WEST ORANGE, NJ - Students and faculty gathered at St. Cloud Elementary School on Friday for a performance by Brooklyn-based band the Dad Beats, a band that features upbeat, catchy family-friendly tunes ranging from rock, folk, country, and blues. Band members include West Orange resident Charles Michelet (drums, ukelele, and guitar player); Andrew Purcell (singer); Dan Loomis (double bass player); and Yuri Weber (singer and guitar player).
The St. Cloud crowd danced and sang to the music played at St. Cloud on Friday. Maureen Hurd Hause, the Cultural Arts VP of the St. Cloud PTA, arranged for the event to take place.
“We all really enjoyed the album,” said St. Cloud PTA member Marie Sinha. “And it’s nice for the kids to get the opportunity to hear live music and see the instruments. They really get into it.”
Formed in 2012, the Dad Beats began as a group of dads who regularly got their kids together for playdates while the moms were out working full-time jobs. After learning each had musical talent, they began to write songs about their families and their lives as fathers. To their surprise, the kids seemed to really enjoy listening. Today, the band performs at music venues, festivals, restaurants, and local cafes, attracting the attention of youngsters and parents alike.
“We’re sad Andrew, our lead singer, couldn’t be here with us today,” said Weber. “When we started writing original material, he provided the witty, satirical lyrics that come with parenthood. Our songs are all about the trials and tribulations of being a parent. It’s like we’re giving our kids some point of view.”
Their debut album titled, “Child Support,” features songs like “Dad, Put the Phone Down,” “Too Many Toys,” and “Don’t Stand on the Table.” Furthermore, the group entered this year’s 58th Grammy Awards for Best Children’s Album. Unfortunately, they weren’t nominated, but it was still “a good experience,” and they plan to try again next year.
In addition to the band, the dads play the lead parent at home.
“My husband is the full-time parent, and he’s not extraordinary among his bandmates,” said Ellen Horne, honorary “Mom Beat” and full-time Original Content Executive Producer at Audible. “Several of them are or have played the primary full-time role with their kids. The other moms of the band are a Brazilian TV news correspondent, a union organizer, and a mom who works for the New York Writers Coalition and has recently gone back to school part-time.”
“In essence, the Dad Beats are singing, dancing, loving examples that being an engaged parent is a creative and valuable choice,” said Horne.