracks!

Because of the shortness of each song and over-all brevity of the CD, attention-challenged children find it easy to digest the whole CD in one listen, making for repeated plays and immediate sing-a-longs.

Joe "HUTCH" Hutchinson, ("Smokestack Joe" here),  is a dedicated and proud parent of a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (Autism). He started The Conductors as a way to celebrate the joys of parenthood and to deliver a fun, positive message to families worldwide while raising support and awareness for the Autism community.

A final note: PARENTS, we predict that this will be the one kids CD that you will actually listen to when the kids are NOT present!! After all, it was written and sung out of pure love by a real parent, just like you!"



"Won't You Be My Friend" (Live)

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"My Backyard"

"Working On The Railroad"